Sunday, May 21, 2023

Disney cancels billion-dollar project and keeps 2,000 jobs in California just before DeSantis declares he's running for Republican presidential nomination

An unknown reader (literally — Blogger identifies them as "Unknown") left a comment to Governor DeSantis and Florida Republicans repeal the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government that made a couple of interesting suggestions.
Always love your prose. Pass the popcorn indeed. Always a bad policy to penalize a company since they "cannot" move. My guess is Disney will setup shop in a location that is more amenable to their business I threats and move the facility over time. Opportunity for GA or LA to get some jobs.
I gave a more practical action in my response.
Thank you. I hope I have enough popcorn. As for Disney moving the theme parks, they won't, although they might reconsider relocating Imagineering and Consumer Products from California to Florida. That's more than 1,000 jobs that the Orlando Metro Area won't get.
I wrote that in April 2022, more than a year ago. This past Friday, Disney made that exact decision. Watch and listen as CNN reports Disney cancels billion-dollar Florida campus, DeSantis says he’s ‘not surprised’.

Disney upped the ante in its battle with Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and it cost his state 2,000 white-collar jobs. Disney is scrapping plans to build a $1 billion office complex in Florida, citing “changing business conditions,” according to a memo provided by a Disney spokesperson.
Occasionally, I write that I wish I wasn't right. This isn't one of those times. I'm glad I saw this coming, I'm glad for the Disney employees who no longer have to move from California to Florida, and I'm glad Disney stuck it to Ron DeSantis the Friday before he declares he's running for Republican presidential nomination! As I last wrote in Disney sues DeSantis, "he's making himself look even worse while getting liberals to side with a big corporation. Nice trick, but not the one he's trying to pull."

Another trick he's pulling is continuing the trend that I saw developing more than a decade ago and summarized in DeSantis to sign replacement for Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government.
Aren't Republicans supposed to be the business-friendly party? Well, they were, but this split has been building for a decade since I wrote about how Newt Gingrich threw big business under the bus while campaigning against Mitt Romney. Ten years later, the rift between Republicans and big business has opened up wide enough for everyone to see. Who knows? Maybe the Republican Party or at least DeSantis will fall into it. Break out the popcorn.
At the time, I thought DeSantis and the Florida Republican Party hadn't fallen into the rift between them and big business. Now, I think they haven't just fallen, but jumped into the widening and deepening chasm. That calls for more popcorn.

Follow over the jump for more reactions from myself and others as I continue today's Sunday entertainment feature.

BBC News covered the story as well, including a location report from Celebration, Florida, in Disney scraps $867m Florida plan amid Ron DeSantis feud.

The Walt Disney Company has scrapped a plan to invest nearly (£806m) to build a new corporate campus in Florida, it announced.

The company made the decision amid an escalating legal battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Disney and Florida have both sued each other in recent weeks.
BBC News correspondent Anthony Zurcher's observation that Republican primary voters are more interested in cultural issues than economic issues fits the shift in “the Republican Party’s base moving from country club to country” as CNN quoted Tom Davis, a former Republican representative from northern Virginia, in 2017. That's what I've been seeing since 2012.
[M]ajor U.S. political parties don't have consistent ideologies. They do, however, have consistent core interest groups and Gingrich is throwing one of them, the northeastern business interests, which have been with the GOP since it formed out of the remains of the Whigs in the 1850s, under the bus. That ended up being smart in the short run, given that he was angling for the votes of Southern populists, who don't care much for the northeastern business interests and haven't since before the founding of the republic.
DeSantis is hoping that will work in his favor. The panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" thought otherwise when they asked Where does DeSantis' feud with Disney end?

Disney has abandoned plans to open up a new employee campus in Lake Nona, Florida, amid rising tensions with the state’s governor. The Morning Joe panel discusses DeSantis' feud with Disney and where and how it all might end.
As Matt Lewis pointed out, DeSantis is now fighting a three-front war against Disney, Donald Trump, and California Governor Gavin Newsom while losing his state money and jobs. So much for DeSantis being a more electable candidate than The Former Guy!

Governor Newsom's reaction also appeared in KCAL's Disney is pulling out of a $1 billion investment in Florida amid DeSantis feud.

Disney's Lake Nona development, which would have brought 2,000 new jobs, is scuttled amid a year-long battle with Governor Ron DeSantis. Tom Wait reports.
California is just keeping the jobs, not gaining them other than the 200 or so employees who have already moved to Florida and are being invited back, but politically this is definitely California's gain and Florida's loss.

Speaking of whom, I wrote above that I was glad for the Disney employees who no longer have to move from California to Florida. CNBC Television mentioned their reaction in Disney CEO Bob Iger believes this is a battle he can win against Gov. DeSantis: Puck's Matt Belloni.

Matt Belloni, Puck news founding partner, and Tom Rogers, Newsweek editor-at-large and former NBC Cable president, join 'Squawk Box' to discuss the latest in the feud between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which saw the company cancelling plans for an estimated $1 billion facility in Florida.
The decision to stay in California was so popular among Disney Imagineering employees that WDW News Today said that they cheered when it was announced. Just the same, Disney had good financial reasons to cancel this project as part of a cost-cutting effort that included closing the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser and not renewing Nate Silver's contract as head of FiveThirtyEight, which is why I added the new label; he's no longer in charge of the site. That's news for another entry.

I'm sure I'll have more on this ongoing story. In the meantime, stay tuned for a celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity tomorrow.

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