Disney Epcot Center

Democratic Pundit Bets On Disney’s Lobbyists Over DeSantis On New Parental Rights Law, Despite Voter Support

Before Jen Psaki barreled for the door for cable TV news, one of the first to jump the sinking White House ship was Symone Sanders, formerly a top aide to Vice President Kamala Harris.

On Wednesday, in her new gig on MSNBC, Sanders had a choice observation about the battle between Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney.

Appearing on “MTP Daily,” Sanders allowed that DeSantis – or “DeathSantis” as liberals phrased it – “has a story to tell” about how Florida “came out all right” on COVID-19.

This could be translated as Democrats shouldn’t talk about DeSantis and the virus when several Democratic governors in locked-down, masked-up blue states got more people killed, without being saddled with millions of constituents in the most vulnerable age group.

Sanders also acknowledged that Florida’s economy is strong under DeSantis.

But the governor, she added, was in trouble over Disney, which is brawling with the governor and Republicans in the Legislature over the state’s new Parental Rights in Education law.

The law, which takes effect on July 1, prohibits school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans centered on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3.

In deference to its LGBT workforce, Disney, which eventually came out against the law after it was enacted, has vowed to get lawmakers to repeal it or fight it in court until a judge overturns it. 

For her part, Sanders observed, “I would caution against heaping a little too much praise on Ron DeSantis.”

“My money is on the Disney lobbyists, honey. My money is on the Disney lobbyists!” Sanders added. “Do you think the state legislators in Florida will bend to the will of the governor? No.”

One wonders how much MSNBC is paying for such sage analysis.

Because literally after Sanders spoke, Chuck Todd, the host of the program, pointed out that the Florida Senate had just voted to strip Disney of its 55-year-old special status that allows it to self-govern. If that becomes law, Disney would be absorbed into the local governments in Orange and Osceola counties.

But the prep squad on MSNBC may want to hand Sanders some new talking points.

As The Free Press has reported, recent public opinion polls have shown everyday people, in Florida and across the country, back the new law once they know its actual language.

Such polls have shown that 60 percent or more of those surveyed support the language of the law banning teaching gender ideology and sexual orientation to kids in third grade and below.

But that’s not just Republicans.

In those recent polls, the new law was supported by 55 percent of Democrats nationally, 53 percent of people who voted for Joe Biden in 2020, 52 percent of Democratic primary voters in Florida, and 58 percent of independents nationally.

Sanders also must have missed the GOP lawmakers who returned Disney’s campaign donations and have yet to suffer. In fact, Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, the author of the parental rights’ bill, said he was flooded with contributions from across the country after the law moved forward.

Sanders may bet on Disney’s lobbyists. But unless they can cut a check to all these voters in addition to state lawmakers, it seems Disney’s flaks in Tallahassee have a high hill to climb. 

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