Florida taxpayers have already shelled out $950,000 to charter airplane company Vertol Systems for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s aborted second “own the libs” flight where he intended drop asylum seekers from Texas in Delaware, WTSP CBS-10 in Tampa Bay reports.
Vertol Systems is based in Oregon but owned by James Montgomerie, who lives in Florida and was a major financial supporter of Florida Republican Congressman and accused child trafficker Matt Gaetz, having donated more than $7,000 total to his campaign and a Super PAC he controlled during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.
The first migrant trafficking flight DeSantis ordered, which flew about 50 Venezuelan migrants staying in Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts via Florida as a publicity stunt for his 2024 presidential campaign, cost $615,000. A flight that was scheduled for Tuesday to go from Longview, Texas to Wilmington, Delaware–the home of President Joe Biden–was abruptly rerouted first to Tennessee and then to Teterboro, New Jersey. It did not carry any asylum seekers, but Florida taxpayers still paid $950,000 to the company anyway.
While the Republican dominated Florida legislature allocated $12 million to relocate undocumented immigrants out of the state in a very inhumane and xenophobic way, activists are questioning if relocating asylum seekers who are in the country legally is a abuse of the fund. It would seem like a no-brainer question given that the immigrants that were relocated came from Texas, not Florida.
A source close to DeSantis played it off to NBC News as if DeSantis canceled the flights to own the libs some more: “He didn’t tell anyone and purposely left people in the dark. So technically the media, the Democrats, everyone got punked who decided to heed some s— on Twitter instead of waiting for confirmation from the governor’s office.”
Instead, it seems it was the taxpayers of Florida who got punked to the tune of $1.5 million.