Who Needs Montana?
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was vacationing in Montana, where he has family, on July 4 when his reelection campaign ran a 30-second spot on Fox News in Florida in which he called out Florida for "banning books, restricting speech, making it harder to vote, criminalizing women and doctors."
Newsom then invited Floridians to "join us in California, where we still believe in freedom."
Newsom certainly feels free to do what he wants to do.
Montana is one of 22 states banned from state-funded travel because of what the state Attorney General Rob Bonta calls "an ongoing wave of discriminatory anti-trans legislation sweeping across the country."
"We're putting our money where are values are," Bonta explained when he added states to the no-travel list.
Newsom is putting his money where his values are, too -- one standard for him, another for the masses.
It's the French Laundry all over again -- when Newsom was seen dining with lobbyist friends maskless and without social distancing even as his office was urging Californians to scale down Thanksgiving dinners and telling locals, "Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don't forget to keep your mask on in between bites."
Freedom of religion? Not high on Newsom's list. He banned in-door worship, ostensibly to curb COVID, even as the entertainment industry and retailers were open for business. (The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the order.)
There is no book ban. Florida has rejected textbooks bubbling with progressive sensibilities.
"I don't think they're banning books. They're making decisions about which books they think are best for their students," California education blogger Joanne Jacobs told me.