Florida’s newly appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) board accused Disney of attempting to undermine the state’s law in Scrooge McDuck fashion and threatened on Wednesday to build a prison next to the happiest place on earth.
Attorney David Thompson was hired by Gov. Ron DeSantis’s handpicked board to dig into the legality of the old board’s invocation of the so-called “King Charles III” clause that would have kept Disney in control of Reedy Creek until “21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants” of the current monarch. The preemptive transfer of the old board’s power to the media giant before the new board took over was a move that would essentially render the CFTOD’s board forever toothless.
As BizPac Review reported, DeSantis struck back at the outgoing Reedy Creek Improvement District’s sneaky maneuver on Monday, announcing at a press conference that the state Legislature would swiftly move to nullify the agreement.
“Disney’s sloppy and futile attempt to subvert the will of the Legislature and Floridians was uncovered by our state oversight board and their 11th-hour agreements will be nullified by the Legislature,” the governor tweeted. “Disney’s corporate kingdom is over.”
DeSantis sarcastically suggested that the unused Reedy Creek land might benefit from a new state prison, sending the left into a tizzy.
DeSantis strikes back at Disney, jokes about building new prison next to Magic Kingdom, left goes bonkers https://t.co/qk96WgHU3B pic.twitter.com/Mmns940ddH
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 19, 2023
“The bottom line is Disney engaged in a caper worthy of Scrooge McDuck to try to evade Florida law,” Thompson said, according to the Daily Mail. “Its efforts are illegal and will not stand.”
(Video: Daily Mail)
During the Wednesday hearing, board chairman Martin Garcia picked up on DeSantis’s threats to repurpose the land surrounding Disney World, suggesting that the state could build affordable housing around the theme park.
“It really is shameful what Disney tried to do,” Garcia said. “Nothing is off the table at this point.”
Assets within the contested district could be monetized with a vote from the five-member board, he warned, in order to pay off outstanding debt ahead of schedule.
“That debt, estimated at $686 million, prevented DeSantis from eliminating the district,” the Daily Mail reports.
Meanwhile, at his last stop on a multi-city South Carolina tour, DeSantis declared on Wednesday that Disney doesn’t “run Florida anymore.”
The remarks were in reference to what DeSantis claims is the “left’s agenda pushing transgenderism” and Disney’s opposition to his Parental Rights in Education law that prevents schools from discussing gender ideology with its students.
“In Florida, we’ve made sure that gender ideology has no place in our K through 12 schools,” the governor told the cheering crowd. “Teach kids about math, teach them about English, teach them about the basics. Don’t teach them about things that are not true and that could be very, very harmful for them.”
“The left didn’t like that when we did it, the corporate press didn’t like it when we did it and Disney didn’t like it,” the governor continued. “You know, they may have run Florida for 50 years before I got on the scene, but they don’t run Florida anymore.”
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