'Un-fricking-believable': Watchdogs alarmed by DeSantis moves to prepare for White House campaign
Ron DeSantis (AFP)

Ron DeSantis is clearing a path to the presidency by altering Florida law to allow him to campaign for the White House while remaining governor and to help shield his political spending and travel.

The Republican state legislature passed a new bill that would exempt DeSantis from a law requiring him to resign before running for president, along with a slate of sweeping new voting restrictions, and he has already signed a bill that exempts all of his past and future travel from disclosure, as well as the names of people he meets, reported The Guardian.

“It’s un-fricking-believable,” said Barbara Petersen, executive director of the Florida Center for Government Accountability. “It will be virtually impossible to hold this governor accountable without access to those kinds of records.”

Peterson said the security concerns the bill purportedly addresses are "bogus."

“They’re not going to let somebody in the mansion if they don’t know who that person is," she said. "I don’t understand why it’s a security concern of where he went six weeks ago. Where a governor goes, who travels with the governor, who the governor meets with is all information of critical importance to the public. Who is influencing the governor? We need to know that.”

The bill exempting DeSantis from the resignation obligation also limits reporting requirements for political committees, and the governor recently moved to distance himself from his Florida political committee -- which prompted speculation that it might try to transfer money to a federal PAC supporting his presidential campaign.

“It looks like they’re laying the groundwork to transfer the money to some sort of vehicle that would support his presidential run,” said Stephen Spaulding, a campaign finance expert at Common Cause. “What that, again, goes to show is how loose the coordination rules are, how they need to be strengthened, and how existing rules need to be enforced.”