Disney Sues Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Over Alleged Abuse of Power

Disney Sues Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Over Alleged Abuse of Power

The Walt Disney Company has filed a lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, claiming that he has weaponized government power against the company. The lawsuit alleges that DeSantis has orchestrated a campaign against Disney, which threatens the company’s business. It is the latest escalation in a long-standing feud between DeSantis and Disney, which began when Disney opposed a bill limiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity last year.

The conflict intensified when DeSantis targeted the special tax district that allowed Disney to govern its Florida operations since the 1960s. The district’s board of supervisors, appointed by DeSantis, moved to undo a development deal that Disney had struck to thwart its power. The panel unanimously voted to declare the contract “void and unenforceable.” Disney claims that the move was retaliatory and unconstitutional.

The company plans to invest $17 billion in Walt Disney World over the next decade, creating an estimated 13,000 new jobs on top of its current workforce of 75,000 cast members. Disney alleges that DeSantis is abusing his power to punish the company for expressing its opinion on state legislation.

DeSantis’ office responded by suggesting that the fight was not politically motivated but was about Disney’s special tax and governance privileges. The governor’s communications director, Taryn Fenske, said that the company had no legal right to operate its own government, and this lawsuit was an attempt to undermine the will of Florida voters.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District, created in 1967, gave Disney regulatory control over public services and other functions in the 25,000-acre area encompassing its Florida parks and resorts. DeSantis signed legislation to dissolve the special designation just weeks after Disney denounced the classroom bill. The move raised fears that Florida taxpayers in the surrounding counties would have to pay a huge tax bill.

In February, the state Legislature passed new legislation that kept the district intact but allowed DeSantis to appoint its five board members. In March, the newly appointed board of the district said their Disney-aligned predecessors had stripped them of many of their powers on the way out the door.

Disney’s lawsuit is the latest example of DeSantis’ engagement in divisive culture issue battles, which has elevated him to national prominence. He easily won a second term as governor in the November midterms and has consistently been near the top of polls of the prospective 2024 Republican presidential primary field. However, he has come under heavy attack from former President Donald Trump, currently the favorite for the GOP nomination.


Articles You May Like

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan: What Borrowers Need to Know
Tentative Deal Reached on US Debt Ceiling
The Miami Heat Advance to the NBA Finals After a Dominant Game 7 Victory Over the Boston Celtics
John Cleese Refutes Reports of Removing “Loretta” Scene from Life of Brian Adaptation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *