- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has engaged in high profile fights with Disney and Big Tech.
- It’s a model Republicans should follow, he told a conservative conference near Miami.
- “I think it’s a very appropriate use of government power,” he said.
AVENTURA, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has battled big business on everything from diversity trainings to environmental, social and governance investments. He has even caught on Family favorite Disney by stripping the company of its autonomous status.
It’s a surprising approach to business for a Republican who enjoys the support of more than 40 billionaire donorsand one that some reviews have called heavy and polarizing. Republicans have historically given big tax breaks to corporations while eschewing regulations in favor of a more passive stance.
But Sunday night, in an hour-long speech to the National Conference on Conservatism, DeSantis said Republicans’ approach and thinking about big business needs to change, saying his experiences in Florida provide a “lesson for people on the right”.
“Corporatism is not the same as free enterprise, and I think too many Republicans have seen limited government as basically meaning that what’s best for corporate America is how we want to do the economy. “, said DeSantis during his opening speech in front of a crowd of friendly people. attendees at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort.
“And my view is – obviously free enterprise is the best economic system – but it’s a means to an end. It’s a means to a successful life and a successful society. It’s not is not an end in itself.
DeSantis pushed through many controversial policies as governor that earned him national titles and Criticisms of the Biden administration. With attention came speculation that he can run to the presidency in 2024.
However, he must first be re-elected in Florida in November. He will face former representative Charlie Crista Democrat who served as Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011.
DeSantis’ list of corporate actions grows
DeSantis has taken many actions against what he calls “woke companies.” More recently, he pushed the state’s Board of Trustees to ban the consideration of “social, political or ideological interests” – such as ESG – when deciding what investments to make for the pension fund. of State.
The governor also revoked Disney World’s self-governing status after the company pleaded with the governor to oppose the Parental Rights in Education Act. The bill limits discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in a way that critics say is too vague and will hurt LGBTQ students, parents and teachers. Critics called the law “don’t say gay” invoice.
Another law, theStop the wake up act“would limit how private companies conduct mandatory training on diversity, equity and inclusion. Companies with 15 or more employees could be subject to civil lawsuits if a worker accuses them of violating the law, which states that companies cannot implement training that says members of a specific ethnic group are inherently racist or that people should feel guilty for the actions of their predecessors.
And shortly after former President Donald Trump left office and was started social media platforms for his role in the January 6, 2021 violent attack on the Capitol, DeSantis signed a bill to stop tech companies from censoring political candidates.
“There are people criticizing us in Florida for taking action to stand up to the big tech companies,” DeSantis said Sunday night. “They say you know what, it’s private. Let them do what they want to do. First of all, they can’t be considered private entities given that we know without a shadow of a doubt that they obey the regime when it comes to censorship.”
But all his plans don’t work
Some of the business laws in Florida are in dispute. The commercial part of the “Stop WOKE Act” is to have stayed after a judge cited free speech violations. The technology law was blocked by an appeals court, Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom writing in the opinion that “the government cannot tell a private person or entity what to say or how to say it”.
Other Florida laws have been difficult to navigate. This week, for example, a school board in Miami rejected a measure to observe LGBTQ history month, even though the governor’s office said it would not have violated the Parental Rights Act.
But DeSantis doubled down on his actions during Sunday night’s speech and predicted his administration would prevail against legal challenges. He accused “Corporate America” of having too much power in America and “wielding quasi-public power in terms of using their economic power to change politics in this country.”
“What I do is use government to give space to the individual citizen to participate in society and be able to express themselves,” DeSantis said.
“And I think that’s a very appropriate use of government power.”