DeSantis's war on Disney

From a legal standpoint, how can Florida Governor DeSantis and the legislature vote on Disney’s special status within the state in what is clearly, by any objective measure, retaliation for them speaking up against a law they disagree with? (I thought the Republicans held the First Amendment very dearly).

Simple. The law is meant to protect wealthy conservatives and to hurt liberals and everyone else. According to them anyway.

Also, according to them, the first amendment means that conservatives get to say anything they want anywhere they want and nobody is allowed to criticize them, and absolutely no consequences of any kind, ever.

Speech has no consequences because of the First Amendment?

OK, class. Please write a ten-page essay on what’s wrong with that sentence.

Disney is a corporation, so why should the First Amendment apply to them? /s


“Corporations are people too!”

Facetiousness aside, under the First Amendment a statement issued in the name of a corporation has the same general protections as a statement issued by a flesh-and-blood person. It doesn’t mean that a corporation isn’t allowed to regulate speech by its employees and/or on its property – the cashier at McDonalds’ doesn’t have a constitutional right to wear a button on the job declaring that Burger King has better food.

Bottom line is the single most dominant characteristic on the Right these days is bullying. The more cruel and vicious, the better with the Republican base. It is no longer about how to make the country better, it’s about who is going to hurt my perceived enemies the most. DeSantis is trying to be the biggest, baddest, most cruel bully that exists so he can be president. Almost half of this country really really wants to hurt the other side very badly. It’s not going to end well.

Yeah, with Republicans these days, the cruelty is the point.

Wrong. Retaliation for suspending GOP donations until said law is repealed.


Using the power of the state to extort a business for money is a more accurate way to say it.

Is there anything legally wrong with what Florida is doing? Some sort of actual First Amendment issue?

As it is only talk at this point, no.

What actually happened is, the legislature is drawing new districts due to census results. Just before they met our Glorious Leader said, let’s also consider terminating special districts created after 1968. (The Governor has the power to decide what subject matter the legislature is allowed to address during a special session such as this.)

Special districts include that area by Disney(, but also for example my local hospital… I think. That may just be a “tax” district). He made the announcement in The Villages which isn’t formally incorporated so I wonder if they are affected as well.


Ah yes, The Villages. Mecca of voter fraud.


If I was Disney and wanted to fight this, that is what I would emphasize. The first amendment issues are relatively murky, but out and out extortion ( “you keep giving us money or we terminate your perk”) isn’t murky at all.

Yeah the state should not be compelling political speech from a corporation with threats. That’s Russia Putin type stuff.

My understanding is that extortion in politics is business as usual. Candidates will say politicians are in the pocket of big corporations, but I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around - Disney’s political donations, ante, have been a form of tribute.


Yeah but that’s really bad for a supposedly free society. Mafia shit.

Like that scene from the Godfather 2, right? Before they set the Senator up.


Do what our party says or we use the power of the state to hurt you. Should be uncontroversially and universally seen as bad.

This is less about extortion and more about Disney failing to uphold its end of a long and blatant quid pro quo relationship. Disney’s job is to donate money and to not make more than a token fuss about GOP politics. It’s failing on both counts, so its privileges are in jeopardy.

The upsetting thing isn’t the retaliation. The upsetting thing is the mercenary relationship between corporations and governments.

But usually its done behind the scenes, and usually its the solicitation of donations to influence new legislation. That way it can be characterized as we didn’t bribe candidate X, we just elected to support his campaign because he supports these things we approve of.

So if DeSantis said we are going to kill your perk, and Disney said they would support his opponent and cut off donations from him that would be normal, as would sending him money that coincidentally resulted in him changing his mind.

But the public announcement by Disney saying they are suspending donations based on a specific piece of legislation that doesn’t directly affect them followed immediately by retaliatory legislation is going to be harder to hide as anything other than pay to play.