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While governor locks down California over virus spike, lawmakers are flying to a conference at a luxury hotel in Hawaii

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement Monday that the state would return to far more restrictive social guidelines over a rise in coronavirus cases on the same day that state lawmakers were found to be planning to attend a luxury conference in Hawaii.

"This is simply the fastest increase California has seen since the beginning of this pandemic," Newsom said. "Every age group, every demographic, racial, ethnic, in every part of the state we are seeing case rates increase and positivity rates increase as well."

But the announcement juxtaposed poorly with a report that California lawmakers were planning to attend a conference this week at a luxury hotel in Hawaii hosted by the Independent Voter Project.

"Hawaii has established a very detailed, safe travel program, and Independent Voter Project wanted to be able to take advantage of that," IVP chairman and executive director Dan Howle told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The conference would allow lawmakers from California, Texas, and Washington state to discuss policy issues while schmoozing with corporate lobbyists.

Many thought the two stories manifested the hypocrisy of privileged political leaders issuing orders that severely restrict their constituents while enjoying luxury accommodations for themselves.

"Unbelievable. Will the hypocrisy ever end from our elected leaders?" responded KTLA reporter Bill Melugin.

"First [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) w/ the hair salon, then Gov. Newsom w/ his private dinner with his lobbyist buddy, now we have CA lawmakers at a conference in Hawaii while YOU are told to stay home," he added.

Melugin was referring to an embarrassing report from the San Francisco Chronicle that Newsom had been caught attending a ritzy dinner party at one the most exclusive restaurants in the world. Newsom admitted in a statement to the Chronicle that he should not have attended the dinner, even if they had followed the social distancing guidelines required.

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