DeSantis Orders Investigation of Disney Deal To Thwart Legislation On Reedy Creek Control
This will help DeSantis regardless of how the legal wrangling turns out. At one level Disney is popular, but its reputation took a big hit over the teaching of gender ideology to little kids. It’s a perfect issue for DeSantis.
We haven’t spent a lot of time on the fight between Disney and the State of Florida over control of the Reedy Creek District, where Disney World is located, and the claw back of special privileges. It all stems from the underlying attempt by Disney to lobby against legislation banning teaching of gender theory to students through third grade. The bill was dubbed by the lying media and Democrats “don’t say gay,” even though that had nothing to do with the bill.
Among other things, the DeSantis administration signed legislation wresting control of the Board that controls Reedy Creek, as we reported in early January 2023:
The Florida Legislature will receive a bill with a plan to dissolve Disney’s jurisdiction, Reedy Creek Improvement District, and absorb it into the state.
Gov. Ron DeSantis put the plan into motion when he “signed a measure into law dissolving” after Disney lied about the Parental Rights in Education bill. The bill does not say “Don’t say gay” in it.
The notice was posted on the website of Osceola County, which houses part of Disney World along with Orange County. Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing the effort, according to sources in his office, and the intended legislation will mandate that members of the board will be appointed by the governor, according to sources in the governor’s office.
“The corporate kingdom has come to an end,” DeSantis’ communications director, Taryn Fenske, told Fox News. “Under the proposed legislation, Disney will no longer control its own government, will live under the same laws as everyone else, will be responsible for their outstanding debts, and will pay their fair share of taxes.”
“Imposing a state-controlled board will also ensure that Orange County cannot use this issue as a pretext to raise taxes on Orange County residents,” she added.
The planned legislation will also ensure that the company will pay upwards of $700 million dollars in unsecured debt accumulated by Disney’s special jurisdiction — known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District — and not Orange County taxpayers, according to the sources.
DeSantis signed the legislation on February 27, 2023, to much fanfare:
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 9-B, Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange, and Osceola Counties, to end self-governing status and special privileges provided to Walt Disney World through the Reedy Creek Improvement District and establish a new state-controlled district accountable to the people of Florida. The bill provides legislative intent on the district’s authority to raise revenue and pay outstanding bonds and other obligations without interruption. More on HB 9-B can be found here.
“Allowing a corporation to control its own government is bad policy, especially when the corporation makes decisions that impact an entire region,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This legislation ends Disney’s self-governing status, makes Disney live under the same laws as everybody else, and ensures that Disney pays its debts and fair share of taxes.”
HB 9-B ends Disney’s self-governing status and imposes a five-member state control board that is appointed by the Governor and subject to Senate confirmation.
This legislation amends the Reedy Creek Improvement District charter which:
ENDS Disney’s self-governing status.
ENDS Disney’s exemption from the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Code.
ENDS Disney’s exemption from state regulatory reviews and approvals.
ENDS Disney’s secrecy by ensuring transparency.
ENSURES that Disney will pay its fair share of taxes.
PREVENTS leftist local governments from using the situation to raise local taxes.
IMPOSES Florida law so that Disney is no longer given preferential treatment.
ENSURES that Disney’s municipal debt will be paid by Disney, not Florida taxpayers.
But then it was discovered that Disney had implemented certain corporate covenants that tied the hands of the new Board:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Walt Disney World and a special tax district are once again making headlines, but this time, it’s with a new cast member: England’s King Charles III.
In a quiet move that’s enchanting the internet, the former Reedy Creek Development board signed its power back to Disney before leaving office, a binding declaration that doesn’t expire until England’s monarchy dies out.
That means the five DeSantis allies who pledged to rein in one of Florida’s largest employers lack the ability to do much of anything, at least until they take legal action.
Here are more details:
- The agreements passed by the Disney-controlled board, also called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, gave Disney control over most of the future construction in the special tax district established for Disney World.
- They prevent the DeSantis board from using Disney’s name, symbols associated with it and the theme park and the likeness of Disney characters without the company’s permission. It also gives the company the ability to sue for damages for violations.
- They also stipulate that the agreements will be in effect until perpetuity, or until 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of England’s King Charles III.
DeSantis is promising legal action, and has ordered an investigation:
The letter from DeSantis requests the investigation look for any “any legal or ethical violations” by the board in relation to their conduct before the state takeover of the district.
The investigation will focus on the district’s “adherence to applicable Florida civil and criminal laws and ethics requirements,” the qualifications of the board members, the “involvement of Walt Disney World employees and agents” in the actions of the district, and “any financial gain or benefit derived by Walt Disney World” as result of the work of the district.
It will also examine all Reedy Creek Improvement District “board, employee, or agent communications” related to the district’s actions, the bill that restructured the district, the district itself, Orange and Osceola counties, and the new Central Florida Tourism Oversight District….
The investigation comes days after state Attorney General Ashley Moody made a public records request to the Disney-appointed board members of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District.
In the letter, she requested texts, emails, and other public records regarding “documents discussing an intention or goal of circumventing, avoiding, frustrating, mitigating, or otherwise attempting to avoid the effects of anticipated actions of the Florida Governor and Legislature.” The letter also warned of possible civil and criminal penalties if records were not turned over.
.@GovRonDeSantis requests civil and criminal investigations into Disney and the former board of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The governor's office says all legislative options are back on the table. pic.twitter.com/sWx7lziALW
— Jennifer Cabrera 😀 (@jhaskinscabrera) April 3, 2023
“All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger also is going on offense against DeSantis:
This will help DeSantis regardless of how the legal wrangling turns out. At one level Disney is popular, but its reputation took a big hit over the teaching of gender ideology to little kids. It’s a perfect issue for DeSantis.
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to the full extent allowed by law.
So DeSantis screwed up and is trying to make up for it. He’s a hero.
But when Trump screws up he’s an idiot.
Hey how about some research into
Matt colangelo.. lawfare , he’s the one that connects Obama, Biden to Bragg…
Bragg didn’t want to proceed, Matt made him understand not only that he must but put it altogether for him
It’s a political
Disney, not so much
That is one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen.
Alvin Bragg campaigned on indicting Trump for something then did it because he wanted to despite pushback from within his own office.
However he numerous times said he couldn’t prosecute, only when Obama /Biden sent their henchman to “show” him the convoluted way, did he
Stop calling people names, it’s getting old, cause you got nothing
Again most idiotic thing I have ever seen.
You are looking for non-existant puppet strings.
First what it takes to get an indictment is the prosecutor wants one that is it.
Second this was Alvin Bragg’s campaign promise.
Your claiming Alvin Bragg didn’t want to move forward is idiotic. If he didn’t want to move forward he wouldn’t have.
I am not clicking the link for a source that actively lied to us routinely.
Out of curiosity I did follow the link to the Hoft brothers’ sewer, wondering what this allegation could be about. Even ignoring the possibility that everything reported there is a lie, as it often is, the linked article not only doesn’t prove Gonzo’s bizarre theory, it doesn’t even support it. All it says is that Bragg has hired someone who has worked for 0bama and for Biden. Big ****ing deal. Assuming that to be true, it doesn’t even slightly indicate what Gonzo is claiming.
Danny, these two are just like the ones I have blocked and they never offer anything to consider, just pro=Trump and anti-DeSantis BS. You will not convince either one of them with facts, just like the msm. They have an agenda and that’s all they know. God bless you for tilting at windmills.
You are most likely right but hopefully not allowing them to have pure 100% echo chamber could help if not them at least some people tempted to fall into the trap they did.
Name one way this is a screw up.
Disney decided to try to reassert it’s special status got caught and is under investigation with further legislation being on the table.
Stop making me agree with Danny you fuckers! 🤬😡😂
“Screwed up”?! Screwed up how? What on earth are you talking about?
There was that time he ordered everyone in FL to stay inside for 2 weeks to flatten the curve.
Then there was that time he decided to hold a rally in front of the Capitol to protest a vote he lost without any evidence (the Kraken…lol).
Oh wait, wrong guy.
Kinda like everyone else around the world did right? However the magic in your statement is TWO WEEKS while the rest of the world remained locked up for TWO FUCKING YEARS! 🙄
We didn’t stay locked up for 2 weeks. You know that, right?
So, Trump gets credit for following the rest of the world?
President Trump is fighting for his life, has been actually for 7 years, but now , clearly they are going to throw him in prison if the SC doesn’t do it’s job, or he will be Epsteined in some fashion…
Seven years, and I guess that’s the most upsetting part of all of this, someone with the Professors love for this Country and it’s institutions, the laws of this land just seems to give it a drive by, 7 years, yet DeSantis can sneeze and there is article after article after article…
I put my American flag, that is torn, upside down on the fence today, lite it up
This Country is in dire straits…
The center will not hold…
The professor deserves all the accolades coming forth for all the hard work he has done over these years fighting injustice, and I don’t begin to think he can, or should, fight all the injustices in this Country, I just can’t wrap my head over his decision on Trump vs DeSantis when it’s as plain as the nose on my face…
Good lord what is wrong with you Trump cultists?!? Liking Ron DeSantis and appreciating his political savvy and what he has accomplished in Florida does not mean we don’t like Trump and appreciate how much he did for this country and how much better things would be if he were president now. It’s people like you that hand Democrats elections all over the country over and over again. And for the record yes I do think there was massive cheating in 2020… anyone that doesn’t recognize that the left will engage in ANYTHING to accomplish their goals is blindly naive.
There’s an old saying that “It is better to keep your mouth shut and be THOUGHT a fool than to open it and prove it”. You and thad are who the author had in mind.
What in fucks name are you talking about?!? This is on Disney for trying to undermine the Government of Florida and frustrate their take over of the Disney principality!!
I personally am pleased that DeSantis didn’t place wiretaps on all the board so he would know what they planned to do ahead of time.
I’m glad he didn’t arrest them for a pre crime.
Before the legislation was passed, he only had the authority allowed in the decades old law passed which allowed Disney their own State.
He could have had assassins ready in case they tried something, but I’m glad he decided to follow the law.
Win or lose, DeSantis will be fighting the good fight.
RInos always seem to fight the good fight, and when it doesn’t support the establishment they always seem to lose.
Agreed. DeSantis isn’t a RINO.
As a Floridian and a supporter of President Trump I applaud Gov. DeSantis for once again going after the Pedophiles at Disney. Now that Florida is becoming increasingly Republican the mood of many of us here is “take no prisoners” anything that is liberal.
I’m a FL resident too. Agree 💯.
Hey Disney. The state has decided to improve ALL the roads to Disney World. It will take 2 years and there will be a single alternating lane access until the work is completed.
“I fought the law and the law won.”
Fortunately, there is no “resistance” in Florida that has power to turn the government against his efforts. That allows him reign to do what is right, like here. But it looks a bit like he was snookered.
On a larger level, do his efforts give Democrats ammunition? Heard such concerns about MTG. However, DeSantis shows the efforts are right, for both of them. No equivocation. It does not pay to tiptoe. He understands the culture war and can articulate a strong message.
There are other questions about other matters, but on this particular issue, doing the right thing is paramount. even if his prowess may be overcome. It happens to the best of them. Politicians that oppose the move to reign in woke, but prefer its excesses, say a lot about themselves.
I like DeSantis. But, if this really was “discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums”, how is this not a DeSantis team screwup to fail to catch this in progress? If he can’t drain a Florida swamp, how will he drain a DC one, where his knowledge and familiarity are much less?
“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a torch.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
You win the internets today! Keep your towel handy.
DeSantis lost a battle, but not the war (yet) on Reedy Creek. If this was reversed and a blue state government and red corporation, I think the company would lose despite any short term legal maneuvering. This will be a good test to see how the reverse plays out.
I suspect that DeSantis legal team will win this eventually on litigation (but don’t know the legal issues enough to be confident in that outcome) and the losing side will appeal all the way to FL Supreme Court.
He is a Governor that fights successfully at the state level, from New College takeover by Christopher Rufo to the vaccine rules from the health dept head to getting Ben Sasse (not my favorite choice but better than a Marxist) at U of Florida, etc to the no K-3 grooming to securing elections before it becomes an issue (hello AZ, WI, et al.) … He’s doing a lot that other governors are not.
That doesn’t mean he translates to the national stage or can turn around deep state infested federal agencies … but he’s doing better than the RINO governors in solid red states who aren’t doing what they need to.
They were not…and that will come out.
It was so open the incoming board members had no idea what was happening….
The idea this was all out in the open is a fabrication by Disney. They secretly cut a deal with the outgoing board members that they controlled.
Valid points you are making and asking. But you are leaving out an alternative question and that is “what if the Desantis administration knew all along that Disney would pull such a stunt and then show that they are shocked?” This creates more controversy. It puts the hated Disney with Conservative voters in the spotlight again. It helps Ron as a presidential candidate. It makes Floridians like me who want a liberal scalp.
As for the establishment, right now it is Ron and Casey calling the shots. How is that for an establishment?
The board that did this was made up of Disney-aligned members and they knew what was coming. Is there any doubt that they did everything possible to keep this from being made public? They might have held the meeting in a public space but you can bet that no one knew about it. After what Disney had already done and the scolding they got from DeSantis, it is obvious they tried to undermine his efforts. You are basically saying that you trust Disney over DeSantis in this matter and place the blame on the governor instead of the proven child molesting company Disney.
Disney might have won a Pyrrhic victory here. I have 3 thoughts.
1. This move is such a blatant attempt to hamstring the proper administration of this district that any judge who throws it out will face next to zero blowback from the general public.
2. Even if this action is upheld in court, DeSantis can hold it up and “wave the bloody shirt” to his supporters, reminding him that the deck is stacked against them by powerful interests who despise them and everything they stand for.
3. The clause tying the sunset of this district to the death of the last descendant of King Chuck might be too damn smart for it’s own good. Diana gave birth to two boys while she was married to Chuck, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Prince Willie sends Father’s Day cards to Di’s former riding instructor. If that happened once, then it’s a possibility that lightning struck twice. Even if it isn’t true, it gives Disney’s opponents a foot in the door to inquire to the paternity of Chuck’s boys because the administration of an American political jurisdiction depends on determining the truth of their birth. And if the court says “we’re not going to ask Chuck if he was twice cuckolded”, then the obvious retort would be “yeah, this whole contract is clearly Clown Shoes, and should be voided, right?”
I agree with #1 and #3.
But not #2 … He needs to win, though. If we can’t win on the “home court”, a solidly red state with such an exceptional re-election majority, that is an issue.
I think Disney went too far and too cute, and they are going to lose. They will – and must – find something. Republicans have to win at lawfare and counter-lawfare in red states.
If not, how are we going to win in DC and purple states? There will be no fear by the Marxists and their bootlickers.
But if Rs start racking up wins in red states – not just on this but other areas too with real economic consequences – the Marxist collaborators like Iger will reconsider how they operate.
This is, IMO, more of a short term stunt than an effective long term strategy by Disney. Perpetuity clauses are generally speaking very much frowned upon in the US.
The other problem is that King Charles doesn’t have any descendants. He wasn’t crowned until a few months ago and didn’t legally exist as King Charles until that point; there can’t be two legitimate monarchs of GBR simultaneously. His current children are descendants of ‘Prince Charles’ which is a separate legal identity than that of ‘King Charles’.
Ultimately Disney will likely loose this gambit but I believe they felt they had to do something to push back if only for current management to be able show shareholders something was being done.
Now you’re just being silly. Charles is an actual, natural person, and he has actual grandchildren, who are his legal (and probably biological) descendants. The fact that they are now titled “prince” and “princess” should be enough to dismiss your theory.
And the contract says that it’s not a perpetuity because it will run out 30 years after the last of his currently living children and grandchildren dies. That is a finite and known list of people, and barring dramatic increases in longevity they’re sure to all be dead within the next 120 years or so, which means the resolution has a maximum life of about 150 years.
I have seen news reports that erroneously said the contract will last until 30 years after Charles’s entire line dies out, which may never happen. That just shows the reporters who wrote those stories have no idea what “perpetuity” means, and why Disney would want to avoid it.
Sorry, 21 years, not 30. But one of those stories is quoted in this post: “a binding declaration that doesn’t expire until England’s monarchy dies out.” That is just false. The monarchy may last forever, and the current line may well last forever too, but the contract is sure to expire within a relatively short time, a mere 150 years or so.
They could have named the defendants of Prince Charles or Charles Windsor. Instead they specifically chose to name the descendents of King Charles III, who didn’t exist prior to his ascension to the throne.
Seems like bad lawyering to me not to have considered that point. The fact is neither Charles Windsor nor Prince Charles have the same place, powers or prerogatives in the govt of GBR as King Charles III. The persona of King Charles III is legally distinct from his other personas.
Generally, perpetuity is acknowledged as in excess of 100 years. Not always but often. Frankly I doubt much of Disney arguments last very long and IMO weren’t designed to more than create a PR stunt to throw a bone to shareholders; ‘see, we fought back’ or some such.
Nope. King Charles III is who he is now, and his five grandchildren are his descendants. That’s why Harry’s two now get to be called prince and princess, which they weren’t before. Because they are the King’s grandchildren. So your argument that anyone born before he was king is not his legal descendant is void for absurdity.
It’s also possible that all five of them will be dead by 2102, in which case the contract would run for less than 100 years; so even if 100 years is the limit it can’t be challenged as a perpetuity until 2103 comes and goes, and there’s still a living descendant.
Nope. The granting of titles and styling lies within the purview of the Monarch. King Charles III approved and granted the styling and titles. It didn’t happen automatically. Nor does it change the fact that they should have listed Charles Windsor with an aka of King Charles III as of his coronation for whom it is indisputable he has descendants.
By using the Royal title of King Charles III they may have effed themselves b/c King Charles III is a legally distinct persona from mere Charles Windsor or even Prince Charles. I could be wrong but for damn sure the argument can and will be made in serious vane. It’s rather like a valid search warrant being executed on the wrong address b/c the cops transposed the # on scene or some prosecutor being sloppy and getting a Grand Jury to indict but misspelled the name on the indictment.
Nope, the change in title happened automatically, because the order was already in place. Charles can change it, but he didn’t, so his grandchildren automatically got the new titles.
And Charles III is a natural person, not a legal “persona”.
Compare the US law that says the children of a president get Secret Service protection. You would argue that they aren’t the children of a president because when he had them he wasn’t president!!!
Full Quote of the clause about the timeframe:
“Shall continue in effect until twenty one (21) years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England living as of the date of this declaration.”
Just putting that full quote up explains it a lot better.
You mean Harry, not William, and it’s hard to have a man’s baby when you haven’t met him yet.
As a 50+ year resident of Florida, I can say with a bit of certainty that Gov DeSantis was right to take on Disney. Not just the woke/groomer aspects, but the corporate BS that they pull all the time. Reedy Creek is an anachronistic entity. Created in a time when Florida only had sun and surf to lure people here for vacations. It was run by a legislative clique from the panhandle. That’s how the mouse got its own district. Now fast forward to to today. Gov DeSantis wins legislative approval to dismantle said district. Corporate Disney tries to pull a fast one. They have now opened themselves to discovery. Guess what? When emails, texts and slack conversations are exposed you’ll most likely see demonrat fingerprints all the way from DC. Someone thought they could shiv DeSantis before he announced.
Disney may have money, but nothing compared to the State. They will grind this to the ground and Disney has to answer to shareholders. The taxpayers? They’re probably cheering this on.
So Disney is trying to create its own “autonomous zone”?
The Disney autonomous zone was created decades ago. The question is whether they keep it.
It’s no surprise that a corporation as large as Disney would try everything it can to keep enjoying the special status there in Florida that it enjoyed. And I don’t blame Desantis for not anticipating this: I mean was there even a peep about what Disney was doing in the weeks after the legislation was signed? The one thing I can trust Desantis won’t do is take this lying down, hence the investigation. He’s going to do what he can to ensure that Reedy Creek be brought back under the control of the state.
The bottom line is that individuals, whether human or corporate, cannot enter into valid agreements which violate or contradict the law. For instance, you and I can’t sign an agreement allowing me to kill you and stipulating that this will not be considered a crime. Hey, guess what? It’s still murder. What was apparently done here was the old corporate board has attempted to thwart the law through a private agreement. Won’t last a day in court.
There is a technicality that is incorrect in this contract: There is no king of England, and hasn’t been one since 1707 when the Acts of Union (creating Kingdom of Great Britain) went into effect. Is that enough alone to void the contract?
No, because Charles is king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and England is one of the countries that make up the UK. That’s sufficient to identify him, which is all that matters.
The actual language of the clause is as follows:
“…provided, however, that if the perpetual term of this Declaration is deemed to violate the “Rule Against Perpetuities,” or any similar law or rule, this Declaration shall continue in effect until twenty one (21) years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England living as of the date of this Declaration.”
This is just one more example of how large corporations think they are omnipotent and can do what they please because of the money they bring to a state. If Disney had one ounce of class they would have said this entire mess was due to an overactive CEO that has been fired and that they sincerely apologize for any trouble caused by them to the people of FL. But alas, they don’t have any class and couldn’t care less about the people of FL. Their business comes from out of state and the locals are just tax revenue for them. DeSantis has the people of FL on his side and the law as well. It is a win-win situation for him and FL.
Is DeSantis even running? His poll numbers versus Trump have tanked.
Depends on which poll you look at. Mason-Dixon has DeSantis up as of this morning. Your question is, of course, still valid and I hope the answer is “NO!”.