Florida takes over Disney District to punish ‘woke’ politics
MIAMI — Florida’s governor took control of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district on Monday, hailing the end of the “corporate kingdom” as he effectively replaced the entertainment giant for its “awakened” Resistance against his political agenda.
The bill will allow Republican Ron DeSantis to appoint his own board of directors to oversee services offered by Disney at the theme park, which drew the governor’s wrath last year after they criticized a law restricting schools to teaching about sexual orientation prohibits.
“Today, the corporate kingdom is finally coming to an end,” said DeSantis, who is widely expected to be running in the 2024 White House race when he signed the bill into law.
“There’s a new sheriff in town and accountability will be the order of the day.”
The move is seen as part of a broader effort by DeSantis to reform institutions he believes were hijacked by “woke” progressive activists, and addresses criticism that the deal gave Disney an unfair advantage over rivals .
However, critics have expressed fears that Disney will be beholden to DeSantis by the agreement and will feel much less able to speak out against his policies.
Walt Disney World, near Orlando, is the world’s largest theme park and since its opening in the 1970s has been managed by the Reedy Creek Improvement District, an independent agency with extensive local administrative autonomy that exempts it from most state regulations.
The 39-square-mile (101-square-kilometer) park was operated largely unnoticed by the state government until it defied the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law enacted last year, which bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade .
“We want our kids to be kids, we want them to be able to enjoy entertainment and school without having an agenda imposed on them,” said DeSantis, who has described Disney as an “awakened company” in the past.
Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature passed legislation that would have dissolved Reedy Creek effective June 1 — but scaled back its plan from resolution to reform after experts warned that the district’s $2 billion in debt would hit local taxpayers could be passed on.
– “Bad Politics” –
The new law leaves Reedy Creek and its debt obligations untouched, changes its name to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, and subjects it to closer oversight from the Tallahassee government.
Reedy Creek was independent, but its board of directors was elected by landowners, and Disney owns two-thirds of the district.
Its five members are scheduled to be replaced Monday by DeSantis allies, including a prolific Republican donor who donated $50,000 to secure the governor’s reelection, a co-founder of the conservative Moms for Liberty group, and the wife of the Florida Republican Party leader.
“Allowing a company to control its own government is bad policy, especially when the company is making decisions that affect an entire region,” DeSantis said in a written statement.
“This legislation ends Disney’s self-governing status, lets Disney live under the same laws as everyone else, and ensures Disney pays its debts and its fair share of taxes.”
Democratic Congresswoman Anna Eskamani, who represents the Walt Disney World area, referred to what she called an “absolutely wild” scenario of a capitalist like DeSantis celebrating the inauguration of a private executive.
“Disney still maintains the same tax breaks, but their First Amendment rights have been suppressed,” she said in a statement.
“And it sends a message to every individual or business that if you don’t (will) specify what the governor wants, you will be fined.”
Disney, which employs more than 75,000 people in Florida, has said it will not fight the reforms.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch