Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded Friday to critics of his repeal of the Reedy Creek Improvement District – the status essentially giving Walt Disney Company self-governing abilities unlike most other businesses.
The District, approved by Gov. Claude Kirk Jr in 1967, greatly allowed the landowners therein – largely comprised of Disney properties – to regulate their own utilities, law enforcement, taxation and infrastructure.
On “Tucker Carlson Tonight”, host Tucker Carlson laid out how Disney’s former CEO Robert Iger and current executive Robert Chapek took political stances against DeSantis’ ban on sexual education for grades K-3. He noted that corporations calling such shots is akin to oligarchy, not democracy or republicanism.
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DeSantis responded that the Walt Disney Company injected itself in politics and tried to take some control of the democratic process in the state.
“This company had a deal unlike any company or any individual in the state of Florida and probably anywhere in the United States. They were self-governing,” he said.
“They had extraordinary powers. They could build nuclear power plants. They didn’t have to go through the permitting process [which] obviously [offers] a lot of tax benefits. And so that’s just inappropriate. “
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DeSantis noted Disney isn’t based in Florida, but in California – as Disney World’s “Lake Buena Vista” mailing address nods to the street on which Disney is headquartered in Burbank.
“[Disney] pledged themselves to mobilize their considerable corporate resources out of the coffers of this Burbank, California-based corporation to overturn the rights of parents in the state of Florida, and effectively commandeer our democratic process, “he said.
Carlson noted that Democrats and the left are suddenly strongly defending a multinational corporation’s ability to avoid taxation and other regulations, which he added is something they otherwise actively demonstrate against.
DeSantis agreed, adding that the left now simply wants to accumulate power in advance of a “leftist agenda”, no matter any contradictions:
“They used to be hostile to big corporations because I think they perceive those corporations as being apolitical and that they would not support their agenda,” he said.
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DeSantis argued the left wanted Disney to work as somewhat of a political proxy because they as lawmakers could not win future elections based on far-left ideological stances.