Donald Trump campaign accuses Ron DeSantis of campaigning ‘illegally’

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'All this travel occurs while the Florida Legislature is in-session.'

Ron DeSantis is hitting the road in the next few weeks, and Donald Trump argues he’s breaking the law in doing so.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis is a full-time candidate for president, and he’s doing it illegally,” said Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung. “DeSantis shouldn’t be forcing Florida taxpayers to foot the bill for this travel. He should have a campaign committee established.”

The Trump campaign cites reporting by Gary Fineout of POLITICO Florida in making its claim that the Governor will “campaign in Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Utah, Texas, and even Israel. All this travel occurs while the Florida Legislature is in session, and before DeSantis has formed a campaign committee to pay for his travel. This means Florida taxpayers are on the hook for the bill.”

DeSantis’ office disputes the Trump campaign’s assertion.

“The state does not coordinate or plan political travel, nor does the taxpayer fund political travel. As for the trip to Israel, that is a trade mission through Enterprise Florida and, just like the last one, is not paid for at the taxpayer’s expense,” asserted spokesperson Jeremy Redfern.

“Serious questions are also being raised about which donor planes DeSantis is flying on for all of this travel,” Cheung added. “And none of this even touches on the fact that DeSantis is leaving Florida at a pivotal time in the middle of the legislative session, leaving his current — and possibly soon to be former — Lt. Gov. running the show.”

The Trump campaign has spotlighted issues related to the Governor’s political actions recently, including a formalized complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Taylor Budowich of MAGA Inc. alleged there is “ample evidence that Gov. DeSantis and various political committees have engaged in conduct that violated Florida ethics law.”

The Budowich filing contends DeSantis has flouted Florida’s “resign to run” law while “skirting federal campaign finance laws,” adding that could present an “impermissible conflict between his public duty and his private interests.”

National Review reports that DeSantis’ Office believed that complaint to be “frivolous” and “politically motivated.” We have reached out to the Governor’s Office for reaction to this new complaint.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


One comment

  • Cato

    April 1, 2023 at 11:13 am

    As we have time to point out ethics is not high on the list of necessities on the DeSantis campaign. Takes away a critical benefit given to totally disabled first responders in a constitutional amendment supported by 84% of the people. And yet now he’s trying to use first responders to enhance his campaign. The Trump campaign on the other hand doesn’t seem to pay attention any of the support coming its way from The ordinary people. No response despite numerous attempts to reach the Trump campaign Our NYPD 10:13 legislative rep worked with senator Simmons, senator baxley original sponsor of the bill, Joe gruters chairman of the Republican party in Florida and yet DeSantis continued to undermine them general election should be really interesting. Four times they continue to knock the bill down while alleging DeSantis has supported first responders. Our legislative rep can be reached at 321-262-3223 for any questions.

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