Miami newspaper's scathing editorial criticizes DeSantis' latest attack on Disney while comparing him to Nixon

Ron DeSantis
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. William Buchanan)

Gov. Ron DeSantis, commander in chief of the Florida National Guard, addresses the crowd during a change of command ceremony at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center on April 6. During the ceremony U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Eifert assumed command from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun, who retired after 36 years of service.

The Miami Herald's editorial board has released a blistering op-ed slamming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R) attack on Disney. The op-ed came shortly after the Republican governor's announcement during this week's special legislative session.

On Tuesday, April 19, DeSantis announced plans to strip Walt Disney World of its special taxation district it had been granted to independently govern itself. The editorial board believes the governor's animosity toward Disney stems from the multinational entertainment conglomerate's pushback against his Republican-led "Don't Say Gay" bill.

"It’s clear that the governor has been nursing a towering grudge against Disney ever since the company had the nerve to listen to its employees and — belatedly, but rightly — speak out against the “Don’t say gay” bill, withholding political campaign contributions in Florida," the board wrote.

Per The Herald, Disney's tax district "functions much like a government, with the ability to issue tax-free bonds, provide police and fire service and, notably, build its own nuclear power plant." The editorial also noted more tactful ways DeSantis could have addressed the issue.

"There are ways to handle changing that, such as proposing legislation during the regular session — which happened in 2019, though the measure died — and allowing the issue to be fully aired and a logical conclusion reached," the editorial reads.

But, instead of taking a "thoughtful" and "normal" approach toward implementing changes to Disney's tax district, the editorial board criticized DeSantis for his approach, which is being compared to the actions of former President Richard Nixon.

Despite the seemingly aggressive action DeSantis has taken, the editorial board notes that his actions appear to be calculated:

"This is the stuff of Richard Nixon and his enemies list. For those who may not remember, the country’s 37th president kept a list of enemies that was revealed during the Watergate scandal. Its purpose, according to Nixon’s assistant in a 1971 memo, was to plan 'how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.'”

The board added, "DeSantis is no fool. He’s covering his tracks, though with the most transparent of excuses, by saying that he wants the Legislature to consider getting rid of all special taxing districts that were enacted before 1968 and haven’t been reestablished since. So far, it looks like that would include just a handful of districts along with Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District."


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