Local assemblyman attends conference in Hawaii, in spite of travel advisory
–The names of four California lawmakers surfaced Tuesday as apparent attendees of a Maui resort conference that has come under fire because of California’s coronavirus surge and official warnings not to travel out of state.
Assemblymembers Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton) and Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) reported buying plane tickets on their late October campaign finance filings. Neither has responded to phone inquiries about whether they are attending the 100-person, four-day legislative conference at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui.
Cunningham’s campaign committee reported spending $306 on a Southwest Airlines ticket for “11/15-Conference Travel, 1, CA/HI, RT.”
Cunningham recently defeated Dawn Addis and was re-elected to the California State Assembly. He represents the 35th District which includes Paso Robles, Atascadero, Templeton, San Luis Obispo County, and portions of Santa Barbara County. See his statement on his election victory here.
Cunningham’s trip follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attendance at a birthday party in Napa Valley, flouting COVID-19 restrictions, that Newsom later called an “error”.
Cunningham told KCOY TV:
“Yes, my family and I are in Hawaii for an annual, bipartisan policy conference. This event promotes intelligent public policy in our state. In fact, we are here discussing ways we can safely reopen our society and save our small businesses, workers, and kids. We paid for my family’s tickets and COVID tests with personal money – no state funds were used.
“Before traveling, every attendee followed local public health and safety protocols, including testing negative for COVID-19 before getting on the plane. We wear masks in all public spaces and conference rooms and socially distance ourselves from other visitors, complying with all health protocols. This is a safe environment.”