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Gubernatorial Trade Missions Without Controversy are Historically Rare

May 22nd, 2019 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Ron DeSantis will join Florida business leaders on an economic development trip to Israel on Saturday.

Historically, trade missions often result in as much criticism as actual successes.

Governor Reubin Askew went on a trade mission to Japan in 1978.

When he returned, he was widely criticized for his $300 a night hotel room.

“I’m just saying that what you wrote was an unfair story,” Askew said to reporters in 1978. “I don’t care if we’d gone in the bottom of a cargo ship, you would have said it was a junket.

Five years later, Bob Graham made the same trip to learn more about high speed rail.

“Speeds of a 152 miles an hour,” Graham said to reporters in 1983.

Florida still doesn’t have a train.

Graham also took a beating from industrial giant Sony over the then recently enacted tax on worldwide corporate profits.

It was called the unitary tax.

A year later the tax was repealed.

There have also been trips to the jungles of South America to highlight the war on drugs.

They did little to stop the flow, but earned then Governor Bob Martinez death threats.

Charlie Crist prayed at the wall in Jerusalem for an end to Hurricanes.

It worked for a decade.

Later Crist was lampooned for a $430,000 trip to Europe.

A Rick Scott trip to Spain went south when he embarrassed the Spanish King over a hunting trip.

So for Ron Desantis the coming trip may or may not be the first kink in his political armor.

The Governor is expected to visit at least ten companies seeking investments in Florida.

He will be accompanied by at least 60 Floridans seeking to do business in Israel.

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