News | April 18th, 2023
DeSantis Discourse with Disney
By: D'Aja Byers
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threatened to take a fresh set of actions against Disney, including looking into the taxes paid by the company’s hotels and adding tolls to the roads that serve its theme parks.
The DeSantis administration is investigating whether a recent agreement by a Central Florida board controlled by Disney and the company violates the state’s expansion restrictions. One of those laws states that development contracts must be changed or canceled to comply with the laws applicable to passing the law after signing the contract.
For many Florida residents, DeSantis’ goals of remaining in complete control are unsurprising, as DeSantis has made various changes to the laws. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has often used surprise to outmaneuver the entertainment corporation and its army of executives, high-priced lawyers, and politically connected lobbyists in his year-long battle with Disney.
A Florida Resident Take
Jaden Bowen, a junior at Florida A&M University originally from Broward County, Florida, very openly expressed her viewpoint on the current feud between DeSantis and Disney when asked why she thinks DeSantis wants to revoke Disney’s self-governing powers.
“Because he’s scared of how much control they have within that area of the state as well as how much they have monopolized and the deals they’ve made,” Bowen said.
“He’s very protective of what is being distributed and monopolized. The fact that Disney has deals within a great part of the state, it concerns DeSantis,” Bowen continued.
According to top administration officials, the DeSantis administration is also investigating whether a current arrangement reached between a Disney-owned Central Florida board and the firm violates the state’s development rules.
One of those laws stipulates unequivocally that development agreements must be adjusted or canceled to conform with laws, even if enacting the legislation after signing the deal.
Aware of DeSantis’ attempt to launch a full investigation, Bowen expressed her opinion about the ongoing situation with many Florida residents on edge.
“I don’t think a full investigation is necessary. Although Disney is a big corporation and they do have their hands tied in many deals across the nation, I feel as though it’s pretty open and explicit of where and what they put their money into,” Bowen added.
As a commonly concerning factor for many outsiders looking in, Governor Desantis attempts to showcase another concerning factor of his influence and believed power, proving his egoistic attempts to be prevalent.
The Break Down of Ego
Sydney McLennan, a 20-year-old sophomore at Florida A&M University who is originally from Chicago, was very clear about DeSantis concerning behavior and actions regarding Florida laws and legislation when asked why she thinks DeSantis is targeting Disney.
“Politics is a game, everything has a motive that we don’t see. DeSantis is a smart bigot who does everything based on his desired control. DeSantis also appeals to a lot of conservatives,” McLennan said bluntly.
“DeSantis’ attempts are not a coincidence after he’s passed several laws that appeal to conservatives and Republicans who don’t like to be controlled,” she continued.
The rapid escalation brought by Disney and DeSantis follows the passage of a series of agreements by Central Florida’s governing board which Disney controls. Through this agreement, Disney ensured that it would retain significant power despite passing a new law set to create a new committee headed by the governor.
The activities caught the DeSantis administration and the governor’s hand-picked board off guard, as they requested experts’ help to assess if the agreements were lawful.
Jaleigha Williams, a 21-year-old pharmacy student from Boston, was prepared to highlight the many issues and concerns that support the many claims of DeSantis’ attempt to cause havoc in Florida.
“DeSantis has a greed for power and wants to constantly stay in the loop when decision-making is set in place. He is doing this on purpose to make sure he’s in charge and has power over the whole state of Florida,” Williams said.
“DeSantis’ attempts are not reasonable at all, he wants to pick and choose how powerful operations like Disney still have to answer to him despite past agreements set in place,” she added.
Despite Disney’s response and opposing arguments, DeSantis stands clear on his intention for Florida’s legislation to void the development agreement previously approved by the outgoing board – leaving the discussion about whether or not the dispute will end in favor of Disney or not.