Ashley Moody ‘puzzled’ by Disney naming Ron DeSantis in its lawsuit against the state

The AG said Disney was putting 'pressure on this Governor to shut him up.'

Florida’s Attorney General doesn’t understand why Ron DeSantis is a defendant in Disney’s lawsuit against the state.

In comments made on “Fox & Friends,” Ashley Moody said she was stumped about why DeSantis was named, even though the Governor has spent weeks trashing and targeting the entertainment company.

Moody suggested that even though the Governor signed legislation changing Disney’s special district, he isn’t responsible.

“You know, it was the Florida Legislature and the Central Florida Oversight Board (sic) that took actions that effectively eliminated special privileges or a self-governing authority of Disney,” said Moody.

“So it puzzled me, and you wonder if it was an attempt by Disney, maybe to put pressure on this Governor to shut him up, to make him stop talking about these privileges or maybe stop talking about their change in approach to kids,” she speculated, referring to the company opposing Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law.

The Disney vs. DeSantis beef is now in federal court, with the company seeking legal recourse for the state’s moves to invalidate its development deal struck in the final days of the Reedy Creek Improvement District that governed the park’s business from 1967 until this year.

“A targeted campaign of government retaliation — orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech — now threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights. … In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind,” Disney attorneys said in a 77-page federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court’s Northern Florida District.

Moody suggested DeSantis won’t be moved by the lawsuit, even as she gave the Disney attorneys an “‘A’ for effort” for “creative legal drafting.”

“He is driven by principles and convictions, period, not corporate pressure, not even a lawsuit against him. He won’t back down.”

Indeed, the Governor is leaning into the fight, even during his current overseas trade mission.

“That arrangement was not good for the state of Florida. We did not think that that should continue. So we now have brought accountability. And so, the idea that somehow being pro-business means giving companies their own governments, that is not what a free market is all about,” DeSantis said in Jerusalem Thursday.

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


  • DeSantis is a failed leader

    April 27, 2023 at 9:05 am

    DeSantis publicly made statements that he was the new sheriff in town. And that he was going to basically take revenge on Disney simply because they were exercising their first amendment rights.

    Obviously she needs to go back to law school. The attorneys that DeSantis has working for him, aren’t the brightest ones in the box.

    The state of Florida is the laughingstock of the world right now.

  • Billy the Bamboozler

    April 27, 2023 at 9:06 am

    This woman was duped by Trump’s phoney Stop the Steal campaign to overturn a free and fair election. Also, pushes conspiracy theories about Fentanyl Halloween candy… Mexican men dressed as women chasing around kids and trying to give them Fentanyl Halloween candy. She should be removed.

    • Jeremy

      April 28, 2023 at 3:19 am

      Laughing stock? Is that why they have more people moving to the state than any other in the US? And not just Republicans, independents as well.

      • Billy the Bamboozler

        April 28, 2023 at 7:27 am

        Because of the weather and low prices which will be just as high as where they left eventually thanks to them. Even more people marooned here due to decades of piss poor wages. You left that part out.

      • Russell

        April 28, 2023 at 11:05 am

        Where are you gettting your info? Floriduh has a net loss.

  • PeterH

    April 27, 2023 at 9:12 am

    Why are you puzzled Ashley? Disney has better lawyers to protect their business interests! Florida isn’t equipped to proceed with culture wars with every American business. Ron DeSantis is a big bully and needs to be put in his place. Disney will outlive YOU and DESANTIS! Wake up! Get woke!

  • Ian

    April 27, 2023 at 9:14 am

    I’m puzzled that Florida tax payers get to pay for another lawsuit for this clown’s personal political aspirations.

    • Jeremy

      April 28, 2023 at 3:22 am

      Laughing stock? Is that why they have more people moving to the state than any other in the US? And not just Republicans, independents as well.
      And for those concerned about the taxpayers paying for another lawsuit, did you complain about the money wasted on the Mueller Report on Trump and Russia that came up with virtually nothing after 3 years?

      • Ocean Joe

        April 28, 2023 at 5:34 am

        You didn’t read the Mueller report. It declined to opine whether Trump violated the law due to his status as president.
        Read the report. Just read the conclusory section.

        • Ocean Joe

          April 28, 2023 at 5:37 am

          And having lived here about 70 years, nothing is worse for Florida than crowding all these people in here. We once had a stable ecomony of citrus, cattle, and tourism. The farming left land open, and the tourists visited, spent money and went home. Retirees came here, died off, and were replaced by another generation of retirees. Dont recall the traffic jams, even pre-I-95. India is growing too.

  • Don’t Look Up

    April 27, 2023 at 9:17 am

    Dear Ashley, Your job is to save every text message and email by every public, legal and private official involved in trying to destabilize the second largest employer in the State of Florida. You’re a lawyer ….. get busy!

  • Richard Bruce

    April 27, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Gravy train has ended for Disney. All companies in Florida should sue Disney for unfair business practices. Disney will lose. Disney has no legal right to be treated differently than all other companies in the state.

    • Michael K

      April 27, 2023 at 10:02 am

      Can’t wait to see the Villages lose their special taxing district status – along with the other 1,800 districts.

    • Billy the Bamboozler

      April 27, 2023 at 11:07 am

      The point of the suit is that they are different only because they are being treated differently than the other businesses because they disagree with a policy. Seek help for intellectual disability.

      • Michael K

        April 27, 2023 at 1:57 pm

        Had no idea that disagreeing with a policy warranted abusive governmental retaliation. Is there some sort of statutory violation here? I thought that was only something that happened in totalitarian regimes.

    • Russell

      April 28, 2023 at 11:13 am

      They have EVERY LEGAL RIGHT. The state signed LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACTS and agreements allowing this to promote Disneys growth and at the time, hundreds of millions to the state. Ita was thousands of acres of swamp.. Now it is in the billions every year going to the state plus tourism dollars directly impacting the surounding business and communities.You want companies to sue them when they directly recieve the benefits of Disney being in florida? Ah, I dont think you inderstand economies. If disney left Florida it would then have billions of dollars less per year income and millions would move the state. Millions fewer tourists and their dollars. So tell me mister Economic professor, how will this be of benefit to Florida? Go on im litening raptly…..

  • Michael K

    April 27, 2023 at 10:01 am

    The doublespeak that comes out of the mouths of DeSantis and his sycophants is beyond Orwellian – it’s a level of chilling deceit that defies comprehension. One has to wonder how they it with straight faces.

  • Rob Desantos

    April 27, 2023 at 11:02 am

    She’s not very smart.

  • Crystal

    April 27, 2023 at 11:56 am

    So it appears that Gov. DeSantis is forcing Disney to participate in business in Florida the same as every other business does? I always thought that the Reedy Creek Development was simply bait to get the company to build in Florida and help our tourism industry. They would still be in that position if they hadn’t gone WOKE. DeSantis has not hurt their business, they have done it to themselves. Most people don’t know about the fine print that set Disney up ~50 yrs ago, much less care. Any problems with their customers are of their own making. People don’t want their kids exposed to adult subjects. My kids are in their mid-50s and I don’t want them exposed to this stuff. Once the Silent Majority realized what was happening in our schools and corporations like Disney, Anheuser Busch and others started pushing the Left’s narrative, they started pushing back. Apparently gender orientation and sexual preferences are less important than that wrinkled old green stuff!
    We, the little people who make up the majority of this country, don’t give a damn what you do in your bedroom, just don’t rub our noses in it and slam it in our faces!
    My biggest question to the left is: Where are you going to get your money from, once you beat the middle class down?
    I have to laugh at the Left. They apparently aren’t familiar with Einstein: “with every action there’s an equal opposite reaction. With every problem, there’s a solution: just a matter of taking action.” Our Governor and Legislature took action.

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 27, 2023 at 12:06 pm

      Hey Crystal, Einstein is a bagel place, not Newton’s 3rd law of motion. But if you want to wheel out Newtonian physics as an argument, Disney’s very simple PR statement was the REaction to Ron Duh Santies action that he took against some of the people he’s supposed to represent. Reps who act against those whom they swore to represent? It’s them. Hi. They’re the problem. It’s them. Ron needs to resign to run but he and the entire state GOP knows he won’t win, so they’re changing the rules for Ron The Biggest Loser, the guy losing to another loser at a rate of 62% to 13%

    • Rob Desantos

      April 27, 2023 at 1:50 pm

      Oh Crystal, you sound exactly like a person named Crystal with your OAN-watching Desantis-lovin uninformed takes on Disney and WOKE and whatever else. You rubes are being lied to by Republicans every day.

    • Michael K

      April 27, 2023 at 2:00 pm

      Had no idea that being “woke” (which I doubt you can define) is a crime worthy of governmental retaliation, let alone a crime.

    • Bwj

      April 27, 2023 at 2:14 pm

      Disney has first Ammendment rights just like you and me. They are allowed to speak their own opinions. DeSantis actions are meant to squash dissent. Only tyrants and dictators do that.

    • George

      April 27, 2023 at 6:07 pm

      Crystal, if your kids are in their mid-50s, that puts you in your 70s which means you are.past your prime. Please stop watching Fox all day and parroting their garbage. There is no silent majority, just a bunch of cranky old white people who are scared.

    • Russell

      April 28, 2023 at 11:24 am

      Disney and Florida signed contracts and agreements to promote the growth of Disney and development of thousands of acres of swampland. They employ the most people in the state and pay the most(billions) to the state and loacl businesses earn a ridiculous amount of money from this. Then the people employed pay taxes, business ay taxes. Disney and the state signed so why does the state get to wiggle out? Its a contract and if any business gets a better deal that is their right. The state signed it. Like when i get a job and negotiated a better deal than my new coworkers. I” negotiated. I deserved it. You are so naive if you think this is a left or right thing. It is big money and power. Ron wants power of them and he feels he is gonna get it come hell or high water. Question, where are you going to get your moey if you beat the latrgest employer in the state down. And absolutely where every action theres an equal and opposite3 reaction and there will be. I actually hope Disney decides to leave and you then see a second class state from the loss of all that money. If you understood economics you would shut your mouth.

      • Russell

        April 28, 2023 at 11:27 am

        I typed way too fast, lots of mitsakes.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 27, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Whenever GOP’s issue public statements, it’s usually a confession. Ashley’s confession here seems to be that she’s confirming herself as being every bit as dumb as she claims to be.

  • Rob Desantos

    April 27, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    “The AG said Disney was putting ‘pressure on this Governor to shut him up.'” And that’s legal.

    Meanwhile everyone else said this Governor was putting pressure on Disney to shut them up. And that’s illegal.

    • Bwj

      April 27, 2023 at 2:18 pm

      Government cannot pass laws to punish people or businesses for speaking out.

  • Beth

    April 27, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    The same Moody who wasted taxpayer money to file a lawsuit supporting trumps big lie and the incitement of an insurrection? I cannot believe she has not been disbarred. She belongs in prison

  • Swamp Rat

    April 28, 2023 at 8:24 am

    How about all of you miserable people here in Florida and constantly taking swipes at our fine Governor and other Republican members of the cabinet move to such Democrat havens such as Kalifornia, back to NY, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, St Louis, and on and on. Those municipalities need you fools there since their tax base is eroding with the exodus to free states like Texas and Florida. Bye.

  • Lex

    April 28, 2023 at 9:35 am

    First rule of business, “Republicans buy sneakers too.” Michael Jordan is a pretty smart man. Business are supposed to provide an apolitical service. Some how, Disney has decided that it has become very political. Business are free to choose to be political, but that creates consequences. Disney doesn’t want to sell to half the country, when it used to be that that other half the country was Disney’s biggest consumer. Everyone trusted Walt Disney to function as everyone’s grandfather and was universally considered wholesome. Disney’s choice to be political, is keeping the business of Disney from feeling wholesome for half the country. Disney has made multiple fortunes on the back of being considered universally wholesome. Not a smart business move Disney. Being political has real consequences. Republicans are just beginning to cancel like the Left has been doing for years. You reap what you sow.

    • Ocean Joe

      April 28, 2023 at 5:52 pm

      Whether it’s a smart move or not, it’s up to them, not the governor.
      Children will still want to go there whether their Fox-addled, election denying, climate denying, parents want them to or not.
      The governor and his pet legislature of lap dogs passed a law.
      Disney did nothing to stop passage, didn’t lobby against it.
      AFTER it passed, Disney voiced opposition and has been a target of our petty, spiteful, revenge directed governor ever since.
      You are entitled under the establishment clause to your puritanical, holier than thou beliefs (as usual), but you are not entitled to squelch the beliefs of others. Not yet.

  • John Barron

    April 28, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    Trashley is a disgrace to the state of Florida! We need competent people not amateurs who are so easily out maneuvered!! Meatball Ron and his carnival of crazies need to go. We need Trump!!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704