Tuesday, Emily Hoeven of CalMatters was the first to report that Governor Newsom and his family were spending the 4th of July holiday with his wife’s family. Not a big deal, right? Well, it becomes a bit sticky, like my Aunt Ruth’s homemade bbq sauce, because the First Family of California is spending time in Montana, one of 22 states to which California has banned state-funded and state-sponsored travel due to policies it deems discriminatory to LGTBQ+ people. Montana has also been called out by the Governor’s office for restricting abortion access. Sure, we don’t choose where our in-laws own a ranch, but as reported by CalMatters, the lack of information around this trip contrasts sharply with the communication surrounding other recent out-of-state trips.
Anthony York, Newsom’s senior advisor for communications, told Hoeven: “We don’t legislate where people vacation. Never have. The travel ban applies to expending state funds. The Governor’s travel is not being paid for by the state.” When asked about the Governor’s security detail while away, York said: “We don’t comment or provide details on the governor’s security.”
While we hate to bring up old wounds, the initial secrecy around the Governor’s travels does seem oddly reminiscent of the unfolding details of the lobbyist’s birthday party attended by the Governor at the French Laundry during the pandemic lockdown, which even SNL couldn’t leave alone.
And, as much as we like Aunt Ruth’s homemade bbq sauce, it does sound like a little bit of a sticky problem that state taxpayer funds are being spent on security staff in Montana. Maybe the Governor would like to reimburse the state for the expense? That would resolve some of the stickiness without the need for a Wet Nap.