Questions raised about mysterious non-profit paying for DeSantis' cross-country travels
Governor Ron DeSantis on Facebook

With Gov. Ron DeSantis reportedly making his bid for the 2024 Republican Party presidential nomination official this week, questions are being raised over who has been paying for his barnstorming tour across the country as he woos local lawmakers to back his run.

According to a report from New York Times, the Florida governor has had private jets at his disposal as he city-hops but who has been paying for them in some cases remains murky and his fledgling campaign is keeping mum.

As the Times' Alexandra Berzon and Rebecca Davis O’Brien wrote, DeSantis has been getting a financial assist from rich donors as he makes inroads outside of his state and, while some of them are well-known, others are funneling money through a Michigan non-profit that is keeping their identities secret.

The report notes "trips paid for by the nonprofit group, And To The Republic, do not appear in state records," before adding, "The group is registered as a social welfare organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code, meaning its primary activity cannot be related to political campaigns."

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According to the Times, Tori Sachs, the executive director of And To The Republic "would not say how much was spent on the flights or who paid for them."

Trevor Potter, a Republican who previously led the Federal Election Commission, said the public has a right to know who is paying DeSantis' bills.

“Voters deserve this information because they have a right to know who is trying to influence their elected officials and whether their leaders are prioritizing public good over the interests of their big-money benefactors,” he explained, “Governor DeSantis, whether he intends to run for president or not, should be clearly and fully disclosing who is providing support to his political efforts.”

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The report adds, "It is unclear how Mr. DeSantis will account for the trips arranged by the nonprofit without running afoul of state ethics laws. Florida generally bars officeholders from accepting gifts from lobbyists or people, like Mr. Soffer, whose companies employ lobbyists — unless those gifts are considered political contributions."

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