TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — The war of words between the governors of Florida and California continued on Friday when Gavin Newsom called Ron DeSantis a fraud after a Miami judge dismissed an election fraud case.
“The third DeSantis ‘election fraud’ case being dismissed really speaks to who is the ACTUAL fraud,” Newsom tweeted in response to a Miami Herald article about the dismissal.
DeSantis’ press secretary Bryan Griffin quickly responded, debunking the California Governor’s narrative of phony election fraud.
“The case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, not substantively. And we are appealing,” Griffin wrote in a tweet.
ELECTION FRAUD IN THE COURTS
According to the Herald article, Circuit Judge Laura Anne Stuzin “reached the same conclusion as another Miami judge did in a different voter’s case, saying that statewide prosecutors didn’t have the ability to bring charges” against the alleged criminal.
In April, DeSantis signed SB 524 with a focus on improving election security. In addition to strengthening voter ID requirements and maintenance of voter rolls, the bill established the Office of Election Crimes and Security to investigate election law violations and increased penalties for violations of election laws. The bill also increased the penalty for ballot harvesting from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine and up to five years probation.
“CRIMINAL ACTIVITY SHOULD BE PROSECUTED”
After addressing Newsom’s implicit charge of a fraudster witch hunt, Griffin took aim at the Golden State governor’s failure to uphold law and order.
“Criminal activity should be prosecuted, not ignored,” Griffin’s tweet continued. “If you stepped up and did something about your crime-ridden cities, people might stop fleeing your state.”
LEAVING DUE TO CRIME
California is home to two of the top five cities experiencing a wave of organized retail theft – Los Angeles and San Francisco – according to the National Retail Federation. City Journal reported last year that now-ousted San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin was open about decriminalizing theft. In 2020, Los Angeles district attorney George Gascón issued a memo announcing that his office would stop prosecuting certain misdemeanor crimes, including resisting arrest, drug possession and making criminal threats.
Crime is one of many reasons thousands of Californians have relocated to Florida in recent years. More than 3,000 California residents secured drivers licenses in Florida during the month of August alone, the New York Post reported.
According to U.S. Census data, Florida saw the sharpest rise of all 50 states in net migration from 2020 to 2021, adding 259,000 residents. During the same time period, Los Angeles County and New York County lost 179,757 and 113,642 residents, respectively.