On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) hinted that his battle against woke Disney isn’t over yet.
In February, DeSantis signed a bill that would force Disney to comply with the state regulations within their district, stripping them of the near-autonomy they’ve had for decades. Under this legislation, DeSantis was granted effective control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, now the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD).
“Today, the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis said at the bill-signing ceremony. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”
DeSantis then replaced all of the Disney-allied board members with five Republicans.
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However, Disney retaliated with a move to strip DeSantis’ oversight board of its authority.
The day before the Florida House voted to put DeSantis in charge, members of the board quietly signed a long-lasting development agreement that will significantly limit the control the board has over the company and district.
Included in this agreement is an unusual royal clause referencing King Charles III and his descendants. The document said that this “Declaration shall continue in effect until 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England, loving as of the date of this declaration.”
CNBC explained how this impacts DeSantis’ board’s control over Disney:
“The agreement has made it so Disney will not need board approval to build high-density projects or building of any height and can sell or assign development rights. It also bans the board from using Disney’s name or any of its characters.”
“This essentially makes Disney the government,” said Ron Peri, one of the new members of the CFTOD that DeSantis appointed. “This board loses, for practical purposes, the majority of its ability to do anything beyond maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure.”
DeSantis, however, does not appear to have given up in his battle with the woke company. Speaking in Smyrna, Georgia, on Thursday, the Florida governor told the crowd, “There’s a lot of little back-and-forths going on now with the state taking control, but rest assured, you know, you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s more to come in that regard.”
Also on Thursday, DeSantis’ Communications Director Taryn Fenske released a statement on the Governor’s dealings with Disney, saying, “An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law. We are pleased the new Governor-appointed board retained multiple financial and legal firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney’s past behavior.”