It has been a little over a week since Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida decided to use men, women, and children as chattel in his political theater production of I’m Ron DeSantis and I Want to Be President. The fact that he and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lied to frightened children and their parents and wasted taxpayer money all in service of a cheap headline is one of the lower points in an already low-level career as the nitrogen molecule of manure that is Ron DeSantis.
This inhumane piece of political theater is being investigated by a Texas sheriff since everything about it smells like a big bag of MAGA corruption and illegality. On Wednesday and Thursday, The Intercept and NBC News reported that the air charter company that DeSantis and crew used to separate families in a nakedly craven pursuit of political points are both former clients of DeSantis’ fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, as well as big contributors to the GOP down in Florida. How much is a contract to trick new immigrants to our country and fly them to an island not set up for immigration?
According to DeSantis’ own administration, it’s worth $12 million.
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That big number is the cost Florida taxpayers are reportedly handing over to Vertol Systems Company Inc. for “administering the ‘unauthorized alien’ program,” as NBC writes. So far, Vertol’s first job flying 50 people with false promises of care from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, has gotten it an initial $615,000 check from reckless Ronny. Of course, there’s a big issue here as even the right-wing state legislature, when creating the law, hadn’t foreseen how egregious people like DeSantis might be, and it is against the law for funds to be used under the “unauthorized alien” program for immigrants who are not living in or standing on Florida ground.
The Intercept reports that DeSantis’ big political ally, State Rep. Jay Trumbull Jr., is the appropriations committee’s chair. He was also a receiver of Vertol Systems campaign donations.
His father, Jay Trumbull Sr., was appointed by DeSantis to the Florida Transportation Commission, which is responsiblefor recommending major transportation policy to the governor and overseeing the Florida Department of Transportation, the state agency that contracted the two private planes for last week’s move. Trumbull Sr. told The Intercept that he resigned from the Commission on June 24.
A couple of days ago, DeSantis promised yet another political stunt sending immigrants from Texas to Florida to Delaware. It never happened, but Vertol Systems Company Inc. received a new check for $950,000. Why make $615,000 for doing a job when you can make $950,000 for not doing a job! All told, Florida has spent $1.5 million moving 50 people from Texas to Massachusetts, and all Florida is getting for it is sued by the families affected by this abhorrent stunt.
Democratic state Sen. Jason Pizzo is leading a lawsuit to stop payments to this Gates/DeSantis chummy company. Telling reporters that the current Florida governor has yet to provide a single shred of proof that any of this is legal, “I want to know who was asleep at the switch on the state side when someone said, ‘Let’s go to San Antonio; let’s spend our money there,’ when they booked the La Quinta hotel in San Antonio. Who thought that was legal?”
The corruption in the Republican Party is absolute and complete.
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