Montana is one of 22 states that California banned state-funded travel to over their LGBT-related laws. Yet on July 1, Newsom left for vacation in Montana, announcing that Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis would be in charge while he was off, reported the New York Post.
Newsom’s office insisted the vacation was not an example of inconsistency because he didn’t use taxpayer funds to pay for the trip.
“The travel ban applies to using state funds. The Governor’s travel is not being paid by the state. Connecting the two is an attempt at gotcha journalism that is neither gotcha nor journalism,” Newsom’s senior communications adviser, Anthony York, said in a statement on Twitter.
Newsom’s communications director, Erin Mellon, reiterated that the ban only applies to “expending state funds.”
“The Governor’s travel not being paid for by the state,” Mellon said. “Connecting the two is irresponsible and falsely implies there is something untoward. This is a personal trip to visit family who live outside the state.”
Genuinely pathetic pushback from the @GavinNewsom team here.
“Our virtue signaling had way more caveats” is not the defense they think it is. If you’re going to do dumb things like state travel bans you better follow through. https://t.co/x17YJvvgy3
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 6, 2022
Even if Newsom’s vacation wasn’t funded by taxpayers, it is still hypocritical considering Newsom just ran an advertisement urging people to leave red states such as Montana, said California Republican Harmeet Dhillon.
The price of gas in Montana is about $2.50 cheaper a gallon than in California. State of emergency in California for 2.5 years. Astounding that he would run ads in Florida & vacation in the red state of Montana while California families can’t afford to travel thanks to Dems. 🤬🤯 https://t.co/L5HV4Yg02h
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) July 6, 2022