DeSantis v. Disney

Sol Rosenberg

Girthy Member
They weren't paying attention to the mainstream news. While the hand tying details of the agreement wasn't in the news, the basic agreement was when it was being worked on. Kind of an open secret.
Government in the Sunshine…and let’s not get into Lil Puddin’s people gutting that at every turn.


Super Anarchist
Kent Island!
Aaaand Lil Puddin’ gets punked by the Pride of the GOP.

Mickey puts on a friendly face for tourists.
When it is business time, THIS is the Mickey Mouse you are dealing with:

You think Disney execs sing "M I C K E Y M O U S E" at their meetings? More like Fuck Around And Find Out.


Super Anarchist
Jax, FL

What Ron DeSantis Has Actually Done to Florida​


MARCH 29, 2023 7:00 AM EDT

Kleinknecht is a longtime political journalist and author of States of Neglect: How Red-State Leaders Have Failed Their Citizens and Undermined America

Media coverage of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s all-but-announced candidacy for president is already in full frenzy, and so far the script is exactly as his handlers would like it to be. The governor regularly opens up new fronts in the culture wars, sowing alarm over critical race theory, transgender rights, or border policies. In response, liberal pundits fall into the trap of accentuating the very issues DeSantis has chosen to fire up his base.

Omitted from the public debate about DeSantis’s policies is almost any discussion of his actual record of governance—what exactly he has delivered to the citizens of his state, especially those without seven-figure incomes and lush investment portfolios.

Even a cursory dip into the statistics of social and economic well-being reveals that Florida falls short in almost any measure that matters to the lives of its citizens. More than four years into the DeSantis governorship, Florida continues to languish toward the bottom of state rankings assessing health care quality, school funding, long-term elder care, and other areas key to a successful society.

Florida may be the place where “woke goes to die”—as DeSantis is fond of saying—but it is also where teachers’ salaries are among the lowest in the nation, unemployment benefits are stingier than in any other state, and wage theft flourishes with little interference from the DeSantis administration. In 2021, DeSantis campaigned against a successful ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage, which had been stuck at $8.65 an hour. Under DeSantis’s watch, the Sunshine State has not exactly been a workers’ paradise.

DeSantis weaponizes the cultural wars to distract attention from the core missions of his governorship, which is to starve programs geared toward bettering the lives of ordinary citizens so he can maintain low taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Florida is the ideal haven for privileged Americans who don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes. It has no income tax for individuals, and its corporate tax rate of 5.5% is among the lowest in the nation. An investigation by the Orlando Sentinel in late 2019 revealed the startling fact that 99% of Florida’s companies paid no corporate income tax, abetted by tax-avoidance schemes and state officials who gave a low priority to enforcing tax laws.

This is a pattern that shows up in the statistics of many Republican-led states, which on average commit fewer dollars per-capita to health care, public education, and other crucial services compared to their blue counterparts, while making sure corporations and wealthy individuals are prioritized for tax relief. Arizona cut taxes every year between 1990 and 2019, following up with a shift to a flat tax this year that will cost its budget $1.9 billion. Meanwhile, its public-school spending ranks 48 among the 50 states.

In Florida, the state’s tax revenues come largely through sales and excise taxes, which fall hardest on the poor and middle class. A 2018 study by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that Florida had the third least-equitable tax system of the 50 states. In the state’s “upside-down” tax structure, the poorest 20% of Florida families paid 12.7% of their income in taxes, while the families whose income was in the top 4% paid 4.5%, and the top 1% paid 2.3%, according to the study.

Florida taxpayers get less for their money than residents of many other states. The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that studies health-care systems globally, found in its 2022 “scorecard” that Florida had the 16th worst health care among the 50 states. It’s no wonder that Florida ranks below the northern blue states in life expectancy and rates of cancer death, diabetes, fatal overdoses, teen birth rates, and infant mortality.

Largely because of DeSantis’s obstinacy, Florida is one of 10 states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, an act of political spite that has cost those states billions in federal health care dollars and cost thousands of people their lives. More than 12% of Floridians are without medical insurance, a worse record than all but four other states. Despite having the country’s highest percentage of retirees, Florida has the worst long-term care among the 50 states, according to the American Association of Retired Persons.

Public schools fare no better than health care in DeSantis’s Florida. Not only did Florida rank 49th in the country for average teacher pay in 2020, but the Education Law Center, a non-profit advocacy group based in New Jersey, found in a 2021 report that the state had the seventh-lowest per-pupil funding in the country. Education Week, which ranks states public school annually, looking beyond mere test scores, placed Florida 23rd in its 2021 report, a lackluster showing for a large and wealthy state.

It says something about the state of our political discourse that Florida’s denuded public sector was not more of an issue in last year’s gubernatorial campaign. In endorsing DeSantis’s Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, the Tampa Bay Times spent so many column inches on the incumbent’s demagoguery, vindictiveness, and authoritarian tendencies that it never even got to the minutiae of his governance. “No matter what you think about the state of the Florida economy or its schools or its future…,” the paper wrote, “the choice really is this simple: Do you want the state governed by a decent man or a bully?”

To be fair to the media, DeSantis and his allies manned the trenches of the culture wars so ferociously that it was all reporters could do to keep up with all the bomb throwing. How do you delve into the state’s tax policy when your governor is flying planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard or declaring war on Disney for issuing a statement in opposition to the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay Law”?

But that is very much the point of wedge issues, as they have been wielded by scurrilous politicians for decades, to anger and distract voters so they won’t notice the actions of public officials that mainly benefit the wealthy and are against the public interest.

As the 2024 election draws closer, DeSantis must not be allowed to accomplish nationally what he did in his state—cloak his service to the wealthy by frightening working people with stories about transgender recruiting and “socialist” college professors. There are unmistakable signs that Americans are focused on what an activist government can do for the public good, as evidenced by Floridians’ vote to increase the minimum wage.

The failure of DeSantis to better serve the most vulnerable citizens of his state is his weak underbelly in a national campaign.

Yeah but all the signs say "Thank you Ron DeSantis for keeping Florida Free". The signs in everyone's yards can't be wrong, can they?


Yeah but all the signs say "Thank you Ron DeSantis for keeping Florida Free". The signs in everyone's yards can't be wrong, can they?
It's a typical mental problem. Almost all the Republicans who post here have it. It's the inability to associate with reality and deny things even when presented with facts.


Super Anarchist
West Maui
I enjoyed this section of the agreement:

That declaration is valid until “21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, king of England,” if it is deemed to violate rules against perpetuity, according to the document.
The agreement invoked a so-called royal lives clause: It is valid in perpetuity, or if forever is deemed to be too long, until the “death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England living as of the date of this Declaration.” Such clauses have been employed for centuries as a workaround for restrictions on agreements in perpetuity.


Disgusting Liberal Elitist
New Oak City
Confused by events, Tom will be along shortly wondering why Corporation$ are the 'good' guy. Somewhat sad, he'll then repair to his indoor shooting range, put on his sleep mask and get in some target practice.

Bus Driver

Bacon Quality Control Specialist
The agreement invoked a so-called royal lives clause: It is valid in perpetuity, or if forever is deemed to be too long, until the “death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England living as of the date of this Declaration.” Such clauses have been employed for centuries as a workaround for restrictions on agreements in perpetuity.
If I understand this clause, it extends to the death of his youngest grandchild - Princess Lillibet, born June 4, 2021.


Super Anarchist
West Maui
DeSantis 0, Disney everything else.

How Disney’s lawyers brutally manhandled DeSantis over control of Disney World

Did you really believe that Florida’s arrogant, petty, childish Gov. Ron DeSantis(R-Fla.) would get the better of Walt Disney Co. in their fight over Disney’s supposed “wokeness”?

If so, you don’t know your Disney.

DeSantis handpicked a board of cronies to take over control of Reedy Creek Improvement District — the quasi-governmental entity that Disney and Florida established more than 55 years ago to control development and management of the land on which Walt Disney World, EPCOT and the company’s related enterprises are located.

DeSantis’ board has now revealed that, while they were snoozing, Disney executed an agreement with their predecessors that strips the new board of all its powers except the authority to “maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure,” according to one of the new board members.

Hilariously, the agreement Disney reached will remain in effect at least until 21 years “after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England,” currently living. More on this delicious provision in a moment. First, let’s get a legal commentator’s opinion of where the Disney-DeSantis battle currently stands.

“DeSantis may well try to toss legally executed agreements in the rubbish,” wrote former corporate litigator Joe Patrice on his blog “Above the Law,” “but there’s not a lot to suggest that the legal team assembled by one of the most powerful entities on the planet asked GPT to throw together a slapdash agreement.”

Now let’s review some of the history.

DeSantis threw a conniption last year when then-Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek impudently expressed disapproval of the governor’s latest effort to pander to his far-right base, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law aimed at suppressing classroom discussions of gender issues.

He retaliated by revoking Disney’s near-dictatorial control over the 43-square-mile Reedy Creek district outside Orlando, Fla.

Creation of the district was a deal that Florida’s then-Republican governor, Claude Kirk, signed into law in 1967.

Disney’s goal was to avoid the honky tonk-like development around Disneyland in Anaheim. It certainly succeeded, as anyone who has visited the perfectly coiffed banlieus of Walt Disney World.

The Reedy Creek district was nominally run by a board of Disney-connected nominees, but all its administrative power rested in the hands of its landowners, who are all pretty much the Walt Disney Co.

It’s proper to say that the district represented a giveaway of government authority to a major corporation, but the time to make that case was 1967, on grounds of the public interest — not now, when it’s all about polishing DeSantis’ cred for Republican primary voters in Iowa.

The Florida Legislature got around to finalizing the takeover of Reedy Creek in February. DeSantis promptly appointed a board for the newly established Central Florida Tourism Oversight District consisting of Republican and conservative stooges, including a founder of the right-wing censorship-happy organization Moms for Liberty, who happens to be an architect of the “Don’t Say Gay” law and the wife of the chairman of the Florida Republican Party.

“There’s a new sheriff in town,” DeSantis declared, just a teensy bit prematurely, when he signed the takeover bill.

Here’s the rub. Days before the takeover, Disney reached a development agreement with the old Reedy Creek board while it was still in power. The agreement prohibits the newly constitute district from using the name “Disney” or its trademarks in any way without the company’s written permission. The agreement also leaves the new board without the ability to make design changes to buildings or constructing new ones without Disney’s permission.

The new board members knew nothing about the agreement until they took office. They disclosed their quandary Wednesday, at their first public meeting. Whether the agreement will stand up is unclear. To find an answer, the new board hired not one, not two, not three, but four law firms, including one whose lawyers will bill $795 an hour.

Now, what about this King Charles III bit? Charles is the guy who succeeded his mother, Elizabeth II, to the throne last year. His youngest descendant at this moment is Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess of Sussex, who is 21 months old, so you do the math. (She’s the daughter of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.)

The clause was written into the agreement as a backup to the provision that it is supposed to run forever. That might violate a legal principle known as the rule against perpetuities, a question on which I gather is a fixture on bar exams the world over. If you’d like to know how the rule can function as a fictional devise, I recommend that you screen the 1981 William Hurt/Kathleen Turner film “Body Heat” — coincidentally set in Florida — in which (spoiler alert) it’s a key plot point.

Using the British royal family as a touchstone for the term of a trust became a tradition in the 19th century, when the typical lifespan ran to the 30s or 40s except for royals, who were presumed to receive healthcare that kept them alive longer. Also, royal families were the only ones that kept accurate and detailed geneological records, so tracing descendants was relatively easy.

All this has reduced the DeSantis camp to fulminating powerlessly. The governor’s office called Disney’s move a “last-ditch” effort that may have “significant legal infirmities” that would render it “void as a matter of law.” Disney says all T’s were crossed and I’s dotted in accordance with the law.

Who’s got the upper hand? A multinational corporation intent on protecting franchises that bring it more than $80 billion a year has thus far made its adversary look like a blustering nincompoop.

DeSantis 0, Disney everything else.