Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has gotten some weird mileage by feuding with one of his state’s biggest employers and global ambassador: Walt Disney and their eponymous resort in Orlando.
With billions in business on the line, Disney made it clear to DeSantis that if the governor didn’t back off his culture war attacks on the company, it wouldn’t just rely on the courts—it would take its business elsewhere. The first show of that threat has now taken place, with The New York Times reporting that Disney has canceled a nearly $1 billion office project near the resort.
The Lake Nona Town Center office complex would’ve employed 2,000, including the relocation of 1,000 Disney employees currently based in southern California—the conservative movement’s biggest boogeyman. In other words, Disney has just gifted California with jobs it was slated to lose. This doesn’t include construction jobs that will no longer be needed in Florida.
This will be music to California’s ears. Just a couple of days ago, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “Disney, the door is open to bring those jobs back to California - the state that actually represents the values of your workers.” He ain’t wrong.
According to the Times, Disney has another $16 billion in planned Florida infrastructure spending, so perhaps Disney will pull these one by one until DeSantis relents. Who knows. But with DeSantis’ presidential campaign foundering, it seems bizarre to tank your own state’s economic fortunes for a quixotic fight against a popular company with the resources to make his life a living hell. If the fight were righteous, then great! There’re plenty of valid reasons to criticize Disney, but crying about Disney being “woke” for supporting LGBTQ rights isn’t one of them.
Hell yeah! Democrats and progressives simply crushed it from coast to coast on Tuesday night, so co-hosts David Nir and David Beard are devoting this week's entire episode of "The Downballot" to reveling in all the highlights. At the very top of the list is Jacksonville, where Democrats won the mayor's race for just the second time in three decades—and gave the Florida Democratic Party a much-needed shot in the arm. Republicans also lost the mayor's office in the longtime conservative bastion of Colorado Springs for the first time since the city began holding direct elections for the job 45 years ago.