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California Expands Travel Ban Inequality

Friday June 23rd, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 1:07pm PDT   •  

California has added Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota to its travel ban. State attorney general Xavier Becerra made the announcement accompanied by representatives from the ACLU and Equality California, which apparently fancy themselves part of government. California’s AB1887, enacted last year, purports to ban state employees from travelling to states perceived to discriminate “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” As Becerra explained, “We will not spend taxpayer dollars in states that discriminate.” Actually, the state will.

The travel ban, conveniently enough, does not apply to law enforcement officers, tax auditors and certain training events that are required to gain grants. California also allowed UCLA to participate in NCAA tournament basketball games in Memphis, Tennessee, a state on the ban list along with Kansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina. Lots of money was spent in Tennessee, and gained there by way of television rights and such. The inclusion of Texas, however, brought an interesting fact to light.

California’s Board of Equalization, a tax agency that does not equalize anything, maintains offices in Chicago, New York, and Houston, Texas. As we noted, the BOE is a corrupt, wasteful body that misallocates public funds, stages useless events, and dishes out raises to high-salaried staff without performance reviews. BOE bosses are also fond of spending taxpayer dollars to promote themselves, and the shabbily constructed BOE headquarters in Sacramento remains a safety threat and bottomless money pit. Recent attempts at reform simply move thousands of BOE employees to a new revenue department reporting to the governor.

By all indications, California government will continue to spend taxpayer dollars in Texas. With so many exemptions, the state travel ban is not exactly a model of equal treatment under the law. The state’s embattled taxpayers could not be blamed for seeing the ban as a power play, an intrusion into the affairs of other states, and a matter of posturing.

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June 2017