Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Takes Power From Disney With New Law
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed a law to punish Disney for speaking out against his administration.
The new law grants DeSantis the power to elect a district board to the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a local government entity established in 1967 to run tourism advertising funds.
People with close ties to Disney have historically run the board of operations. The government takeover is intended to take power away from Disney-aligned advocates.
Disney has famously criticized Florida’s education bills, especially one which aimed to restrict classroom conversation around sexual orientation and gender identity, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.
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“Today, the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis said while signing the bill into law. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”
“Disney came out against something that was really just about protecting young kids, and making sure that students are able to go to school learning to read, write, add, subtract, and not having a teacher tell them that they can change their gender,” DeSantis added. “And I think most parents agree with that. But you know, that was only a mild annoyance. I think that what we came to realize after that dust settled on that was you clearly had a movement within the corporation itself.”
DeSantis appointed a Tampa-based lawyer, Martin Garcia, and co-founder of Moms for Liberty, Bridget Ziegler, to the board. Both are Republican donors to DeSantis with heavy ties to conservative social policies.
The drama between DeSantis and Disney has fueled the governor’s meteoric rise to the national stage. The Republican has consistently opposed Disney with “anti-woke” politics, making him a front-runner in the 2024 Republican primary.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Disney brings in $75.2 billion in annual economic impact for Central Florida, nearly 500,000 jobs, and $5.8 billion in additional state tax revenue.
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