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Tipsheet

They've Got Him Now: Check Out WaPo's Major Scoop on Ron DeSantis

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Regarding Florida Republicans running for president, the liberal media’s attacks are either humorously weak or outright lies. Ron DeSantis is being smeared as some proto-Nazi supporter. Does anyone remember the luxury speedboat Marco Rubio bought, which turned out to be a fishing boat? Or Rubio’s traffic violations? It was all a crock.

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DeSantis is terrible for going on vacation with rich friends, which isn’t a crime. He also wasn’t governor at the time (via WaPo):


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took at least six undisclosed trips on private jets and accepted lodging and dining in late 2018, according to flight manifests, tracking data and other documents obtained by The Washington Post that reflect his proclivity for luxury travel and leisure time with wealthy donors. 

The trips came during the period between DeSantis’s election and inauguration as governor. On one, DeSantis traveled to the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club on a plane owned by Mori Hosseini, a major home builder who supplied a golf simulator in the governor’s mansion and later benefited from $92 million in federal pandemic funding that the DeSantis administration steered to a highway interchange project he sought. DeSantis took four other flights on a plane that was registered at the time to John Cwik, another DeSantis donor, records show. 

DeSantis did not report the flights or accommodations as gifts or campaign contributions and it’s unclear whether he used a separate legal option to personally reimburse for the flights at the cost of coach airfare. A DeSantis spokesman said he complied with regulations but declined to specify how the costs of the trips were paid or how they met ethics and disclosure requirements. 

His then-campaign lawyer wrote in a memo to his transition team that as governor-elect, he was “required to report with the Ethics Commission all direct and indirect gifts accepted that are worth over $100,” including “transportation,” “lodging” and “food.” Paid travel for political purposes was required to be disclosed as an in-kind campaign contribution, lawyer Ben Gibson advised in the 17-page memo. 

Costs that are reimbursed are not considered gifts and do not have to be reported, Gibson’s memo explained. Ethics Commission rules allow private jet trips to be paid back at the cost of a coach ticket on the same route, rather than the actual operating cost of the flight, which is typically many times higher. This provision could have allowed DeSantis, who is not personally wealthy, to ride on donors’ planes for a fraction of the cost, all while avoiding any public scrutiny.

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Only Democrats can ride on private jets, huh? This private jet fascination is not just lame; it doesn’t resonate. Justice Clarence Thomas has been hit over the same nonsense, and it’s gone nowhere because no laws were broken. In essence, the liberal media is aghast that Republicans go on trips, and some of their pals might have sizeable bank accounts. In June, the media tried to get DeSantis over a golf simulator, which wasn’t a gift to him but a donation to the governor’s mansion. While not as incendiary as blaming the man for a racially motivated shooting, it’s still silly.

 

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