From Donald J. Trump for President:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is currently on a month-long, taxpayer-funded presidential campaign schedule paid for by Florida taxpayers, and new questions are emerging as to whether this will force DeSantis to resign from office. The matter also highlights yet another flip-flop for DeSantis, who previously resigned from Congress to run for Governor to “protect the taxpayers.”
At present, Florida has a “Resign to Run” law that requires statewide officeholders to leave their positions if they’re running for Federal office. In remarks first shared with the Associated Press, Nova Southeastern University Law School Professor Bob Jarvis said, “There is no ambiguity, no debate, no dispute. Under current law, DeSantis cannot run for president before first resigning as a governor.”
DeSantis allies in the Florida legislature are considering a change to state law to help the Governor, but DeSantis has already begun his month-long, taxpayer-funded campaign schedule before legislation could be passed.
Further complicating matters: Florida’s current “Resign to Run” law states that candidates must resign from their posts no later than 10 days before qualifying for office. But according to Politico’s Gary Fineout, over the month of April DeSantis is leaving Florida to campaign in Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Utah, and Texas, with South Carolina now being added to this month’s itinerary.
DeSantis also plans to visit Israel and the U.K. in April to score some last-minute foreign policy credentials for his 2024 presidential campaign, and it is now being reported that DeSantis will also visit Japan and Korea as part of his taxpayer-funded globetrotting.
All of this brings us back to 2018, when DeSantis was running for Governor and resigned from Congress, noting it would be “inappropriate” to “accept a salary” when he would be missing “the vast majority” or “remaining session days.”
DeSantis’ upcoming 2024 presidential campaign travel occurs while the Florida Legislature is in-session, and before DeSantis has formed a campaign committee to pay for his travel. This means that in addition to his salary, Florida taxpayers are on the hook for travel and security costs. So why the change of heart?
“Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to campaign full-time for president, during the Florida legislative session, while collecting a salary and having the taxpayers pick up the costs for his travel and security. It’s a massive flip-flop from his position in 2018,” said Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung. “To make matters worse, DeSantis’ upcoming taxpayer-funded campaign travel appears to put him at odds with Florida’s existing ‘Resign to Run’ law.”
In recent months, Gov. DeSantis has used taxpayer dollars to travel around the country for his 2024 presidential campaign, including to the early voting states of Iowa and Nevada. DeSantis’ gubernatorial office, however, refuses to tell reporters – and the public – how much taxpayer money has been spent to fund these travels, or how much DeSantis’ April globetrotting will cost.