Gavin Newsom’s Montana trip is latest example of flouting his own state laws

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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is under fire for vacationing in Montana, which is one of 22 states California has banned state-funded travel to over its LGBT-related laws.

While Newsom’s office has clarified that he did not use government funds to fly to his Montana vacation, the embattled governor has faced criticism a number of times for appearing to flout his own administration’s policies.

“The travel ban applies to using state funds. The Governor’s travel is not being paid by the state. Connecting the two is an attempt at gotcha journalism that is neither gotcha nor journalism,” Newsom’s senior communications adviser, Anthony York, said in a statement on Twitter. “The governor is on a vacation with his family. He will return later this week.”

Newsom most famously attended a dinner at the world-class French Laundry restaurant even as the state was under a strict COVID-19 lockdown in late 2020.

Newsom’s office initially argued the dinner had been outside, and therefore masks had not been required. Photos of the dinner party suggested otherwise, however.

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Newsom was later pressured to issue an apology, and he admitted to breaking policies about large gatherings.

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“I want to apologize to you because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice, and I’ve done my best to do that,” Newsom said at the time. “We’re all human. We all fall short sometimes.”

“I should have stood up and … drove back to my house… The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted,” he said. ” I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”

Nevertheless, Newsom made the same mistake again in January after he was pictured posing maskless with former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson. California still had a statewide mask mandate at the time.

The state ended its mask mandate in April, and now only says masks are “strongly recommended” indoors.

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Newsom is not the only high-profile Democrat to be pilloried for ignoring COVID-19 lockdowns, however. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Witmer had scandals of their own.

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