Monday, May 1, 2023

DeSantis Board Votes to Counter-Sue Disney Over Something...Anything

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's hand picked board overseeing the newly named Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (formerly the Reedy Creek Improvement District) voted on Monday to counter-sue Disney. Referring to the suit the Mouse House filed last Wednesday, Martin Garcia, chair of the board, said that "We have no choice now but to respond."

But as Kimberly Leonard noted, "It was not immediately clear from Monday's meeting what the basis of the lawsuit would be." In approving the suit, the board didn't discuss anything about it other than where it will be filed: in state court in central Florida. 

So five days after Disney filed their lawsuit, the board basically told their lawyers to file something - anything. Just make sure it goes to a state court. That's because even DeSantis knows he's going to lose the case Disney filed in federal court.

All of this sounds exactly like the kind of move DeSantis would make. As a reminder, Disney put out its statement against the "don't say gay bill" on March 28, 2022. The governor pointed out in his book that he started working on a bill to punish the company two days later. By April 22nd (23 days later), a bill to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District had passed both chambers of the state legislature and DeSantis signed it. 

But in his rush to punish Disney, DeSantis missed the fact that dissolving the district would dump $1 billion in bonds on Florida taxpayers. So it was back to the drawing board. Ten months later he signed a bill that kept the special district in place, but allowed him to appoint the members of the supervisory board. 

So now DeSantis's hand-picked board members are at it to counter-sue Disney before they have even identified a basis for the suit. It's as if they said, "let's shoot first and try to figure out our target later."

When I heard that DeSantis got an undergrad degree from Yale and a law degree from Harvard, I naturally assumed that he was intelligent. But as a trained therapist, I should have remembered that intelligence gets buried in a vengeful, arrogant bully. 


  1. Yeah, I would love to see a survey of his fellow alumni, especially from Harvard Law, on their perceptions of his anti-Disney crusade... as well as how they see it reflecting on their educations.

  2. Kenneth AlmquistMay 2, 2023 at 2:47 PM

    Possibly the article you link to was updated after you posted this. It now includes the complaint, which asks the Court to void the agreements that the RCID made with Disney earlier this year. The complaint has nine legal arguments that the agreements are invalid.

    One of the remedies that Disney is asking for in its lawsuit is restoring the original RCID structure. If that happens, any procedural errors made in passing the agreements probably don't matter because the RCID can just pass them again.


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