Florida’s Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis took a page out of the Trump playbook on Monday, trolling Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about not being shy in visiting the Sunshine State.
As The Free Press noted last week, Whitmer and two senior officials in her administration made separate trips to the South in violation of Whitmer’s own recommendation not to travel out of state.
Whitmer and Tricia Foster, Michigan’s chief operations officer, visited Florida, while Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel, a Whitmer appointee, visited Gulf Shores, Alabama.
On Monday, Patronis sent Whitmer a letter and a tweet inviting her to return to Florida. He also sent her big envelopes filled with travel brochures.
“As you know, Florida’s open for business!”, Patronis tweeted.
“Don’t hide your trip to Florida; just let your constituents know it’s ok to visit. For your next trip, I’m sending tourism materials. See you soon! #Floridasforwinners.”
In his letter, Patronis wrote, “I wanted to take the liberty of providing you and your whole team with materials from VISIT FLORIDA, our state’s official marketing board, for future visits. Included in this letter I’ve attached a summary of promotional materials to help plan your next visit.”
“As both you and your COO now know from personal experience, Florida is safe for travel. With over 5 million Floridians vaccinated, unlike a lot of other states, Florida has largely returned to normal,” he added. “The fact is Florida had a lower mortality rate than the locked-down state of New York. Indeed, our Governor successfully balanced fighting the Coronavirus with keeping our small businesses open.”
“No doubt,” Patronis continued, “many of your fellow Michiganders traveled to the Sunshine State this year – and we proudly welcomed them! Moreover, much like yourself, many of your constituents likely have loved ones in Florida they haven’t visited in some time.”
“I know members of your team are telling you to downplay the recent trips to Florida. Don’t listen to them. Now that you and your COO have personally experienced what the Sunshine State has to offer, I encourage you to share your experiences publicly. More importantly, however, don’t be a stranger!”
He closed with, “See you again soon.”
According to a press release, Patronis sent Whitmer brochures for:
• Mexico Beach The Unforgettable Coast
• Florida State Parks
• Walt Disney World
• Bok Tower Gardens National Historic Landmark
• Citrus Golf Trail
• Crayola Experience
• Mosi Sky Trail Zip Line
• Clearwater Beach
• Butterfly World
• Pompano Beach Tourist Guide
• Tampa Attractions & Riverwalk Information
• Universal Orlando Resort
• Sea Screamer Snorkel
• Beach Dreams
• The Pensacola Experience
• Pensacola Explorer’s Guide
• Sun RV Resorts
• Visit Sarasota
• Ocean Landings Resort
• Cocoa Beach Area
• New Smyrna Beach Your Dream Getaway
• Visit Florida Visual Guide to Collecting Seashells on Florida Beaches
• Daytona Beach Official Vacation Guide.
Whitmer reportedly visited her aging father in West Palm Beach at least five weeks ago.
On the day before Michigan media publicized her trip, she appeared on “Meet the Press” to hypocritically fearmonger about Michigan residents returning from Florida.
“Michigan and Florida are not next to each other. But this is the time of the year that snowbirds come home from Florida, where people are going on spring break, and all of these things can contribute to spread,” Whitmer said.
“That’s why we’re imploring people to take this seriously, mask up, get tested.”
Other News: Michigan Prosecutor Says He’s Willing to Hold the Governor Accountable for Nursing Home Deaths