Friday, May 12, 2023

ANNALS OF DeSANTiSTAN: Gov. DeSantis agrees to blot out his travel records. (Gray Rohrer, Florida Politics, May 11, 2023)

Our Florida Constitution in Article I, Section 24 requires a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate to approve an exemption, which requires a statement of public necessity.  

Read the new law for yourself, here

From Florida Politics:

Gov. DeSantis agrees to blot out his travel records. 

By Gray Rohrer, Florida Politics, May 11, 2023

The new law applies retroactively.

Any member of the public wanting to know a full accounting of how much Gov. Ron DeSantis has spent on travel, or where he has traveled and by what means, is out of luck.

DeSantis signed SB 1616, exempting all travel records from Florida’s public records laws. And not just going forward — the new law applies immediately and applies retroactively. Any media outlet or member of the public with a pending record request is likely to be denied.

The bill passed along party lines in each chamber, 84-31 in the House and 28-12in the Senate, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.

The new law also exempts travel records for Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, House Speaker Paul Renner, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz.

But the travel records for DeSantis, who is preparing for a bid for President in 2024, are likely to be the most coveted by media outlets and the public.

DeSantis has been hopscotching around the country in recent weeks, ostensibly on a book tour for his newly released tome, “The Courage to Be Free.” But that tour has also acted as a soft opening for his presumed bid for the GOP nomination for President.

DeSantis has made the rust belt tour, hitting Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. Then he went on an official trade mission to Japan, South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom. The latter trip was organized by Enterprise Florida, a public-private group that must release travel records — until now.

The records have been used in the past to reveal questionable travel habits of politicians, including former CFO Alex Sink, former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and former Attorney General Bill McCollum.

Former Gov. Rick Scott, now a U.S. Senator, highlighted the travel scandals in his 2010 bid for Governor, upending establishment favorite McCollum in the GOP Primary and then edging out Sink in the General Election.

Scott made good on a campaign promise to sell the state planes and used his private jet while in office to save the state money. But once he left, the Legislature approved the purchase of new planes to serve DeSantis.

Gray Rohrer


Anonymous said...

Now he can conceal the inflight meal of steak and caviar, the vacations, and the diverted flight to Italy for bunga bunga parties. This and the next governor can do the same. The modern GOP is not future oriented.

Anonymous said...

The legislature just rubber stamps whatever he wants. Failed government!