Florida Sen. Rubio Worried Disney vs. DeSantis Conflict Could Scare off Business
Do you think businesses will reconsider operating in Florida?
Updated on April 28, 2023
- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) expressed concern that the battle between Disney and DeSantis could scare off other businesses:
“I think where it gets problematic in the eyes of some people is when you start creating the idea . . . that somehow if you run crossways against us politically, whoever’s in charge, you may wind up in the crosshairs of the legislature for political purposes to make a statement at you."
“I do worry that if this happens too many times, businesses that are thinking about coming to Florida are saying ‘Maybe we don’t want to go there because if we get into a firestorm with them politically, they might come after our business."
- Despite his reservations, Rubio supports DeSantis in his attack on Disney, saying:
"I don't have a problem with taking on Disney. I think the fundamental question here is if what we're trying to fix is if Disney had some arrangement that gave them governmental-type powers, I think it's a perfectly legitimate thing."
Updated on April 26, 2023
- Disney has sued Florida Gov. DeSantis and his hand-picked oversight board for weaponizing his political position to punish the company for their opposition to his policies, particularly their disagreement with his "Don't Say Gay" bill.
- Disney has accused the governor of infringing upon their free speech rights.
- The lawsuit was filed immediately after DeSantis' oversight committee took steps to regain its power over Disney and the special tax district in which it is located. Disney's lawsuit is seeking an injunction to block the oversight committee's actions.
- The 77-page lawsuit states:
“Disney finds itself in this regrettable position because it expressed a viewpoint the Governor and his allies did not like. Disney wishes that things could have been resolved a different way. But Disney also knows that it is fortunate to have the resources to take a stand against the State’s retaliation – a stand smaller businesses and individuals might not be able to take when the State comes after them for expressing their own views. In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind.”
“The governor got very angry about the position that Disney took, and it seems like he’s decided to retaliate against us. … in effect, to seek to punish a company for its exercise of a constitutional right.”
Updated on April 10, 2023
- DeSantis has threatened to impose taxes on the hotels and roads leading into the Disney theme park in light of his ongoing dispute with the corporation over their censure of his "Don't Say Gay" bill.
- DeSantis said:
"[W]e're going to look at things like taxes on hotels, we're going to look at things like tolls on the roads, we're going to look at things like developing some of the property that the district owns."
"[T]hey are not superior to the people of Florida. And so come hell or high water, we're going to make sure that policy of Florida carries the day."
"[W]e are going to win on every single issue involving Disney."
- Disney CEO Bob Iger said his company has a "right to freedom of speech just like individuals do" and that DeSantis' moves were "anti-Florida."
Updated on March 30, 2023
- Disney has referenced an obscure royal clause to render Gov. DeSantis' decision to take control of Disney's theme park district ineffective.
- Disney ran the district for over half a century until DeSantis made a move to take control of the district, citing Disney's defiance of state sex education laws and Disney's criticism of the Parental Rights in Education Act, known colloquially as the "Don't Say Gay" bill.
- Disney has bypassed the Republican board selected by DeSantis by using an archaic covenant known as a "royal lives clause", which has been used in legal documentation since the late 17th century.
- The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District says the agreement passed last month by the previous board gives the Disney corporation control over the area and restricts the power of the new board due to a stipulation contained in the agreement that states:
"[It is valid until] 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, king of England."
"We're going to have to deal with it and correct it. [Disney's actions are] a naked attempt to circumvent the will of the voters and the will of the Florida Legislature."
"The Executive Office of the Governor is aware of Disney’s last-ditch efforts to execute contracts just before ratifying the new law that transfers rights and authorities from the former Reedy Creek Improvement District to Disney. An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law.”
"Governor DeSantis’ new board would not, and will not, allow Disney to give THEMSELVES unprecedented power over land (some of which isn’t even theirs!) for 30+ years.”
- DeSantis' selected board is liaising with lawyers to settle the dispute.
What’s the story?
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier this week to take control of Walt Disney World’s municipal services and development for the special district surrounding the park.
- DeSantis said the special zone encompassing the park — known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District — enabled the company to avoid local rules and building codes.
- During a news conference, he stated:
“The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end. There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”
What’s in the bill?
- The bill appoints a five-person board to oversee the municipal services where Disney operates, including fire protection and road maintenance. The committee will include people who “very much want to see Disney be what Walt envisioned,” as put by DeSantis, and will have a role in Disney's revenues and debt.
- Members of the board include local elections lawyer Michael Sasso and conservative school board member Bridget Ziegler, who is also the wife of a Flordia Republican Party chairman Christian Ziegler.
- The bill would also end some of Disney’s privileges, including an exemption from state regulatory reviews, as well as remove its self-governing status.
- DeSantis hopes that while the board handles infrastructure and maintenance, it also stops Disney from “inject[ing] woke ideologies.” He said:
“When you lose your way, you’ve got to have people that are going to tell you the truth. So we can hope they can get back on. But I think all of these board members very much would like to see the type of entertainment that all families can appreciate.”
- Opposers say the bill seems to be a part of a growing feud between Disney and DeSantis, as the governor said the company “crossed the line” by opposing his ‘Don’t Say Gay' bill. DeSantis has said he’s fighting the “woke indoctrination” of the company, including Disney’s move to require proof of vaccination, mandate masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and make changes to the park to promote diversity.
- Critics are stressing that DeSantis’ bill is an attempt to push his own ideological agenda and a dangerous step towards punishing entities that exercise their First Amendment right to criticize his positions.
- Rep. Rita Harris (D-FL) questioned just how far DeSantis would go to control his opponents. Citing Disney’s decision to change Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in an effort to be more inclusive, she said:
“What if the governor didn’t like that? Would the board be able to push the company into changing their business model?”
Do you support DeSantis' bill?
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This is government overreach. This is big government at its worst. He is trying to regulate free speech and creativity.
Beware the mouse's wrath.
Remember when Republicans were pro-business and would do everything to reduce the regulatory and tax burden on corporations?
Well, I guess that only lasted so far as companies keeping their mouths shut and staying out of politics other than donations.
This is fascism, and it's anti-business.
I don't think Disney will move out of Florida, but they can reduce headcount and change who they donate to. And they can stand stronger against fascists like DeSantis.
I hope they do.
Disney sidesteps DeSantis 1 day before DeSantis's appointed board members take over by transferring all powers from Reedy Developnent board to Disney, and leaving only the responsibility of roads & infrastructure to DeSantis run Reedy Develoomeny board.
In addition Reedy Decelopment Board can't use Disney characters or the Disney name, and the minimum wage was increased to $18/hr for 45,000 Disney workers which as the major employer forced the states hand in the minimum wage.
Looks like the mouse 🐭 will have the last word!
"Gov. Ron DeSantis' move to take over Walt Disney World's governing board in Florida may have backfired due to a prior obscure agreement that new governor-appointed board members argue stripped them of their power."
"According to the agreement text, Disney was given a slew of powers including development rights for the next thirty years, or 2053, and the authority to approve any design improvements."
"This essentially makes Disney the government," board member Ron Peri said during a meeting on Wednesday. "This board loses, for practical purposes, the majority of its ability to do anything beyond maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure."
"The 151-page Florida agreement also states that no "fanciful characters" owned by Disney, including Mickey Mouse, can be used by the board. The use of the name Disney is also banned."
"Disney World service workers on Wednesday were voting on whether to accept a union contract offer that would raise the starting minimum wage to $18 an hour by the end of the year."
Corporations just like individuals, voicing their opinion, can be a target of political pressure of a want-a-be dictatorship, whether you are right or not. It is dangerous to allow retaliation by government or corporations.
A record-breaking blob of smelly seaweed is arriving in Florida
This blob dwarfs the stink exuded by swamp inhabitants desantis and trump
please don't let them pollute the rest of the country !
Disney great and I support them all the way too 🤗
I think that businesses shouldn't be political anyway!!!! So, if that is what you are about, hit the pike.
Florida Sen. Rubio Worried Disney vs. DeSantis Conflict Could Scare off Business
Do you think businesses will reconsider operating in Florida?
Causes says Oppose or Support.
I strongly oppose DeSantis' Vindictive and Unconstitutional Policies.
I think that business that can be negatively impacted by DeSantis' Fascist Policies will put doing business in a Corrupt, Racist &Fascist regime on hold.
Some fun "facts"
These are the important businesses in Florida:
Agriculture, tourism, industry, construction, international banking, biomedical and life sciences, healthcare research, simulation training, aerospace and defense, and commercial space travel
Sales taxes make up around 80% of the general revenue collected by the state of Florida.–Aug 18, 2022
I believe that businesses that have a socil conscience will think twice before locating in FL. Those businesses that are only concerned with the bottom line won't give a rat's ass. Furthermore, many national conferences from organizations that are concerned about social justice will not likely hold their meetings in FL, but the far right extremeist groups will be happy to hold their meetings in such a repressive state.
Desantis is a bigot and a tool. And a total embarrassment.
Why would DeSantis damage his own states economy?
DeSantis wants to be a dictator. Newsflash: Disney has every right to disagree with his decision. If he can't handle criticism from Disney; how does her expect himself to stand up to the criticism of Trump???
I hope that Disney squashes this racist, homophobic, bigot once and for all. Our country will be better for it.
Free speech under our constitution!
So much for free market, you got government overreach in Florida and government control and abuse of power!
Desantis is destroying Disney without a reason. Please stop him.
GAY GAY GAY. Say it Loud, say it PROUD. Desk this is a Fascist thug bent on terroring people. He is a little man who was thwarted in his retaliation by Disney. Good for Disney ! The people of Glorida did NOT elect Desantis to go after the state's largest single employer. Shame on Desantis.
DeSantis is a Complete IMBECILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Desantis is a fascist
DeSuckass in Israel vs. cruz in Cancun?
What you think Teddy!
Need to stop DeSantis BS!
Ron DeSantis is state has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country meanwhile the leading causes of death of your children in this nation is gunshot wounds thanks to people like Ron DeSantis. Really is nothing more than a murderer he should share a jail cell with Oscar Solos The only thing they don't have in common is it o Solis kills adults and Ron DeSantis kills children.
DeSantis appears to have gotten the idea that he is an unchallengeable Authoritarian and Autocrat, and it also appears that Disney has decided to respond to DeSantis's delusions of grandeur. Self-aggrandizing wannabe potentates have no place in any part of the government of the United States or any states that fall under the "United" label.
Here in Nevada, we have a Governor who is attempting to defund public schools by allowing private schools to capture taxpayer money that is intended for our public schools. And a Lt. Governor who wants to eliminate carpool lanes on our freeways. Our RTC busses, taxis, carpoolers, and rideshare drivers count on these lanes to expediently transport Las Vegans to work, business appointments, and airline flights. Neither of these proposals are attractive to me.
I strongly support Disney's lawsuit against DeSantis because what he did was a knee-jerk reaction meant to be a call-out to all Maga extremists that DeSantis is their guy. It had nothing to do with helping Floridians secure meaningful employment with dignity, or housing, or education. It's all about DeSantis and nothing for his constiutents. he doesn't want to govern and be a public servant, he wants power.