When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the “Florida’s Parental Rights in Education” bill, the tensions increased between his office and Disney.
The war of words began with Disney opposing the bill ensuring K-3 students in the Sunshine State are not taught about sexual identity and gender.
Disney accused DeSantis of placating his base and the governor responded that Florida will not be beholden to big corporations like Disney. Disney responded by saying it will not give money to state lawmakers and candidates that support the governor’s bill and some Republicans say they will return campaign donations from that company.
Still, there could be risks for Disney. The Washington Times reported that some conservative groups are playing offense and going after Disney and other corporations that want to back a ‘woke culture.”
The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank out of Washington D.C., is urging moderate and conservative investors to use shareholder proxies to challenge liberal policies in corporate board elections.
The Washington Times also reported the Free Enterprise Project published a guide called “Balancing the Boardroom: How Conservatives Can Combat Corporate Wokeness.”
The goal is for investors to push back on the liberal policies of companies such as Disney.
The Free Enterprise Project noted that its supporters have purchased shares in corporations like Walt Disney Co., which has allowed conservative proxies to introduce proposals against “woke” ideology at more than 100 shareholder meetings over the past four years.
In recent years, there have been threats from liberal groups to boycott Florida and other states over conservatives policies.
In 2017, Jacksonville was promised a boycott by LGBT groups if the GOP-run City Council did not pass a proposal supporting special rights for LGBT causes. The City Council passed it.
Last year, the NCAA threatened possible boycotts to states like Florida for passing laws that banned transgendered athletes.
Several liberal groups have also touted boycotts of Florida for passing new voter bills.
But the tide could be starting to shift with some conservative groups thinking that playing offense instead of defense may benefit them at the polls.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a network of conservative state legislators, has recently launched offered proposals that would stop state pension fund managers from introducing “woke criteria” into the investment selection process, according to the Washington Times.
“For decades, the left was synonymous with the counterculture. Today, it is the culture, so if we are to learn anything from leftists to their credit it’s that counterculture done right can be an effective strategy,” noted ALEC.
Disney isn’t the only company being targeted.
The Washington Times reported Nike, Amazon, Twitter, Apple and Walmart are trying to push a woke culture.
“In the environment we live in today, if these large corporations want to take a public position on hot-button political issues, then they better be prepared to deal with some backlash like we’re seeing with Disney,” said former state Rep. Matt Caldwell, now a Fox Radio analyst in Southwest Florida.
Florida Daily has reported on polls by the Wall Street Journal and Morning Consult which showed most Democrats agree with DeSantis on the Florida Parental Education bill.
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