DeSantis-Newsom debate is a showdown of two Disney states

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There are many ways to look at this week’s extraordinary debate between the Goves. Florida’s Ron DeSantis and California’s Gavin Newsom: Red State vs. Blue. With a presidential candidate and a powerful governor vying for attention in the 2024 cycle, he will likely lay the groundwork for the next one.

It’s also a battle between the two rulers of the Disney empire.

The two men share a stake in the multibillion-dollar entertainment company — headquartered in California, next door to its original theme park, Disneyland, and its largest, Disney World, in Orlando. Both used that relationship, but in reverse. And Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger said the company plans to. “Shut up the noise.” The company hasn’t completely silenced itself since its showdown with DeSantis in the culture wars.

Rick Foglesong, a retired political science professor who wrote the book “Married to the Mouse,” says of the story of Deeney’s influence in Florida: “If I was Newsom, I would have picked it up.” (He’s currently working on updating a sequel for the DeSantis era, called “Divorce the Palm.”)

“I would argue that DeSantis is hurting the state’s economy or is likely to hurt it, to undermine DeSantis… he’s running on the basis of his success in Florida,” Fogelsong said.

The debate is scheduled for Thursday night at 9:00 PM on Fox News and will be moderated by host Sean Hannity.

In the 20 months since the DeSantis-Disney battle broke out over legislation restricting classroom guidelines on sexual orientation and gender identity, Disney has not publicly opposed a DeSantis-backed bill. But in federal court, the lawyers continued to clash after the DeSantis administration. Disney sued the governor In an attempt to strip the company of some of its autonomy. That DeSantis move came after Disney challenged the education law — dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics — accusing the company of violating the governor’s First Amendment rights. The first major hearing in that case is scheduled for Dec. 12 in Tallahassee.

The company has yet to make it. Start over Political donations to Florida state politicians since then. Campaign finance records show no major contributions from the historic donor to Florida candidates of either party in Tallahassee since March 2022.

Across the country in California, Mickey Mouse’s bag remains open. Since Florida stopped giving, Disney has donated more than $175,000 to candidates in California, according to state campaign finance records, though that donation pace was slower than last year. Among the recent donations was a $10,000 check to Newsom’s successful 2022 election.

However, Disney’s money didn’t stay in Sacramento. Campaign finance filings show the contribution was part of $10 million left over from Newsom’s re-election bid and moved to the federal Political Action Committee — which the California governor has been using to fund attacks on DeSantis and other Republicans.

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Campaign for Democracy PAC was called the federal committee ignited Newsom’s April trip to Sarasota was to criticize DeSantis’ conservative renovation of New College. It is also a recent source of funding. A pre-debate TV commercial, In it, Newsom criticized DeSantis’ support for a six-week ban on most abortions in Florida. The announcement was made in Florida and Washington DC in 2010. He worked on Sunday Night Football on Nov. 19 and was scheduled to work on Hannity’s show on Fox News for a week, according to the Democratic Campaign.

Does that mean Disney is picking sides in the Newsome-DeSantis jockeying?

Not exactly. Nathan Click, a spokesman for the Democratic Campaign PAC, confirmed that the money transfers were made in bulk and that Disney played no role in directing the checks to Newsom’s new committee.

The company did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Still, Newsom is friendly with the corporation, though their relationship hasn’t been entirely without drama. He named Iger, who was Disney’s CEO at the time of the outbreak, to a high-profile economic task force on COVID-19. Eiger Then he left the task force After Newsom refused to allow theme parks to open in the state and Disney announced 28,000 layoffs — all while Disney World was operating in Florida.

When Disney announced in May It was scrapping plans to build a new $1 billion office campus. In Central Florida, Newsom instead took a victory lap on the state’s 2,000 remaining jobs. The Disneyland Resort alone employs over 34,000 people in Orange County, California. Disney.

By A News release Then that didn’t mention DeSantis by name.

At the beginning of this month – 16 days before the scheduled debate and In the midst of the company’s legal battle with DeSantis – Denny’s report from the economic organization set aside one dollar per Florida dollar for the organization’s annual benefit. 40.3 billion dollars. The report also states that Disney will create more than 263,000 jobs in the state, which is much higher than its own workforce.

The company released the results of the report to the media.

DeSantis told CNBC in August that “we’ve basically moved” in the fight against Disney and encouraged the company to drop the federal lawsuit. He mentioned that he and his wife Casey got married in 2009 at Disney World.

“All we want to do is treat everybody the same and let’s move forward,” DeSentis said, adding that DeSentis had “special privileges” of autonomy compared to other amusement parks in the state. The measured comments were a change of tone from him. Primary threats include building a government prison near DC World.

Fogelsong said he’s not sure the company is content to sit on the sidelines.

“Disney doesn’t want to get too far ahead and be negative like you’re coming from another political party, but you can’t just wait and see,” he said. “It’s not Disney’s intention to fan the flames. Winning is in their interest.”

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