Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is on the cusp of several victories as the Florida legislature meets Tuesday for a special session to finalize the state’s realignment process.
Not only will his controversial realignment plan, which greatly benefits Republicans, will succeed, but he also has the chance to target a company with which he has a political dispute: Walt Disney World.
The process to redraw Florida’s 28 congressional districts has proved controversial. After submitting his own proposal for reclassification and ultimately vetoing the map passed by both chambers of the Florida legislature earlier this spring, DeSantis called a special session to consider a new map passed by the Florida legislature earlier this spring. his advisers had been proposed. It halves the number of black districts from four to two and eliminates Florida’s 5th district, which stretches in North Florida from Tallahassee to Jacksonville and is represented in Congress by a black Democrat — Rep. Al Lawson.
DeSantis has claimed that such districts, and Lawson’s in particular, are “racially gerrymanded,” and he has vowed that any map supported by his office would be “race neutral.”
At a news conference last week, DeSantis justified the elimination of Florida’s 5th District, but noted that the map, if passed, would likely face some sort of legal challenge.
“We’re not going to have a 200-mile gerrymander dividing people based on the color of their skin. That’s wrong,” DeSantis said. “That’s not the way we’ve governed the state of Florida and it will be. And that, of course, will be litigated.”
DeSantis’ proposed map also divides black voters in the Orlando area and proposes the creation of 18 Republican-leaning and eight Democrat-leaning seats, which, if passed, would effectively eliminate the Democrats’ national redeployment advantage and reduce their slim majority. in the House would threaten representatives.
Lawmakers could vote on the bill as early as Tuesday afternoon, meaning it could pass both chambers on Wednesday, leaving little time for opposition. However, lawmakers have all week to remain in special session if they wish.
Black lawmakers and voting rights activists across the state say the latest map is trampling on black voters’ rights.
Lawson, one of the black lawmakers likely to lose his seat in DeSantis’ preferred configuration, called the governor’s plan “an ongoing plan by DeSantis to clear the minority-access districts in Congress to give more seats to the Republican party.” to create.”
“DeSantis is doing voters in Florida a disservice by playing partisan politics. This latest card clearly violates the Voting Rights Act and the US and Florida constitutions,” Lawson added in a statement.
On MSNBC, State Representative Kamia Brown said DeSantis’ proposal is “blatant gerrymandering.”
“These maps are not what Florida looks like. He has taken 50% of the black representation.”
Members of major voting rights and black advocacy groups, including the NAACP, joined hundreds of protesters, including members of the state legislature, outside the Florida State Capitol in Jacksonville Tuesday morning to criticize DeSantis and his party for “actively working to strip the liberties.” of Florida through deliberate and unsolicited attacks on the representation of black voters in government.”
Adding to the controversy surrounding the governor is the additional item DeSantis brought up for consideration hours before the special session was due to begin. That move would end special administrative districts introduced before 1968, including the Reedy Creek Improvement District, otherwise known as the government and special tax district for one of DeSantis’ most high-profile targets: Walt Disney World.
ABC News is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which also owns Walt Disney World.
DeSantis has previously expressed support for legislation that would eliminate the Disney precinct.
“I was shocked to see some of the stuff in there,” DeSantis said at a news conference earlier this spring. “They can build their own nuclear power plant. Is there another private company in the state that can just build a nuclear power plant? They are capable of doing certain things that no one else can do.”
Disney’s status recently became the subject of public scrutiny by DeSantis after the media conglomerate criticized Florida’s highly controversial parental rights law, described by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, and vowed to pass it. will help withdraw.
“Florida’s HB 1557, otherwise known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Act, should never have been passed and should never have been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are committed to championing the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community community in Florida and across the country,” a Disney spokesperson said at the time.