Ron DeSantis dunks on Disney in donor pitch

DeSantis Versus Disney
'They chose the wrong guy.'

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.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


38 comments

  • FLORIDA_RETAIL_SLUT

    April 20, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    When Reedy Creek is dissolved, I can’t wait to move into either the cities of Bay Lake or Lake Buena Vista as one of the “few” residents allowed to live in those cities.

    Knowing Disney, they will be quick to un-incorporate both cities.

    FLORIDA_RETAIL_SLUT

  • Small world

    April 20, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    I’m going to Enjoy your new taxes as much I’m going to enjoy watching Ron lose his chance at being president in 2024!

    • TD

      April 20, 2022 at 2:33 pm

      And despite the unlikelihood of such new taxes, you say nothing about the taxes the mouse should have been paying all along, which their special privileges have shifted onto the taxpayers for decades, so woke executives in Cali can keep taking home millions.

      • In circles

        April 20, 2022 at 3:43 pm

        “Mouse should have been paying all along”

        No income tax though remember?

        God you people can’t see the foot you put in front of you.

        • Pete

          April 24, 2022 at 9:51 am

          FYI. $2 B annually works out to roughly $74 per Floridian annually. Given that Disney will lose a great portion of its tax protection and be on the hook for property tax -let’s say 2/3 of that amount or $1.67 B annually. The remaining responsibility would be dispersed among all sate homeowners. That works out to $333 Million annually or about $12.50 per person. Add to that, the fact that state sales tax revenues from Disney, of which a greater portion would be subject to state tax collection, will far exceed this amount and most likely result in a tax windfall for Florida. It is conceivable that real property taxes when the Homestead exemption is applied (up to a $50,000 reduction in assessed value) will DECLINE.
          Don’t believe the fear mongering. Do the math.

      • Stephen

        April 21, 2022 at 7:36 am

        Instead of taxes, why don’t you think about the economic impact that Disney provides to the State of Florida so you don’t have to pay income taxes. Don’t fall victim to the radical right messaging. This is going to blow up in DeSantis’ face.

        • Jerry

          April 21, 2022 at 7:44 pm

          Disney isn’t going anywhere. They can’t move the Magic Kingdom. And they can’t close down parks because they owe too much in loans from the COVID shutdowns. And the shareholders are already angry at the board for putting woke politics ahead of growth and good business. Chapek will be out next year. And they will probably have to beg Iger to come back and clean up this mess.
          Disney needs to understand that Florida is not southern California. You can’t bring those woke politics here and not expect a backlash.

          • That too

            April 22, 2022 at 3:41 am

            LA makes more money then Florida too lol

          • Impeach Biden

            April 22, 2022 at 9:11 am

            Well said Jerry. Chapek is as dumb or dumber than Biden for getting Disney involved in this political mess. You are correct, he will resign or be forced out shortly. Walt would be shocked to see what is going on at Woke Disney World today.

    • Dierks

      April 20, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      Biden vs DeSantis? Smart money’s on Ron. He has broad appeal. Just not to you. Which is probably really hard for you to understand, am I right? #centerofonesownuniverse

    • Comment

      April 21, 2022 at 11:23 am

      Yep strong arms. Extortion ease dropping in your sex life they want to own you.drag you through the desserts to look at your soul

      • Pete

        April 24, 2022 at 9:53 am

        You mean eaves dropping. Not ease dropping. Learn English

  • PeterH

    April 20, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    It’s now official: Ron DeSantis is the most anti-business Governor in the USA. As an independent voter and conservative voice …… I will never support another member of today’s failing GQP. There is a reason why the forever “red states’ have the least GDP, lack of upward mobility, and poor corporate interest …..the Republican Party controls the legislative bodies, governorships, and representatives in the House and Senate.

    Meanwhile in the past two years of Florida’s failed leadership …… the State is moving to align with Mississippi and Alabama. So sad …. but so predictable.

    • Jerry

      April 21, 2022 at 7:31 pm

      It’s anti-business to make Disney the same as every other corporation in the state? And it’s the liberals fault for making corporate America a battleground. You got companies pushing Critical Race Theory in their hiring practices. You got companies like Disney jamming LGBT down everyone’s throat. You got social media companies that have targeted only conservatives to censor. You got companies implementing COVID restrictions because the government can’t do it. That senile old man in the white house tried to force my employer to fire me for refusing an injection! Are you kidding me? It’s so bad that Elon Musk is now prepared to pay $50 billion to gain control of Twitter in order to stop the far-left censoring the whole country.

      The left is the one trying to use corporate power as an extension of federal power. And we are not going to allow it anymore!

      • And I love it

        April 21, 2022 at 7:38 pm

        “We are not going to allow it anymore!”

        Yeah and maybe you will pull down your housing prices and solve your nursing home problem too

        You republicans can’t even pay for gas lol

      • PeterH

        April 22, 2022 at 12:10 am

        Nice try at spin Jerry! I’m a conservative and I’m “woke”….. YOU and your incompetent Trumpsters and Desantistas can stay asleep. Yawn!

        Florida and the USA is not going to turn the clock back.

  • Brandon

    April 20, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    Good to see the “Corporate Welfare” of Disney go bye bye

  • Walpurgis

    April 20, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    Performance Artist Ron DeSantis uses the term “woke” as fuel to his culture war fire. Remember, this is the individual who lowered Florida state flags at half staff, not for military or first responders, but for Rush Limbaugh, another Performance Artist. Pathetic.

  • Lawyers

    April 20, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Political retribution does badly in court

    • Jerry

      April 21, 2022 at 10:07 pm

      Bull.
      You liberals attack companies the minute you get elected. Biden got elected and starting revoking permits for energy companies. Democrats routinely remove tax credits and subsidies for companies they don’t like all the time.
      All this does here is make Disney just like any other company in Florida. It evens the playing field.

      If Disney wants to continue pushing a far-left radical woke agenda….that’s their business. But Florida doesn’t have to reward them with tax breaks anymore.

      • Not

        April 22, 2022 at 3:44 am

        And when they go to court and say they did it for political reasons it’s going to get taken down faster then Florida economy

      • Winner take all

        April 23, 2022 at 3:53 pm

        “You liberals attack companies the minute you get elected”

        Whats wrong with ruthless capitalism? NOTHING. Lol

  • Comment

    April 21, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Yep strong arms. Extortion ease dropping in your sex life they want to own you.drag you through the desserts to look at your soul

  • David Gimm

    April 21, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    They more than make up for the taxes they havent paid for in the amusement taxes and visitors taxes that are paid. Lert them close and put 15-20,000 people out of work then see how we are doing.

    • Dan

      April 24, 2022 at 9:38 am

      They do pay tax, they already pay taxes to Orange and Osceola, there will be no additional revenue. Jesus you people are either blatant liars or total morons.

  • PeterH

    April 22, 2022 at 12:03 am

    Today’s “sleeping” Republicans are now an anti business cabal …. while the rest of America is “woke” and planning for America’s dynamic future in the 21st century.

    America’s future and democracy is dependent on the immediate removal of all Republicans from positions of authority. Americans need to vote!

    • Impeach Biden

      April 22, 2022 at 9:22 am

      Just look at what a Democrat administration has done to this country. Fuel prices at historic highs, inflation rampant on all consumer items, Putin and Kim Jong Un, bitch slapping the “senile” one, and let’s not forget the utter chaos at the Southern Border.

      • It’s yours

        April 23, 2022 at 3:54 pm

        “Fuel prices at historic high”

        Not my problem commie lol

        • Impeach Biden

          April 23, 2022 at 10:00 pm

          Did you know we were energy independent under the previous administration? I took a picture at the pump of the price of fuel the day dummy, your hero, Joe Biden was inaugurated. Many of us won’t forget. You on the other hand play with your cell phone and play your video games like a zombie and completely unaware of the real world.

          • We were?

            April 25, 2022 at 6:37 am

            “Did you know we were energy independent under the last administration”

            No You should tell me how that happened!

            I’m kidding. You farm for a Living. You don’t know anything about global energy lol

          • Gas station republicans

            April 25, 2022 at 8:08 am

            “I took a picture at the pump of gas prices”

            That’s what strange old men do these days lol

  • Fenna

    April 22, 2022 at 6:15 am

    Dion DuhSantis continues to show what a true RINO he is. Taking money from Disney knowing they were woke. Only now engaging in this retirement village community theater running around trying to copy real conservative governors with his endless #metoo desperate cries for attention.

    The DeSantis Lockdowns ruined thousands of small businesses and tens of thousands of jobs. Now Little Dion DuhSantis is going after big business. Poor Florida. Too bad they don’t have America’s Governor, G. Abbott luring Elon Musk to their state.

    • Roger

      April 22, 2022 at 11:41 am

      But TX has Cancun Cruz…

  • JB Books

    April 22, 2022 at 10:13 am

    Pull Disney’s Business license and send them packing. Disney employees can look for work elsewhere just like those that refused to be injected with an experimental cocktail whose long term effects are not known.

    • Yes sir!

      April 22, 2022 at 11:47 am

      I Agee

      And while you are at it bulldoze the villages and raise the taxes.

      • Impeach Biden

        April 23, 2022 at 9:59 am

        Yes and let’s bulldoze Sunrise Lakes, Kings Point, Century Village, and Inverrary. Let’s get rid of these Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Democrats once and for all.

        • Sea breezy

          April 23, 2022 at 3:33 pm

          Actually just bulldoze Florida. It looks better as shoreline lol

  • Dan

    April 24, 2022 at 9:34 am

    What a moron. Not only are the taxes of every Orange Country resident going to go up to cover Reedy Creek’s utility costs but they will also get slammed with over a billion in bond debt to repay. Along with that, every business in Orange County will see their taxes go up, including Disney’s competing theme parks like Universal and Sea World. This is what happens when you have a bunch of redneck Republicans from the swamps running the 3rd largest state in the US. They are totally incompetent at their jobs. They rushed this through in 72 hours without any due diligence. And the legislature that is supposed to be the sober, deliberative body meant to stop things like this happening completely failed at their jobs. Why on earth would any Fortune 500 company set up shop in Florida after this?

Comments are closed.


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