DeSantis confirms 'zero' chance he’ll back down from Disney fight as he quietly moves to disqualify judge
Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, in New Hampshire Friday hoping to attract out-of-state supporters ahead of his anticipated presidential campaign launch next week, told voters there is “zero” chance he will back down from going after his state’s largest single-site employer, Disney, as he also quietly moved to disqualify the judge in the entertainment giant’s lawsuit against him.
DeSantis made the traditional GOP presidential candidate stop in a century-old diner, bragging to locals he has banned the use of pronouns in schools.
“We just did a bill in Florida,” DeSantis told possible supporters, “we’re not allowing the pronouns – like, you can’t force these kids to be choosing pronouns. They want like a second-grader to pick a pronoun. How crazy is that?”
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The Florida Republican also tried to mischaracterize his war with Disney, pivoting from the real reason he started it: because the company, which he has called “woke,” quietly disagreed with his dangerous and possibly unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law. DeSantis moved to strip Disney of its 50-year old special status that effectively allows self-governance in exchange for paying for all the costs a local government would if there were one.
“They want to, they want to have their own government in this. They’ve had their own government for 50 years. It’s massive corporate welfare, we’re not doing that they’re gonna live under the same laws as everybody else. They’re gonna pay their fair share of taxes. And they’re not going to govern themselves. They’re going to – We The People are going to govern, and to put one corporation on a pedestal and let them be exempt from the laws is not good policy. It’s not a free market economics. And it’s not something that our state’s going to be involved in and so we will not change from that. And so they can do whatever they want.”
DeSantis’ attack on Disney has nothing to do with “corporate welfare, or “We The People,” as he has repeatedly made clear.
“I know people try to chirp and say this or that, the chance of us backing down from that and zero,” DeSantis said Friday, never once mentioning his extremely unpopular anti-LGBTQ laws.
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As he was telling New Hampshire voters he’s not backing down his fight against Disney, he neglected to mention the company is suing him for violating its First Amendment rights.
As NCRM reported last month, in its damning 77-page lawsuit Walt Disney Parks and Resorts alleges that a “targeted campaign of government retaliation—orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech—now threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights.”
DeSantis stripping Disney of its special status, a status other corporations in Florida also enjoy, “was patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional,” Disney’s lawsuit says. “But the Governor and his allies have made clear they do not care and will not stop.’
That last part is especially true, as DeSantis reiterated in New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, DeSantis on Friday also neglected to mention that while he was in New Hampshire pre-campaigning for President, his lawyers were quietly working to disqualify the federal judge assigned to Disney’s First Amendment lawsuit.
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Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker “had in two separate cases ‘offered ‘Disney’ as an example of state retaliation’ without being prompted, lawyers for DeSantis said in a court filing,” CNBC reports late Friday afternoon.
Judge Walker’s remarks “could reasonably imply that the Court has prejudged the retaliation question” in Disney’s case, DeSantis’ lawyers say, according to CNBC.
“Because that question is now before this Court, and because that question involves highly publicized matters of great interest to Florida’s citizens, the Court should disqualify itself to prevent even the appearance of impropriety,” DeSantis’ lawyers are arguing.
Watch DeSantis’ remarks below or at this link.
\u201c2024 Watch-NEW: \u2066@GovRonDeSantis\u2069 -on his face off with Disney, vows during a stop at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire that \u201c we will not change from that. They can do whatever they want\u2026 the chance of us backing down from that is zero\u201d #2024Election #FITN\u201d— Paul Steinhauser (@Paul Steinhauser) 1684513235
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