The party of "freedom of speech" and "Money is speech" sure is doing everything they can to silence corporations when they take positions that Republicans don't like. In Florida, Ron DeSantis is set to take over Disney's special Reedy Creek tax district in order to force the company to cough up $1 billion in debt.
Gov. Ron DeSantis may soon get to pick the people who govern Disney’s Orlando-area theme parks, a move that would give the Republican leader new authority over the state’s largest employer and a recent political foe.
Republican lawmakers on Monday unveiled a bill to turn over control of Disney’s special taxing district, called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to a five-member board chosen by DeSantis. The proposal also comes with a rebrand; Reedy Creek would become the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.”
The move to take over Reedy Creek is the latest step in a yearlong spat between DeSantis and Disney over a bill to restrict certain classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity. DeSantis signed the bill into law over the objections of Disney’s then-CEO Bob Chapek.
In an act opponents decried as political retribution, DeSantis then pushed lawmakers to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which for 55 years effectively gave Disney control of the land around its Florida properties. Republicans, who control the seats of legislative power, complied, and the district was scheduled to be sunset on June 1.
But the bill proposed Monday breathed new life into the taxing district and kept many of its special powers. Indeed, the final page of the 189-page bill states clearly: “The Reedy Creek Improvement District is not dissolved as of June 1, 2023, but continues in full force and effect under its new name.”
Why dissolve Disney's special tax status when you can take it over and use it to extort billions out of the company and parkgoers?
Not to be outdone, House GOP Circus of the Damned Ringmaster Kevin McCarthy and his sidekick Steve Scalise are set to banish the US Chamber of Commerce from Capitol Hill entirely for the crime of endorsing Democrats in some House races.
The two highest-ranking Republican leaders in the House of Representatives are going to war with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the new Congress takes shape.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise are both refusing to meet with the the Chamber after the lobbying group endorsed a handful of Democrats in the past two elections, clearly making an enemy of the powerful congressional leaders.
"The priorities of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have not aligned with the priorities of House Republicans or the interests of their own members, and they should not expect a meeting with Speaker McCarthy as long as that's the case," Mark Bednar, a chief spokesman for McCarthy, told CNBC in a statement.
Scalise also won't meet with the Chamber, according to spokeswoman Lauren Fine.
"Washington has radically shifted away from the pro-business philosophy of most local Chambers across America," she said. Fine also took aim at the Chamber's move to endorse Democrats running for House seats and said that "unless the Chamber gets back to their traditional pro-business roots, they should not expect to have any engagement with Majority Leader Scalise's office."
Denying the Chamber access could also prompt other House Republicans to block the nation's largest business organization.
The Chamber has continued to actively lobby Capitol Hill despite the ongoing battle with top Republicans. The group spent just under $21 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter of last year alone, according to its latest disclosure report. The form shows they lobbied lawmakers in the House and Senate, as well as Biden White House officials, on a wide variety of bills, including new tax proposals as well as U.S. aid to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
Look, American corporations are pretty terrile, ut forcing them to give their money to Republicans or else in order to hurt Democratic candidates is a new low, even for these jackasses.