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Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Political Stunts by Newsom, Rivals
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Published 10 months ago on
June 20, 2023

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The cross-country game of oneupmanship between California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Republican governors of Florida and Texas is becoming more intense with every passing week.

The latest move from Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott is to send planes and buses full of Latin American migrants to California cities.

Dan Walters with a serious expression

Dan Walters

CalMatters

Opinion

“Texas border towns are overwhelmed & overrun because of Biden’s open border policies,” Abbott tweeted. “Texas buses migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities like LA to provide relief to our border communities. We will continue this effort until Biden secures the border.”

Predictably, the episode triggered another round of vitriol.

After Newsom denounced DeSantis, a presidential hopeful, again during a Fox News interview last week, DeSantis unloaded on Newsom during a bill-signing ceremony last week saying he “has a real serious fixation on the state of Florida. I think it’s just bizarre that he does that. What I would tell him is – you know what, stop pussyfooting around. Are you going to throw your hat into the ring and challenge Joe (Biden)?”

“Are you going to get in and do it, or are you going to sit on the sidelines and chirp?” DeSantis continued. “So why don’t you throw your hat into the ring, and then we’ll go ahead and talk about what’s happening.”

Florida and Texas taxpayers are financing the planes and buses that ferry migrants to California, and a little-noticed order by a federal judge revealed that one Newsom gesture is costing Californians more than a half-million dollars.

Copycat Measure Pointless, Expensive

After Texas enacted a law to authorize private lawsuits against anyone who aborted a fetus with a detectable heartbeat, and made it virtually impossible to defend such a suit, Newsom persuaded the California Legislature to pass a copycat measure affecting manufacturers of banned firearms.

At the time, Newsom acknowledged that it was a stunt designed to highlight the absurdity of the Texas law rather than a serious expression of policy.

The Texas law has survived legal challenges so far, but the California law was quickly voided by federal Judge Roger Benitez as unconstitutional because it would have required defendants to pay the costs of litigation even if they won.

Newsom, who had been sharply critical of Benitez for previous gun rights decisions, praised the judge’s rejection of the law he had championed, saying, “I want to thank Judge Benitez. We have been saying all along that Texas’ anti-abortion law is outrageous. Judge Benitez just confirmed it is also unconstitutional.”

Later, Benitez awarded the gun rights groups which had challenged the California law almost $557,000 in attorney fees – money they can use to pursue many other challenges to  California gun controls.

Taxpayers, not Newsom, are paying the price for his stunt.

About the Author

Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times. For more columns by Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.

Make Your Voice Heard

GV Wire encourages vigorous debate from people and organizations on local, state, and national issues. Submit your op-ed to rreed@gvwire.com for consideration. 

 

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