California Gov. Gavin Newsom had some choice words for Florida's Ron DeSantis after the petty governor allegedly used his own state's taxpayer dollars — again — to deceive migrants, this time flying 16 asylum-seekers from Texas to Sacramento unannounced.
Gavin first hurled insults at DeSantis, calling him "small" and "pathetic," and then seemed to accuse the Florida dictator of kidnapping.
"@RonDeSantis, you small, pathetic man," he tweeted last night. "This isn't Martha's Vineyard. Kidnapping charges?"
Gavin then attached a kidnapping law (California Code, Penal Code – PEN § 207) to the Twitter post: "(d) Every person who, being out of this state, abducts or takes by force or fraud any person contrary to the law of the place where that act is committed, and brings, sends, or conveys that person within the limits of this state, and is afterwards found within the limits thereof, is guilty of kidnapping." (See tweet below.)
From the Los Angeles Times:
Newsom said that his administration is working with the agency to "investigate the circumstances around" who paid for the plane trips, whether migrants were misled and whether laws were violated, including kidnapping.
It is unclear what legal action the state plans to take. After Newsom tweeted the threat of kidnapping charges, his spokesperson deferred questions to Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta's office. Bonta said over the weekend that he was "evaluating potential criminal or civil action" but did not release additional details Monday.
DeSantis representatives did not respond to written questions from The Times. His campaign press team, which is active on Twitter, made no mention of Newsom's tweeted accusation, and DeSantis did not mention the incident on a Monday morning appearance on Fox News radio.
The question is whether Newsom will follow through with legal action over the interstate transportation of migrants or risk being accused of using the incident to stage his own version of political theater as the two governors jockey for national attention.