Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is the Disney vs DeSantis deal?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46617points) May 4th, 2022

I don’t understand it.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

4 Answers

Zaku's avatar

This is Heather Cox Richardson on the subject:

April 22, 2022 Florida governor Ron DeSantis today signed the law he demanded from the Florida legislature in retaliation for the Walt Disney Company’s opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” law widely perceived as attacking LGBTQ Floridians. The new law strips from the Walt Disney Company the ability to govern itself essentially as if it were a town, as the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) set up in 1967.

DeSantis sold the bill as a way to protect children from what he lies are “groomers” of children for sexual assault.

But the law significantly strengthens his political power. Sarah Rumpf of Mediaite notes that the law will hurt the people of the state: Disney has preserved large green spaces as natural habitats that are hugely valuable real estate and are now at risk. In addition, repealing Disney’s status means that Orange and Osceola Counties are now responsible for Disney’s $2 billion bond debt—a 20% to 25% tax hike costing $2,200 to $2,800 per family of four—and will have to pick up the tab for the operating services that Disney currently provides. Since Disney’s RCID pays more and has better employee benefits than the Florida government, county workers staying on will likely have to take pay and benefit cuts.

Rumpf also notes that the law won’t go into effect until June 1, 2023, after this year’s midterms and after next year’s legislative session. The idea is to “put Disney on a leash,” one attorney told Rumpf, “So they better do what Ron DeSantis says, they better give to the P[olitical] A[ction] C[ommittee]s Ron DeSantis says, or else.” The implication, the lawyer said, was that if Disney did as it was told, the new law would quietly go away. Even more, though, state law says that Disney’s status can’t be repealed without the consent of the voting landowners, a reality Republicans in the state legislature appear to have ignored.

That pain is about political power. DeSantis’s attack on Disney demonstrates his use of the state to impose the will of his voters on a popular company; it also retaliates against Democratic voters. Osceola and Orange County were two of the Florida counties that backed Biden in 2020, Osceola by 56.4% to 42.6% and Orange by 61% to 37.9%. Imposing taxes and lower wages on the people there seems likely to be what makes the plan attractive to DeSantis.

April 28, 2022 DeSantis is following [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s] model right down to the fact that observers believe that Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill was modeled on a similar Hungarian law. DeSantis’s attack on Disney mirrors Orbán’s use of regulatory laws to punish political opponents (although the new law was so hasty and flawed it threatens to do DeSantis more harm than good). DeSantis is not alone in his support for Orban’s tactics: Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson openly admires Orbán, and next month the Conservative Political Action Committee will hold its conference in Hungary, with Orbán as a keynote speaker.

jca2's avatar

In addition to Reedy Creek, right now, if WDW builds a new building on its property, it doesn’t have to obtain permits, but if DeSantis gets his way, and takes away WDW’s special status, they’d have to obtain permits for any buildings or other big changes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So. DeSantis is an asshole who has a thing for children.

RocketGuy's avatar

@Dutchess_III – seems you are familiar with Repub’s psychological projection.

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