Disney vs. DeSantis: The Mouse Snaps Back, Will Host Gay Rights Summit in Florida


Los Angeles Magazine: “Now, as tension remains high, Disney has put a major conference to promote LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace in Florida, to take place right in [Disneyworld], on the calendar for this September, as the Miami Herald reports. The event will host some of the most prominent names within the global business world; it’s also ultimately, a direct rebuttal to DeSantis’ crusade against diversity training.

“The summit — to be hosted in collaboration with longstanding sponsor Out & Equal — comes nearly a year after DeSantis sparked the feud when passing the state’s HB-1557, dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. In its essence, the legislation bans any education regarding sexual orientation or gender identity in pre-4th-grade classrooms. And when Disney clapped back at this bill, which doesn’t require legislative approval, DeSantis upped the stakes for ‘the most magical place on Earth.’”

Frum: Is Ron DeSantis Flaming Out Already?

From former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum at The Atlantic:

DeSantis will be a candidate of the Republican base, for the Republican base. Like Trump, he delights in displaying his lack of regard for everyone else. Trump, however, is driven by his psychopathologies and cannot emotionally cope with disagreement. DeSantis is a rational actor and is following what somebody has convinced him is a sound strategy. It looks like this:

1. Woo the Fox audience and win the Republican nomination.
2. ??
3. Become president.

Written out like that, you can see the missing piece. DeSantis is surely intelligent and disciplined enough to see it too. But the programming installed in him prevents him from acting on what he sees. His approach to winning the nomination will put the general election beyond his grasp. He must hope that some external catastrophe will defeat his Democratic opponent for him—a recession, maybe—because DeSantis is choosing a path that cannot get him to his goal.

Proposed Florida Law Would Penalize Writing about DeSantis and Other Government Officials

Fla.com: “Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur (R-Lake Mary) wants bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and other members of the Florida executive cabinet or legislature to register with the state or face fines.

“Brodeur’s proposal, Senate Bill 1316: Information Dissemination, would require any blogger writing about government officials to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics.

“In the bill, Brodeur wrote that those who write ‘an article, a story, or a series of stories,’ about ‘the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature,’ and receives or will receive payment for doing so, must register with state offices within five days after the publication of an article that mentions an elected state official.

“If another blog post is added to a blog, the blogger would then be required to submit monthly reports on the 10th of each month with the appropriate state office. They would not have to submit a report on months when no content is published…

“Failure to file these disclosures or register with state officials, if the bill passes, would lead to daily fines for the bloggers, with a maximum amount per report, not per writer, of $2,500. The per-day fine is $25 per report for each day it’s late.”

College Board Slams DeSantis, Department of Education for Lying About AP African-American Studies Course

Vice: “The organization that sets Advanced Placement curricula came out swinging at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying in a statement published Saturday that the state’s Department of Education ‘slandered’ its AP African-American Studies course, and accusing the DeSantis administration of lying about its communications with the College Board.

“The College Board also disputed that it had diluted the course and made contemporary topics like Black Lives Matter and reparations optional only after the Florida governor said the class would be banned from being taught in Florida schools….

“’We deeply regret not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander, magnified by the DeSantis administration’s subsequent comments, that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value,’ said the statement, which is only attributed to the College Board. ‘Our failure to raise our voice betrayed Black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field…

[…]

Florida Schools Have Banned 560 Books Over the Past Year

According to the Temple Terrace Patch, many of the books have been made into movies and TV shows.

More than 560 books were targeted by school districts in the Sunshine state over the past year, according to the report from PEN America, a New York-based literary and free expression nonprofit advocacy group. The report highlights how challenges to books have become a political issue nationwide. A majority of the targeted books focus on sexual identity, race and racism.

The report, “Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools,” said the majority of book bans weren’t “spontaneous, organic expressions” of concern by parents and citizens, but rather “reflect the work of a growing number of advocacy organizations that have made demanding censorship of certain books and ideas in schools part of their mission.”

Nobel Prize and Pulitzeer Prize winner Toni Morrison was a repeat offender with “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved.”

Florida Dems Meet, See for Signs of Hope

Politico: “Various Democrats said during the three-day “Leadership Blue” conference that they see openings that can be used to overcome Republican advantages. They see their best hope for a statewide victory in Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who is challenging Sen. Marco Rubio and has bested him in fundraising in successive quarters even as she trails in most polls.

“But party leaders also say that voters are alarmed by the Supreme Court decision to undo abortion rights and are upset with Republican resistance to address gun violence. They contend some Republicans were turned off by the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that left several people dead and has led to a negative headlines in recent weeks as the Jan. 6 committee holds hearings that uncover damning details about Trump and several Republicans, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

“’This is not about ‘all right, let’s just take our best shot,’ Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz said in an interview. ‘This is a real belief in winning.’”

Newsom to Florida: ‘Freedom Is under Attack in Your State’

Deadline.com: “Continuing the war of words between Florida and California – and potentially previewing the presidential campaign for 2024 – California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a new ad attacking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Newsom’s July 4 weekend ad claims “Freedom is under attack” in states run by Republican governors, like Florida. It goes on to demonize several decisions led by the conservative DeSantis.

“’Your Republican leaders, they’re banning books,’ Newsom says in voiceover of images of DeSantis. Republican governors are ‘making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors,’ Newsom’s ad claims….

“Newsom called on Floridians to ‘join the fight’ against DeSantis. He added that disgruntled citizens in the Sunshine State are welcome to move to California, ‘where we still believe in freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate and the freedom to love. Don’t let them take your freedom.’”

Under Gov. DeSantis, Florida Has Become the Least Affordable Place to Live in the United States

CBS News: “Rents, which are rising by double-digits nationwide, are positively ballooning across Florida, fueled by a surge of people who relocated to the state during the pandemic. Florida’s population is growing faster than any state but Texas: Between 2020 and 2021, 300,000 people moved to the Sunshine State.

“In February, Realtor.com designated Miami as America’s least affordable place to live. Average monthly rents in the metro area, at $2,930, are on par with San Francisco and Los Angeles — and double the level considered affordable for people in the region given the local median income. Miami, Orlando and Tampa have the fastest-growing rents in the country over the past year.”

Redistricting Stalled in Last Four States, Including Florida

44

Politico reports that “spats between governors and state legislators have brought map-making to a standstill in the final four states still without new congressional lines for the 2022 elections.” “With filing deadlines looming, 44 House seats are still outstanding in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Missouri and, most importantly, Florida, which has 28 districts all by itself.”