Cali Considering Another Travel Ban, This One Targeting Trump Hotels


The state of California doesn’t like Republicans. With plenty of problems to solve — what with a mass demographic exodus and a huge homelessness problem — the Golden State nevertheless decided to take some time out in 2016 to prohibit official state travel to states that have laws it deems to be anti-LGBT.

The imminent collapse of these states, if indeed such a condition is to be induced, has yet to be reported.

Undaunted, state Assemblyman Evan Low — from Silicon Valley, because of course — plans to strike at the Trumps next.

Late last month, Low introduced a bill that flew under the radar as the impeachment of President Donald Trump raged on. The legislation “would prohibit taxpayers from funding or reimbursing state employees’ travel and lodging expenses at businesses owned by current or former Presidents of the United States.”

Low, according to The Sacramento Bee, is also the author of the 2016 travel ban, so this is clearly a man with a history of efficacious legislation in this department.

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“Public officials, at any level, should not profit off the constituents that they were elected to serve and represent,” the assemblyman said in a statement.

“No branch of government is above the Constitution, and this legislation will ensure that California taxpayers are not further exploited by Donald Trump’s violations of the emoluments clause,” he said.

“Further exploited” is an interesting way of putting it.

As Fox News dryly noted in its report, Trump properties “are not popular with state workers in California — especially since the average going rate for a room at one of his resorts far exceeds the $90 per night state employees are authorized to spend on a hotel room.

Do you think this bill should be passed?

“Since 2016, only one state worker has booked a stay at a Trump hotel through the state’s contracted travel agency or its online booking tool, according to the Department of General Services.”

This doesn’t mean the hotels aren’t popular with individuals from other states — usually Republican, and usually of high station.

“The president’s hotels and resorts are frequented by lawmakers and officials from other states, with 47 state officials — including 20 Republican governors — making 64 visits to Trump properties since the president took office and at least 90 members of Congress visiting his properties 188 times since January 2017,” Fox reported.

And Assemblyman Low’s bill will address absolutely none of that.

Nor is this a case of Republicans flouting the emoluments clause of the Constitution. It’s like putting a Trump bumper sticker on your car, except it’s staying in a hotel. No one has stated they’ve broken any laws through the arrangements.

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But I digress, because Low’s legislation is so fatuous that it’s not just Fox News poking fun at it.

In an editorial published Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times noted that “some of the proposals aimed at President Trump [in California] seem designed solely to score political points, not to improve the state in any real way.”

“The 2019 law requiring presidential candidates to show their tax returns to be allowed on the state’s primary ballot was one example. That measure was obviously unconstitutional as well as partisan and pointless,” the Times’ editorial board wrote. “Even if it hadn’t been struck down by the state Supreme Court last year, it wouldn’t have changed Trump’s behavior — he would have just skipped the primary.

“Now, a bill by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) follows that churlish example by prohibiting state employees and officials from being reimbursed for the cost of staying at a hotel or resort owned by Trump — or any president in the future. That might be meaningful if there were lots of state travel involving Trump’s hotels. There isn’t.”

Lest you have doubt as to where the Times stands, the editorial board concluded, “We agree with the spirit of the bill, which objects to the president’s brazen disregard of conventions and laws meant to protect the integrity of the nation’s highest office. But it is not up to California to police the restrictions the U.S. Constitution places on the president. We don’t need another meaningless, partisan gesture from Democrats in Sacramento to know how they feel about Trump.”

Sacramento, by the way, is the capital of California. I say that for the benefit of our liberal readers who think this will actually do anything.

This is how California sees itself: as the corporeal home of #TheResistance. And like #TheResistance, things don’t seem to be working out quite the way everyone planned.

In an appearance on ABC’s “The View” on Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom showed just how real the disconnect is.

“We are the most un-Trump state in America. We’re also the most diverse state in America. … We’re also prospering together across every conceivable difference,” Newsom said.

He went on to claim the president is “scared of California.”

Oh, I bet. I’m sure he’s waiting for his hotel empire to collapse like the social systems California has in place to deal with its homelessness problem any day now.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture