Ron DeSantis rolls out anti-ESG legislative proposals in latest blast against ‘woke elites’
Ron DeSantis. Image via AP.

'We will be standing up for folks in Daytona and Destin, not following the elites in Davos.'

Florida’s Governor is speaking out against so-called “woke banking,” with legislative proposals targeting them.

Gov. Ron DeSantis told an audience in Naples that “environmental social governance,” or “ESG,” imposed by so-called “elites,” has “devolved into a mechanism to inject political ideology into investment decisions, corporate governance and really just the everyday economy.”

“That is ultimately something that’s not going to work out well for us here in Florida,” DeSantis contended. “There’s not a real groundswell for this from the average citizen.”

Following up on last year’s ban of ESG investments on the state level, such as pension funds, the Governor is rolling out this year’s enhancements.

These include putting that ban into statute, enactment of protections against “discrimination for religious, political and social beliefs,” a ban on the use of “social credit scores,” and a ban against housing deposits in “institutions pursuing this woke ESG agenda.” Additionally, the state will keep ESG out of procurement, contracting, and “local and state bonds.”

DeSantis offered a sweeping takedown of ESG Monday.

“We will be standing up for folks in Daytona and Destin, not following the elites in Davos,” DeSantis contended.

He said the “Davos” crowd is targeting “domestic energy production.” ESG also imperils “national security” by increasing compliance costs, DeSantis argued, inhibiting the “recapture of supply chains” from China.

Additionally, DeSantis claimed it “violates fiduciary duty” by using “shareholder assets” to “advance a political agenda.”

“Social credit scores,” claimed DeSantis, are another byproduct of “their ideological imperatives.”

“Their targets always seem to be those people who are disfavored by the jet setters in places like Davos,” DeSantis decried. He singled out the GEO Group as an example of a company “de-banked” because “they were contracting with the actual federal government” on immigration enforcement.

“That is using your economic power to enforce a political agenda,” DeSantis argued.

House Speaker Paul Renner offered support, saying ESG was “being hashed out by the United Nations and Davos,” and vowing that Florida would work to “restore America’s energy independence.”

ESG represents a “total hijacking of democracy,” Renner added, in remarks condemning President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom as advocates of that ideological skein.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples resident, expressed enthusiasm for this “tremendous initiative” between DeSantis and the House Speaker.

“The Governor’s doing things that we all wish we could do,” Passidomo said.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis likewise is on board.

“When it comes to ESG, many of us have been boiled like a frog. The Governor is right that over time ESG has wound its way into too many aspects of American society, and pulling it back is going to take work. This proposed legislation puts returns first, it puts the Constitution first, and it puts corporate America on notice that if they play politics with Florida residents, we’ll have the tools to hold them accountable,” Patronis asserted.

“I look forward to working with the DeSantis Administration, as well as Senate President Passidomo and House Speaker Renner in getting this legislation over the finish line.”

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • Ron DeSantis is a Racist

    February 13, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Anytime you hear somebody using the work “Woke” as a pejorative, there is a 100% chance that person is a piece of trash.

  • SteveHC

    February 13, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    This nonsense will accomplish nothing. There is nothing DeSantis or state legislators can do to make a meaningful difference in these regards. And I’m not crying tears over that, just pointing out that DeSantis is doing nothing but his usual political grandstanding-for-votes herein.

    • B Coll

      February 13, 2023 at 12:49 pm

      This is more blah, blah, blah nonsense from this looney tune. You can’t make this up. This guy is the master of creating solutions and selling them to his uneducated base where no problem exists.

  • Yvette valentine

    February 13, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    I am tires of every morning he is coming up up with another ban for “wokeness”.
    Somebody need to tell the Governor, he is getting annoying to the average person.There is so much that needs to be done in Florida ,to make citizens life easier. Like affordable housing.
    Rent is to high.
    This is one vote he is not getting.

    • alexander

      February 13, 2023 at 2:25 pm

      Liberals LOVED the term “Woke” now they cry when it’s used to point out their insane agenda

  • It's Complicated

    February 13, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    “Social Credit Scores” are straight out of the Chinese Communist Party playbook. NOT hyperbole. China currently uses AI to monitor party affiliating, spending habits, social media, etc., and it assigns each person a score. That score determines societal, financial, travel, etc., options. If you visit the wrong websites, use certain flagged words in texts or posts, or spend money in a way they do not approve of, you experience shadow banning. Because it is done through AI, you have no avenue of appeal without bringing it to the attention of real live people, and that is likely to exacerbate your diminished status in China.

    There is a slippery slope toward this in the USA. The American Left has sought to use tools like ‘product codes’ to limit use of bank cards on otherwise completely legal transactions. The best example is the purchase of firearms or ammunition. Banks have no business limiting a person’s ability to make legal purchases. To allow a bank (or the US DOJ, ATF, or Treasury Department) to set up a system which denies legal purchase based upon a product code, is draconian social engineering. They seek to limit rights like this, because they cannot win the public policy debate on this issue. If someone doesn’t stop them from doing it, they will do it.

    • B Coll

      February 13, 2023 at 6:02 pm

      Tell me who is putting forth a Social credit score in the USA? The answer is no one. DeSantis creates solutions for non existent problems to hook in people like you.

  • JD

    February 13, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    ““That is using your economic power to enforce a political agenda,” DeSantis argued.” – you mean like political donations to super PACs from weathly individuals and corporations? It’s not ok when someone else may influence huh? Because they are not in control.

    Hypocrisy. Kettle black.

  • Davey

    February 14, 2023 at 6:51 am

    Am I crazy or isn’t propounding conservative agenda on schools “grooming” and vilification of Wokeness anti-constitutional? And WTF is wrong with institutions taking a stance on sustainability? I’m so tired of this scorched earth approach to power grabbing. We need to vote out this redneck frat boy.

  • Lee

    February 14, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    Wrong-way Ronny continues to gin up unrest over phantom threats and FUD and legislate “solutions” where no actual problem exists.

  • Christian Ceballos

    February 16, 2023 at 6:03 am

    It’s not worth arguing with the woke. But make no mistake about it, the day is near when they will push too far and awaken the righteous freedom loving Americans, black and white, brown and beige. Every color will join together to pulverize those that stand in the way of freedom. Every woke will sleep. And the planet will be just fine. God bless all people of all colors that fight for freedom.. We will win without a doubt because collectively this nations people are the best. The racists are the greedy globalists of Davos. Klaus Adolph Schwab who’s father was a n@zi proves no doubt the apple never falls to far from the tree. Keep up the good work Mr. Desantis! I’ll still be voting for Trump, he did so much even though every tool of Washington was against him. He didn’t need to become President, He did it for you and me. He knew he’d be attacked but did it anyway, truly courageous unlike most internet trolls that aren’t worth the time of day. They are sleeping cling there own wrists and wil” never get a response from me. So much toughness on line, but when the real fight begins they will run and hide. Wokeness will be put to sleep, and antifa will be thrown into the fires they started.
    We willl wipe are hands of them and have a nice steak dinner and fill up our gas cars. Cheers to all the good people, for the rest of you, May God show you the light before your light is extinguished.

  • Christian Ceballos

    February 16, 2023 at 6:07 am

    Cutting their own wrists… an edit to line 14 of my previous comment.

Comments are closed.


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