President Donald Trump eviscerated Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., in his ongoing battle against Disney and its Magic Kingdom in Orlando.
“Ron DeSanctimonious totally caved in his public relations inspired battle with Disney,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Sunday. “That’s the only reason he went after them in the first place, to show Mr. Tough Guy. Disney maintained complete exemption from property & sales tax, tax-free bonds, and their incredible fast track permitting.”
As reported by RSBN, Gov. DeSantis recently signed legislation in February (HB 9B) that ended Walt Disney World’s self-governing status by terminating the corporate kingdom’s special privileges in Florida.
This move came after a months-long skirmish with Disney following their public criticism of DeSantis’s falsely labeled “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which simply prohibited sexual instruction in the classroom for children up to third grade.
DeSantis’s newest legislation purportedly ended Disney’s control over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as well as their exemptions from state regulatory reviews and approvals, via RSBN.
However, President Trump has hit back at this “public relations inspired battle with Disney,” accusing DeSantis of playing games with Floridians and Americans at large.
“They [Disney] also gave big political contributions to DeSanctus,” Trump continued. “The whole thing is a Hoax – They probably worked together to make him look like a fighter. Read Rick Foglesong, preeminent authority on Disney.”
Trump is not the only one to criticize DeSantis’s war with Disney and claim that it may be shallower than it appears. In his statement, Trump directed supporters to read Rick Foglesong, whom he called a “preeminent authority on Disney.” Foglesong recently published an opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel that took a hammer to DeSantis’s “war” with Disney.
In it, Foglesong claimed that Disney has maintained its exemption from property and sales tax and still enjoys fast-track permitting privileges. Per RSBN, HB 9B replaced the Reedy Creek Improvement District with a state-run board that would strip Disney of its control over the special tax district.
According to Foglesong, DeSantis’s politicized war with the House of Mouse has been skin-deep. He noted that when Orange County implemented a law-enforcement tax for property owners in unincorporated parts of their county, Disney was exempted from it.
“Was this abuse corrected by DeSantis and the Legislature? No, a ‘new sheriff’ may have come to town in the form of a new board of supervisors, as DeSantis called it, but the powers and prerogatives of the board essentially remained the same.
And what of the $1 billion in bonded debt they inherited? Beforehand, Reedy Creek borrowed a lot because they could borrow so cheaply, claiming the district contained a city with real residents and therefore able to issue tax-free municipal bonds. Tax-free as in subsidized by the federal government aka federal taxpayers.”
Newsweek also reported in 2022 that between 2019 and 2021, Disney Worldwide Services donated over $100,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC, per the Florida State Department’s campaign finance database.