Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered on the “find out” Monday when he signed a bill that gives the state of Florida control of Walt Disney World‘s self-governing district, which was renamed from the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
“Today the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis said at a bill signing ceremony in Lake Buena Vista. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”
The accountability, which will consist of a five-member board the governor appoints to oversee the government services that the Disney district provides, comes after Disney messed around and took sides against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3rd grade. Fired Disney CEO Bob Chapek said he would back efforts to repeal the law protecting young children, which the media dishonestly calls the “Don’t Say Gay” law, prompting DeSantis to say the company “crossed the line.”
The popular Republican governor appeared Monday night on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” to discuss his actions.
“No company or individual in Florida — or probably anywhere else in our whole country — has enjoyed their own governing status, being exempt from most or many of the laws of the State of Florida, massive subsidies. So it’s not a good arrangement to begin with,” DeSantis explained.
“I just won by 1.5 million votes, and then I go and do what I said I would do, and they squeal. They would much rather have Disney running the show in Central Florida. But there’s a new sheriff in town.” @RonDeSantisFL@TuckerCarlson pic.twitter.com/QsVkEQKpKz
— DeSantis Report (@DesantisReport) February 28, 2023
“But if you remember last year, they came out very strong against a piece of legislation to protect parents’ rights, and to protect young children from having sexualized curriculum in things like elementary school and then they had executives talking about, it was their intent to jam some of this sexualized programming in the Disney cartoons and programming for young kids,” he added. “So then we’re in a situation where they’re taking those positions as a company which are antithetical to our values.”
He explained that by continuing to grant Disney the right to govern itself, Florida “was subsidizing that type of activism. That could no longer stand.”
“And so now, today in the State of Florida, for the first time, since 1967, Disney no longer has its own government,” DeSantis said. “They are going to have to abide by the same laws as everybody else. They’re going to finally pay their fair share of taxes and pay all the debts that they’ve racked up over these decades.”
Host Tucker Carlson asked in jest whether unelected corporate executives get to make their own laws in today’s democracy, and DeSantis reemphasized that there’s a new sheriff in town.
“Well, you know, there’s a lot of people in the corporate press that think that that’s what they would rather have,” he replied. “You know, I just won by 1.5 million votes. And then I go and do what I said I would do and they squeal. They would much rather have Disney running the show in Central Florida, but there’s a new sheriff in town and I think that this is going to be good for the State of Florida.”
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