Disney sues DeSantis in federal court, alleging ‘campaign of government retaliation’

Disney calls the gov’s actions ‘patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional’

click to enlarge Ron DeSantis: "Patently anti-business"? - Screenshot via CNN
Screenshot via CNN
Ron DeSantis: "Patently anti-business"?
The fight between Disney and the DeSantis administration kicked up yet another notch on Wednesday. The theme park filed a lawsuit in federal court that alleges “a targeted campaign of government retaliation” against the corporation on the part of DeSantis and his cronies.

The lawsuit — filed in a U.S. district court in the Northern District of Florida by Walt Disney Co. against DeSantis, the board and Florida Department of Economic Opportunity acting secretary Meredith Ivey — claims that the DeSantis administration is "weaponizing its power to inflict political punishment" in a manner that is "patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional."

The lawsuit was filed on the same day (shortly after, in fact) the DeSantis-appointed "Central Florida Tourism Oversight District," the successor to the Reedy Creek Improvement District, voted to nullify a development deal that went into effect right before DeSantis' board members were installed in late March.

The deal essentially stripped the new DeSantis-backed oversight board of any power, giving Disney broad construction and development rights without the need for board approval. (The use of a Royal Lives Clause to enshrine the powers of the former Reedy Creek Development District back into the hands of Disney until 20 years “after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England,” made us chuckle briefly.) The lawsuit seeks to block the Board's actions and nullification vote today.

“It really does take a terrible Governor for someone like me to express support for a corporation but it’s been such a circus to watch DeSantis continue to target and demonize the Walt Disney World Company because they expressed an opinion he did not like and stopped giving him campaign contributions. This has clearly been a pattern of punitive and petty behavior by Governor DeSantis that has exposed his inability to lead alongside his extreme policy positions. I wish Disney luck in their litigation and ask that the Governor let it go,” said State Rep. Anna Eskamani in a press statement released on Wednesday.

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