Florida’s Outspoken, Tireless Governor Has A Magical Week

Ron DeSantis called a special session to take up several lingering issues, including Disney’s tax-favored status and its self-governance.

— Steve’s Marketplace —

Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace.

Ron DeSantis authored a ban on school books touting Critical Race Theory, penned new voting districts for federal races, and spoke out freely against stifling censorship.  

The tireless Florida governor did this in a week’s time. And let’s not overlook his skepticism of the tax advantages and special treatment provided to the Walt Disney Company. This also happened during the magical week. 

DeSantis had called a special session to take up several lingering issues, including Disney’s tax-favored status and its self-governance after the company criticized Florida legislators for passing the inaccurately titled “Don’t Say Gay” law. 

In fact, the word “gay” was not even mentioned in the voluminous pages of the bill. The law prohibits discussing gender or sexuality with students prior to the fourth grade. So again the liberal media has mischaracterized a sensitive issue, with the intent of slandering the ever-popular first-term governor.  

Former state attorney general Pam Bondi openly expressed her opinion about Disney’s decision to oppose the law – and its efforts to overturn it. “They will not be successful,” Bondi said in a television interview.  

“Disney chose to wade into this debate – these liberal elitists decided to attack the state of Florida,” Bondi said. “So they picked this fight, and they’re going to lose this fight.” 

The outspoken DeSantis also came out swinging verbally. Especially when it involves commonly used school books embracing CRT. Under DeSantis’ direction, the state Department of Education rejected/removed a record number of books from Florida classrooms – particularly those in the subject of math. 

“There is a movement to say math should be not about getting the right answer, but more about social and emotional response,” DeSantis said during an event at The Villages. “It doesn’t matter how you feel about the math problem. It matters whether you can solve the math problem.” 

In a televised interview, State Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart voiced similar feelings as DeSantis. “That’s what our schools should be focused on – teaching the kids how to read, how to write,” Diaz-Balart said. “So I think the governor’s spot on, and I’m grateful for his leadership.” 

Diaz-Balart continued: “There’s a reason why people are moving to the state of Florida in droves,” he said. “They’re voting with their feet.” 

And DeSantis is so powerful that state House and Senate leaders opted during the special session to accept his redistricting plan – without drawing their own. DeSantis vetoed an earlier plan, which would delineate federal election districts. With the revamped borders, DeSantis hopes to increase the likelihood of Republicans winning more U.S. House seats. 

DeSantis also has criticized Twitter, and the company’s outright rejection of a buyout offer from entrepreneur Elon Musk. DeSantis is questioning whether Twitter’s board acted prudently in rejecting the offer at a 20 percent premium above the stock’s price at the time. 

Twitter’s stock is reportedly held in the state pension plan, so Florida would be a shareholder. A powerful one at that. And one that is going to voice its displeasure, if DeSantis has his way. And he probably will. Diaz-Balart is a rabid supporter.

“He’s ever focused on solving Florida’s issues and problems, making this even a better place,” Diaz-Balart said. “I am convinced there is no better governor in the entire country than Gov. DeSantis.” 

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Steve Nicklas is a financial adviser with a regional brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns also regularly appear in several weekly newspapers in North Florida, and on his website at SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has published a book, “All About Money,” of his favorite columns from the past 20 years. The book is available on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at [email protected]