Former Trump Legal Advisor Jenna Ellis Offers To Defend Disney After DeSantis Signs Law Ending Special Status
A lawyer who helped former President Donald Trump litigate the 2020 general election results offered Friday to help Disney sue Florida.
Wednesday, Jenna Ellis began commenting in Twitter posts her opinion that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) screwed up by targeting Disney.
“As much as I disagree with Disney’s corporate statement, they have a right to speak and support or not support legislation without government consequences,” opined Ellis. “Their customers have a right to react with their dollars. DeSantis is over the line here.”
Republican legislators see things differently. While Gov. DeSantis may have reacted to what he reportedly viewed as political meddling by California-based Disney corporation, the bill removes an advantage the “Mouse House” has over competing theme parks.
The Walt Disney Company convinced Fla. legislators more than 50 years ago to craft a special district for the theme park it wanted to construct near Orlando.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District, created by The Sunshine State’s legislature in 1967, exempts miles of land Disney owns from most state and local regulations.
The district allows Disney to collect taxes, follow its own building codes and provide emergency services for its six theme parks and resorts, according to a Tallahassee Democrat report.
Brevard County Republican Rep. Randy Fine said the special district designation provides an unfair competitive advantage over other tourist attractions.
“We provide Disney things that we do not provide to their competitors,” declared Fine, who — despite his name — is not fine with that. “And that’s fundamentally unfair.”
If the Reedy Creek District dissolution is not overturned by a court, Disney would become subject to local community laws, such as zoning and environmental review, on June 1, 2023.
Democrats dismiss free-market arguments as “smoke and mirrors” to conceal a Republican desire to punish Disney for political speech. The theme park’s parent company has become a vocal opponent of the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill and transgender issues.
It reportedly took lawmakers just two days to produce, debate and pass the proposal after DeSantis requested the legislature to repeal the governing structure granted Disney, which used it to build a Central Florida entertainment empire.
Ellis apparently views the matter more as political retribution than a leveling of the business playing field that subjects Disney to the same laws as other Fla. theme parks.
She retweeted a comment from one Twitter user that told Disney they should hire Ellis to litigate the issue.
“Hi @Disney,” commented Ellis. “Open offer to help defend your right to constitutionally protected speech against Florida’s illegal retaliation.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.