As a Special Session continues in Tallahassee where lawmakers mull drastic changes to the ‘special privileges’ of the Walt Disney Company, Florida’s Governor continues to fundraise off the confrontation.
In an email entitled “They chose the wrong guy,” Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers tough talk against “woke corporations” trying to “strong-arm our state.”
“Yesterday, I announced that I am calling on the state Legislature to eliminate Disney’s sweetheart deal — negotiated and preserved for decades by the powerful. This deal allows Disney to govern itself on the grounds of Walt Disney World — a benefit not afforded to you or me,” DeSantis contended.
The Governor said Tuesday that the Legislature would take a look in this week’s Special Session at repealing special districts implemented before 1968, including the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which is the foundation for the Walt Disney Company’s quasi-governmental structure. This became an issue after Disney expressed opposition to the state’s new Parental Rights in Education law.
The Wednesday fundraising email, as intended, served to heat up the showdown rhetoric.
“As Governor, I was elected to put the people of Florida first, and I will not allow a woke corporation based in California to run our state,” the pugnacious DeSantis added. “Disney has gotten away with special deals from the state of Florida for way too long. It took a look under the hood to see what Disney has become to truly understand their inappropriate influence.”
“Disney thought they ruled Florida,” the pitch continues. “They even tried to attack me to advance their woke agenda. Now, parents see Disney for what it is. And now is the time to put the power back in the hands of Floridians and out of the pockets of woke executives.”
While now may be the time to do just that, the legislation in play in Tallahassee would not offer an immediate repeal to the Reedy Creek arrangement. Legislation would set the sunset date for June 2023, and Senate sponsor Jennifer Bradley has said any attempt to unravel the governance structure would be “a complicated transaction.”
Indeed, issues like assigning debts and responsibilities for public services would be up to the Legislature to solve in the 2023 regular Session, which begins in March.