Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been busy attacking Disney for the past few weeks simply because the company has made it clear it doesn’t support the recently-passed “Don’t Say Gay” law which has drawn sharp criticism for being little more than an attempt to codify anti-LGBTQ bigotry.
And now DeSantis is threatening new retaliation against Walt Disney World, which has been a fixture in Orlando for decades.
Enough is enough, the Miami Herald insists in a scathing op-ed, noting that DeSantis seems to be determined to follow in the footsteps of former President Richard Nixon, who was known to have an enemies list:
“It’s clear that the governor has been nursing a towering grudge against Disney ever since the company had the nerve to listen to its employees and — belatedly, but rightly — speak out against the ‘Don’t say gay’ bill, withholding political campaign contributions in Florida.”
The op-ed also accuses DeSantis of trying to force a major corporation to agree with him or face consequences:
“Back in 1971, Nixon’s list had 20 names on it. Over the next few years, it grew to 576 names. We all know how that ended. Now we have DeSantis’ frightening misuse of power. It must stop here, and that starts with lawmakers stiffening their backbones. Today, it’s Disney. Tomorrow, who knows?”
DeSantis, the editors suggest, is engaging in a blatant use of the “the levers of government to crush his enemy.”
“DeSantis is no fool. He’s covering his tracks, though with the most transparent of excuses, by saying that he wants the Legislature to consider getting rid of all special taxing districts that were enacted before 1968 and haven’t been reestablished since. So far it looks like that would include just a handful of districts along with Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.
“House Speaker Chris Sprowls defended the governor’s move, saying the House has long contemplated this action. That doesn’t pass the smell test. In the war between Disney and DeSantis, this isn’t a grenade, it’s a precision missile strike, and it’s aimed right at Central Florida.”
If Walt Disney World decides to pull up stakes and move (Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has already told them the theme park would be welcome), the financial impact on Florida would be enormous. It might even make Floridians stand up and fight back against the Sunshine State Nixon.
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