Gov. Ron DeSantis escalating Disney battle

 April 10, 2023

Ron DeSantis (R) is stepping up his battle with Disney after the woke entertainment giant neutered an oversight board appointed by the Florida governor.

Disney signed last-minute development agreements stripping the Reedy Creek Improvement District of most of its powers before it was taken over by DeSantis loyalists in February.

The conservative culture warrior threatened to slap taxes on Disney's hotels and leverage tolls during a speech in Michigan Thursday.

DeSantis warns Disney

DeSantis is currently on a book tour and is widely expected to launch a presidential campaign in the coming weeks.

Speaking at Hillsdale College, a conservative liberal arts college in Michigan, DeSantis denied claims that he had been outfoxed by the woke megacorporation.

While Disney is "acting like somehow that they pulled one over on the state," Florida will continue to raise the stakes, he said.

The governor said he would end last-minute developments agreements leaving Disney's self-governing powers intact and consider developing property that Florida owns near Disney's resort.

"But now that Disney has reopened this issue, we're not just going to void the development agreement they tried to do, we're going to look at things like taxes on the hotels, we're going to look at things like tolls on the roads," he said.

Eyes on 2024

DeSantis pledged that Disney would not have the last word.

“They are not superior to the people of Florida,” DeSantis said. “So come hell or high water we’re going to make sure that policy of Florida carries the day. And so they can keep trying to do things. But ultimately we’re going to win on every single issue involving Disney I can tell you that."

The governor began to tangle with Disney last year over the so-called "Don't Say Gay" law, which restricted classroom discussion of sex for children in third grade and below. DeSantis now wants to expand the law to cover all grade levels.

DeSantis is escalating his war with Disney at a moment when he has lost some momentum in primary polls, which show President Trump surging ahead in the wake of his unprecedented criminal indictment in New York.

A new poll has Trump leading DeSantis in a head-to-head matchup by 15 points among Republican voters in Florida.

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