Charlie Crist demands all info behind decision on Martha’s Vineyard migrant flight
Charlie Crist.

The Democrat accused the Governor of breaking lie for the sake of a "heartless political game."

Democratic nominee Charlie Crist is demanding more information about the decision made by Gov. Ron DeSantis before flying 50 South American refugees to Massachusetts.

The gubernatorial candidate filed a public information request under Florida’s Sunshine Law for all communication regarding the relocation effort.

“Ron DeSantis decided to traffic human beings on Florida taxpayers’ dime to score political points. It was cruel, it was probably illegal, and he owes the people of our state answers,” Crist said. “Floridians have been forced to foot the bill for this Governor to play his heartless political games, but we’re holding him accountable.”

To fulfill the request, officials may need to reach back a while. DeSantis has been discussing a desire to relocate migrants to Massachusetts and Delaware since late 2021.

But the Republican Governor apparently followed through, using money set aside in the state budget for relocation to direct two planes of Venezuelan and Colombian immigrants claiming asylum protection to Martha’s Vineyard. The Orlando Sentinel’s Jeffrey Schweers reported Destin-based Vertol Systems was paid $615,000 by the Florida Department of Transportation for “Relocation program of unauthorized aliens” on Sept. 8.

DeSantis’ office released a statement taking full credit: “Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s re-location program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.”

The formal request for information from Crist’s office seeks several records surrounding the plan. That includes requests for “all requests for proposals and contracts associated with the state re-location program to transport migrants; All emails, texts, other forms of internal communications within the Governor’s office related to the re-location program; all emails, texts, and other forms of internal communications between the Governor’s office and the Florida Department of Transportation related to the relocation program.”

Crist said the entire string of events demands scrutiny.

“This thing went down and it was strange,” he said.

“We need to know what all the facts are. That’s why I filed the Information Act to try to get every bit of information we can. All the texts, all the emails, who planned this exactly, how deeply involved our Governor was, obviously, and to let the people know because they have a right to know what they’re dealing with. They have a right to know what they’re about to vote against. They have a right to know help is on the way.”

Crist is also requesting any communication between DeSantis’ Office and that of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

On Thursday, Baker’s office suggested it had no prior knowledge of the incoming migrants.

Baker representative Terry MacCormack said in a statement published by NBC 10 Boston that the administration is “in touch with local officials regarding the arrival of migrants in Martha’s Vineyard.”

“At this time, short-term shelter services are being provided by local officials, and the Administration will continue to support those efforts.”

Crist slammed the move as a “political stunt,” characterizing the sentiment behind it as “cruel.”

A release from Crist’s campaign also repeats reports the DeSantis administration lured the individuals “onto a plane in Texas with false promises of jobs and shipping them to Massachusetts.” Crist estimated the publicity stunt would cost Florida taxpayers $12 million.


Renzo Downey  of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • ScienceBLVR

    September 16, 2022 at 6:47 am

    Go get him, Charlie! DeSantis is a human trafficker at the very least. And to do this as a political stunt? He has no shame. Let’s be realistic- sane and sensible immigration policies seem to have eluded all branches of government for the last 3-4 decades. They just keep kicking the can down the road and nary a solution in sight. And then, especially in the agricultural, tourist driven economy of Florida all those “illegals” are picking the fruit, mowing the yards, cleaning the hotel toilets, nannying our kids. Is DeSantis calling for them to be shipped somewhere? At our expense, no less? Not going to happen. Just think what that labor shortage would do to our tax base. But to do this to get on the nightly news? Shame, shame shame.

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  • Tom

    September 16, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Shut the hell up moron mis believer.
    Just a hater, idiot.
    Chameleon is a panderer.
    Offers nothing, Florida would be a disaster state if he was Gov.

    • Charlie Crist

      September 16, 2022 at 8:09 am

      👆Far right terrorist. Vote for me. I’ll send guys like this to prison as terrorists.

      • Concerned citizen

        September 16, 2022 at 9:35 am

        Did DeSantis kidnap these folks? Kidnapping across state lines is a major felony.

        • marylou

          September 16, 2022 at 12:13 pm

          Multi-state conspiracy with Abbott to kidnapping across state lines, multi-state child trafficking for forced child labor in the videotaped campaign ad, misuse of Florida tax dollars, exploitation of children in commission of crimes… Not a lawyer or DOJ employee, but there has to be much more…

          In addition to the general cruelty, these racist hate crimes were committed at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which was certainly not lost on his hate-filled followers.

      • Roger Owens

        September 20, 2022 at 11:03 am

        You are a disgusting liar, a turncoat, a traitor. How dare Floridians not vote for your freaking Highness? So you abandon us and go over to the dark side. I scarped something nasty off my shoe, a lo and behold it was you!

      • Roger Owens

        September 20, 2022 at 11:09 am

        Not protecting our border is a HIGH CRIME. It is a direct violation of Federal law. And YOU are the ones we are all laughing at now.

  • Concerned Florida Native

    September 16, 2022 at 8:28 am

    First it’s planes, then it’s busses, then it’s trains, then it’s cattle cars. Dehumanizing these individuals who are here as protected asylum seekers has to be the final straw. DeSantis needs to be defeated, disbarred and then maybe loaded on a plane with his family to live near his rich donors up north.

    Those who see these human beings as simply “illegals” and “the other” would do well to get off their couches and away from FoxNews for a bit. Go volunteer in your community. Go head some stories. Open up your world view.

    • Roger Owens

      September 20, 2022 at 11:05 am


  • martin

    September 16, 2022 at 8:41 am

    It’s ok to flood the rather depressed Texas and Arizona border towns, right Dems?
    But you all turn into screaming NIMBY’s as soon as they are redirected to the affluent “sanctuary” cities and towns.
    Can’t have it both ways? Make up your mind. We either have borders, or we don’t. Which is it? Ball in your court now.

    • Concerned Florida Native

      September 16, 2022 at 8:50 am

      Nice sound bites there.

      This is not an either or situation. Were these folks told the truth about what was happening? We’re local support agencies notified ahead of time to help? Was this truly to help these human beings and not use them as pawns? If those things were true, then yep, I’m 100% on board.

      No, these people were lied to, loaded up, and dumped in areas that were not prepared to support them, but quickly stepped up to the task.

      Also, why was FL money used to move people from TX? Theater for haters produced by Abbott and DeSantis.

      • Roger Owens

        September 20, 2022 at 11:07 am

        LIAR. They CAME here hungry, and were told at the BORDER they were going to Boston, and wound up in OUR hometown you chucklehead.

    • tjb

      September 16, 2022 at 9:38 am

      As a Floridan why am I paying taxes to transport folks from Texas to Martha Vinyard?

      • Hope

        September 16, 2022 at 9:43 am

        …Because the Biden Administration is incompetent and refuses to uphold the law of the land. Biden’s neglect of the border is an impeachable offense.

        • Elliott Offen

          September 16, 2022 at 11:07 am

          Only high crimes and misdemeanors are impeachable offenses. Your level of intelligence is an offense. Let’s hear what you think would be an appropriate response to Trump crime spree…then you can talk about other politicians. You people are full of sht and no one takes you idiots serious anymore.

          • Dave Roberson

            September 16, 2022 at 4:05 pm

            Well said sir.

        • Tjb

          September 17, 2022 at 11:30 am

          DeSantis should use his campaign dollars for political theat

      • Jerry

        September 16, 2022 at 1:00 pm

        As a Floridian, why am I forced to pay taxes to feed, provide medical care, and shelter and educate people who are here illegally for the rest of their lives?

        You Democrats just outright refuse to secure the border. And you let these illegal immigrants stay here and suck our welfare systems dry. How is that fair to Florida taxpayers when our federal government refuses to enforce the law?

        • Joe Corsin

          September 16, 2022 at 1:41 pm

          Yeah we have a hell of a welfare system in this country 🤡 Also top of the line medical care for the rich! I don’t know why they come here in the first place seeing as half the nation has a delusional azzhole mentality. Not worth the minimum wage!!!

        • Tjb

          September 17, 2022 at 11:31 am

          FACT: Immigrants in the United States have about a net zero effect on government budgets — they pay about as much in taxes as they consume in benefits

        • Tjb

          September 17, 2022 at 12:21 pm

          FACT: Immigrants in the United States have about a net zero effect on government budgets — they pay about as much in taxes as they consume in benefits,

          Also, the their crime rate is lower than native Americans

      • martin

        September 16, 2022 at 6:03 pm

        I have no problem paying money to transport them. Perhaps, you would rather erect a tent city in your back yard?

    • Bubba

      September 17, 2022 at 5:38 pm

      These people came from San Antonia. How far is that from the border? They were not kidnapped in a border town.

  • Mike

    September 16, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Easy fix, Secure the border stop, playing games.

    • marylou

      September 16, 2022 at 12:21 pm

      These were HATE CRIMES committed by Abbott and Desantis. What is wrong with the “law and order” crowd?

      • Jerry

        September 16, 2022 at 12:46 pm

        This would not be an issue if the federal government were following its own immigration laws and securing our borders. It is a crime for a foreign national to enter the United States without documentation and authorization. That’s a law that exists in every country. Why won’t you Democrats enforce that law? Instead Biden loads up these people on to planes and dumps them in Jacksonville at 3am and leave it up to us to take care of them? And you liberal idiots support that?

  • Jerry

    September 16, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    So Biden can flood our cities with these migrants but we can’t flood the rich white liberal elitist neighborhoods in New England? Biden just loads up planes in Texas and just drops them in the laps of red states while refusing to secure the border.

    It’s about time red states start pushing back.

  • Concerned Florida Native

    September 16, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    You keep talking about illegals but the a Venezuelan nationals being discussed here are legally eligible to request asylum and stay here until it is granted or denied. If they are denied asylum and are unsuccessful in any appeals, they must be deported. If they resist or flee from deportation, then they are here illegally. They are not currently here illegally.

    This reductive discussion of the rights and dignity of human beings is disgusting. You have found an “other” to vilify and degrade to make yourself feel superior. How fortunate we all are to have been born in a place we did not have to flee so our children didn’t die of starvation or get pressed into mandatory military service or be forced to join gangs.

    I don’t know why I bother because none of what I’m saying will get through but whatever. Honestly this site should shut down the comments as it’s really a cesspool.

    • Jerry

      September 16, 2022 at 4:51 pm

      This has nothing to do with race: I don’t care if they come in from Mexico or Norway. There is a process for immigration into the United States. You can’t just show up and start jumping through a bunch of legal loopholes to stay here. It’s never worked that way! My great grandparents were immigrants. They had nothing in their pockets. But they still followed the law. They didn’t break the law to come here. And when they got here they learned the language and didn’t feed off the state for decades. You stupid idiot liberals today just want to open the borders and let people flood across. No papers. No health checks. No nothing. That’s completely insane!

      • Elliott Offen

        September 16, 2022 at 5:01 pm

        What’s completely insane is that people still try to come here with you idiots running around. I’d think that someone here from Norway would be either insane or just here to make some quick money and leave. All the gd place is worth anymore is a dollar…and it’s not really even worth people’s mental health to come here and get it either. Place is bullshit..

        • Jerry

          September 16, 2022 at 6:50 pm

          In a decade or two, America will be nothing special. You idiots are destroying it. $30 trillion in debt. Woke politics now at the center of every political policy decision, every corporate decision, every cultural decision. Systematic destruction of our energy sector. Systematic destruction of the middle class. The first amendment going up in smoke. The 2nd amendment under constant attack. The 4th amendment is long gone. We now have an overreaching and powerful federal government that wants to control how we think, track everything we do, tax us to death, vaccinate us to death, and call us domestic terrorists when we disagree.

          You are sort of right though. America soon won’t be the destination for immigrants. In a few decades, people are going to be wanting to get out.

          • Elliott Offen

            September 16, 2022 at 7:41 pm

            All the crap you mentioned is because of Republicans. The 4th amendment gone because of Bush Patriot Act, 20 year war increased the debt, deregulation caused crash and more debt, and TAXES ARE NOTHING YOU IMBECILE!!! ALL THE MONEY GOES STRAIGHT TO THE RICH AND GETS HOARDED!!! Look at historical tax rates!!! The high taxes on the rich in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s created the middle class. Companies had GREATER incentive to pay average people thus more people could afford things. Also people weren’t casino gambling with the housing market. Government is not doing anything about any of this because of REPUBLICAN OBSTRUCTION IN FAVOR OF THE RICH!!!! Keep voting for the bastards by all means!!!

  • tom palmer

    September 16, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    As one former border security official pointed out, the President can only enforce what Congress passes, which so far is nothing As one person suggested, sending the asylum seekers to Marco Rubio’s and Rick Scott’s neighborhoods would make more sense.


  • marylou

    September 16, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    “Massachusetts: Markey calling on the Treasury Department to investigate GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ apparent abuse of federal Covid-19 relief funds to send two flights of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard this week. The program isn’t just bigoted and inhumane, IT’S ILLEGAL — MISUSING FEDERAL COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS”
    ——Markey and six Mass Dems —-Common Dreams

  • russell chartier

    September 16, 2022 at 11:09 pm

    I’d like to know what gives this poser clown to use my money to transport migrants from a different state!!! Lost my vote 59x over again.

    • Marcos

      September 16, 2022 at 11:23 pm

      Really republicans??? From a right leaning Florida independent!!

  • Court

    September 18, 2022 at 7:03 am

    Crist’s comments are his to make, but they are one-dimensional concerning comment considering that 70 stealth flights have dumped people in Jacksonville and elsewhere. (and Article 4, section 4 of the Consitution has been ignored, if we are talking about laws being broken.

    The pawnship of human began long ago with people being lured to cross the Rio Grande with some of them dying in the process, being raped en route, or being used as mules to carry in deadly drugs.

    I thought Mr. Crist was a man of integrity.
    Doesn’t he realize it took something this stark to get the Administration even to talk about the numbers and to show he really thinks people in border towns who are not wealthy are a piece of s_ _ t. Calling in the National Guard to move them to Cape Cod wasn’t really about the people in Martha’s Vineyard. It was about protecting Obama’s island from potential bad apples in the mix, which, of course is an indirect admission that bad apples are walking/swimming, or being boat-delivered across the border even as those coming in from Canada have to go through security checks at entry ports and show passport.

    Venezuelans come here to flee a horrific socialistic regime and Latino voters know that…and will vote legally or not. Few of these people dared risk their lives to make this trek to live in a repeat of Venezuela in the U.S. Nor do they know yet that the same schools that will give them ESL services will go on to deconstruct their children from gender of birth if given the chance.
    The wool, though, will not be pulled over their eyes but so long.
    I consider these new conservative voters to be a welcome addition to our decaying society.
    Many are Catholic and Pentecostal and are my friends already. I’ve taught them and know of what I speak relative to increasingly toxic school curriculum that is denying children and parents their religious freedom, in effect. And I will sound the alarm as will many teachers.

    By the way, I am not a Republican. I worked both sides of the aisle in Congress and saw political games and self-rightousness on both sides where one group looks at the other side and screams, “Fowl” while doing their own version of the same thing.
    I never vote for people anymore — only policies.

  • I am what I am

    September 19, 2022 at 12:09 am

    In the late 80 or Early 90 government had plans of decreasing the European American existence and replace it with Spanish culture by 2050 for the magority voice .

    • I am what I am

      September 19, 2022 at 12:11 am

      Maybe Florida don’t want to play but Hillary said you all don’t like our ways theirs the waters

  • I am what I am

    September 19, 2022 at 12:43 am

    America tax money been trafficking alien’s for years and years on retirement plans dime and now tax plans so ron did it also with volunteers disciples

Comments are closed.


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