Judge Rules Against Ron DeSantis In Migrant Flight Political Stunt Document Fight

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It appears that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is in serious trouble for his political stunt of conning a group of  Venezuelans onto a flight bound for Martha’s Vineyard, MA with a stopover in Florida. As a result, a judge has ordered the governor to hand over any records surrounding the errant flight. The charge is that DeSantis “failed to comply” with Florida’s public records law.

The governor’s office lured the Venezuelans onto the plane with lies about the availability of jobs and lodgings at the end of their trip.

But the Sunshine State governor indicated that he will appeal. DeSantis claimed that he had already turned over “a significant number” of those documents in spite of dealing with Hurricane Ian. The open government group Florida Center for Government Accountability (FLCGA), said, according to The Huffington Post:

‘FLCGA, filed a lawsuit seeking to compel DeSantis to release public records related to two charter flights he ordered that took 48 migrants, many of them Venezuelan, from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.’

Leon County, Florida Judge J. Lee Marsh ruled for FLCGA and against DeSantis. Instead, the governor’s office will have to provide FLCGA with the public records it requested all inside of 20 days. The group requested that the Chief of Staff James Uthmeier provide both his text and phone records. Uthmeier was heavily involved in the virtual kidnapping of the Venezuelans.

Marsh said that DeSantis’ office had not provided “any steps, direct steps taken to gather what this court finds are public records.” The governor responded:

‘We disagree with the court’s ruling and intend to appeal. This records request came amid a historically devastating hurricane and the Executive Office of the Governor was focused on supporting the needs and recovery of Floridians from Hurricane Ian. Regardless, we have already produced a significant number of documents and, as we have already stated, continue to endeavor to do so in a timely manner.’

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The legal migrants have also filed lawsuits against DeSantis for his alleged illegal actions. In addition, a Texas sheriff has opened an investigation into the potential criminal behavior. And now the federal government has become involved. The Treasury Department’s inspector general has opened an investigation into potential “improperly used” COVID-19 money to finance the trips. The money was meant to go to Floridians.

The governor’s entire stunt was puzzling given how Venezuelans in Florida “lean right,” The Atlantic reported:

‘Venezuelans in the United States, like Cubans, typically lean right. Their politics are largely shaped by a rejection of anything that reminds them of the socialism they escaped, and in the Republican Party, many have found sympathetic ears. A poll by the University of North Florida estimated that seven out of 10 Venezuelan voters in Florida voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.’

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Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.


Christie writes Gloria Christie Reports & Three White Lions Substack newsletters and a Three White Lions podcast available on Apple, Spotify, etc. She is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress). Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, etc.