California ignored state's travel ban for NCAA March Madness playoff in Kansas
California's politicians love to portray themselves as far more advanced, principled, and wise than the lesser mortals who inhabit states not fully under the control of progressive Democrats. With about one eighth of the nation's population, and a much greater share of both wealthy and impoverished residents, the solons in the legislature repeatedly pass laws intended to use the state's power to force other Americans to follow their lead.
A case in point: travel bans on using state funds to travel to other states that fail to embrace the progressive agenda. Legislatively proclaim that marriage is what it has always been – a union between a man and a woman – and your state probably will lose visitors from California traveling on the state dime.
One state on California's list of reprobates that cannot be visited by people relying on state funds for their travel is Kansas. As the New York Times reports:
Kansas showed up on California's list after its state government passed a law in 2016 that permitted groups on Kansas campuses to turn away prospective members who did not share their religious beliefs. Supporters of that law say it protects religious freedom; detractors like Witt say it inappropriately allows state-financed groups to discriminate.
So poor Kansas, which believes in freedom of association, gets no visitors from California, whose travel is sponsored by state entities?
Well, not if influential Californians really want such a visit – for instance, a state university basketball team playing in the NCAA's annual March Madness basketball tournament. Also from the Times:
San Diego State's men's basketball team did, in fact, travel to Kansas last month to play on the tournament's first weekend (the Aztecs lost to Houston in the first round in Wichita). And last year, U.C.L.A. played in the second weekend of the tournament in Memphis. [Tennessee is another troglodyte state barred from receiving California-sponsored visitors – unless influential Californians really want the visit. – T.L.]
Cultural appropriation complaints ahead?
The Democratic Party has plenty of lawyers who love more and more law and regulation. So it was no problem at all finding what the Times calls a "workaround":
California's public university teams have felt compelled to devise legal workarounds. The men's basketball committee, which selected the 36 teams that received at-large bids to the N.C.A.A. tournament and seeded all 68 in the field, disregarded state travel bans, said its chairman, Bruce Rasmussen, the Creighton athletic director.
"We, unfortunately, do not control where we play in the tournament, and we will not deny our student-athletes the opportunity for postseason play," Shana Wilson, a senior associate athletic director for U.C.L.A., wrote in an email. She confirmed that last year, U.C.L.A. used revenue generated by the athletic department – sources like ticket sales, donations and sponsorships, but not direct state funding – to pay for the Bruins' trip to Memphis.
Now, that's what I call a principled stand: we'll boycott unless we don't want to.