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'Out-negotiated by Mickey Mouse': Trump team taunts DeSantis as Disney gambit blows up in his face

Raw Story 3/29/2023 Matthew Chapman
Ron DeSantis © Raw Story Ron DeSantis

Former President Donald Trump's team is taking a gleeful victory lap after Gov. Ron DeSantis' law to punish Disney for speaking out against his anti-LGBTQ legislation hit a brick wall, reported Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch on Wednesday.

"President Trump wrote 'Art of the Deal' and brokered Middle East peace," an unidentified Trump campaign staffer told Schorsch. "Ron DeSantis just got out-negotiated by Mickey Mouse."

The legislation aimed to allow DeSantis to replace the governing board of the special district that has allowed Disney to effectively run its own local government at the site of its Walt Disney World resorts just outside of Orlando since the 1970s. The takeover was passed soon after Disney issued a statement criticizing state legislation known as the "Don't Say Gay" law, which prohibits classroom "instruction" on sexual orientation or gender identity, and is written so broadly that it can effectively make it illegal even for teachers to have a picture of their same-sex partner on their desk.

But according to the Orlando Sentinel, the previous board voted at the last minute on a development compact that makes DeSantis' new, handpicked replacement board effectively powerless to govern Disney for 30 years.

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"The new DeSantis-aligned board expressed dismay over the previous board’s actions," reported Skyler Swisher. "'This essentially makes Disney the government,' board member Ron Peri said. 'This board loses, for practical purposes, the majority of its ability to do anything beyond maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure.' Among other things, a 'declaration of restrictive covenants' spells out that the district is barred from using the Disney name without the corporation’s approval or 'fanciful characters such as Mickey Mouse.' That declaration is valid until '21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, king of England,' according to the document."

DeSantis is already gearing up to challenge this contract in court, with a spokeswoman saying, "An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law." Disney maintains that the contract is legal and all debate over passing it complied with Florida's transparency laws.

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