California’s blue state activism is stirring a reaction in Kentucky, where Republicans are threatening to retaliate against an interstate travel ban imposed during the Trump administration. The ban — which is not COVID-related, but springs from the culture war — began in 2017, when California’s then-attorney general, radical leftist, and abortion zealot Xavier Becerra, prohibited taxpayer-funded travel to red states he considered anti-gay.
Lawmakers in Kentucky now say they plan to strip two California companies of contracts with the University of Louisville, the Washington Examiner reported.
Kentucky threatens to retaliate
Becerra, who now serves as President Joe Biden’s Health secretary, blacklisted Kentucky in 2017 over a law protecting the religious freedom of public school and university students who California declared anti-gay.
But Republicans are pushing back. They don’t want California pushing its liberal values on Kentucky residents, they said.
“We don’t want California trying to replace our values with theirs,” said Republican state Sen. Stephen Meredith of Leitchfield, according to the Examiner.
Republicans on the Government Contract Review Committee are targeting two contracts worth a sum total of half a million dollars with Korn Ferry International of Los Angeles and SP&A Executive Search, which provide recruiting services for the university.
“I think our committee will not approve those two contracts with California businesses. We hope they are changed to businesses elsewhere or canceled,” Leitchfield said.
State’s woke activism finds pushback
A decision on the contracts has not yet been made, but Chris Hartman, director of the pro-LGBT Fairness Campaign, warned of “consequences” if Kentucky Republicans move ahead.
California has also banned Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, and the state’s current attorney general, Rob Bonta, says the bans will stay until those states repeal laws California considers unacceptable.
Kentucky’s Republican treasurer, Allison Ball, slammed “coastal elites” for harming Kentucky economically over cultural differences, while Republican state Rep. Mark Hart said it’s only right that Kentucky acts to protect itself.
“If the state of California doesn’t want to do business with the state of Kentucky, Kentucky shouldn’t do business with the state of California,” he said.
Even as California pushes its hyper-liberal views on other states, the Golden State has been losing residents over homelessness, high cost of living and crime.