DeSantis responds to ‘meritless’ lawsuit, says Disney doesn’t have a right to run its ‘own government’

(Correction: The governor’s actions against Disney are supported by a majority of Americans, not a majority of Floridians.)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is reportedly not sweating Disney’s lawsuit against him.

“They’re upset because they’re having to live by the same rules as everybody else. They don’t want to pay the same taxes as everybody else and they want to be able to control things without proper oversight. The days of putting one company on a pedestal with no accountability are over in the state of Florida,” the governor said Wednesday while speaking in Jerusalem, according to Fox Business Network.

“I don’t think the suit has merit,” he continued, adding that the suit is politically motivated and not “pro-business.”

Meanwhile, his communications director, Taryn Fenske, released a statement also dismissing the suit.

“We are unaware of any legal right that a company has to operate its own government or maintain special privileges not held by other businesses in the state. This lawsuit is yet another unfortunate example of their hope to undermine the will of the Florida voters and operate outside the bounds of the law,” she said.

As previously reported, DeSantis has been legally sticking it to Disney ever since the corporate behemoth started lobbying against the Parental Rights in Education bill back in 2022.

The governor took offense to Disney involving itself in political matters and decided to teach it a lesson by modifying its rights within the state of Florida.

Thanks to the Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967, Disney has essentially been allowed to run its own micro-government within Florida.

“At the center of the fight between Mr. DeSantis and Disney is a special tax district that encompasses Disney World, which employs 75,000 people and attracts 50 million visitors annually. The district, created in 1967 southwest of Orlando, effectively turned the property into its own county, giving Disney unusual control over fire protection, policing, waste management, energy generation, road maintenance, bond issuance and development planning,” The New York Times notes.

DeSantis has specifically sought to undo this gross benefit.

“DeSantis … responded by pushing the Florida legislature to strip Disney’s self-governing authority and create a new board, full of his appointees, which now has control over the theme park’s development,” Fox Business Network notes.

In response, Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis just this Wednesday accusing him of waging a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” against the company’s “protected speech.”

The governor “threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights,” the lawsuit reads.

“Disney regrets that it has come to this. But having exhausted efforts to seek a resolution, the Company is left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to protect its cast members, guests, and local development partners from a relentless campaign to weaponize government power against Disney in retaliation for expressing a political viewpoint unpopular with certain State officials,” it continues.

Speaking of popularity, the governor’s actions against Disney are supported by a majority of Americans, according to a new Harvard/Harris poll.

A 56 percent majority of Americans expressed support for DeSantis revoking Disney’s special rights and appointing an oversight board. Conversely, only a 44 percent minority of Americans oppose the plan.

Some of this popularity can be seen in the scorching tweets being directed at Disney on Twitter.

For example (*Language warning):


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