DeSantis and Disney Share Jabs Over Public Records Lawsuit

Published: February 5, 2024

The Walt Disney Company Versus Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may have won a small victory over The Walt Disney Company when the First Amendment lawsuit was dismissed, but the Mouse has more legal action in motion. The fight for public records is still ongoing.

A story from the Orlando Sentinel revealed that Disney and the DeSantis camp have been hurling accusations at each other. Disney claims that the Governor’s office is delaying the process of turning over texts and e-mails regarding the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and former Reedy Creek Improvement District. 

A court filing from The Walt Disney Company’s lawyers makes the following accusation:

 “At every turn, EOG [executive office of the governor] has responded to those efforts with gamesmanship designed to delay and obfuscate the discovery process.

Interestingly, Disney may be onto something. The public access director at the Florida Center for Government, Michael Barfield, hints that the state’s once transparent public record system has entered “dark times” under DeSantis’ leadership. This group helps citizens and journalists fight government obstruction.

On the flip side, a spokesperson for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District called Disney’s actions a “distasteful” smear campaign:

This wild goose chase lawsuit was filed because Disney does not like that the furnished public records do not support its claims in other legal cases. Perhaps most distasteful in this whole crusade on this matter is the willingness to smear civil servants, who have faithfully fulfilled public records requests for years. The district’s civil service employees have done an exceptional job fulfilling requests in accordance with the law.

Regardless of which side is right, this lawsuit won’t go before a judge until June 24th. 

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what Bing AI thinks a Disney courtroom would look like:

What do you think of the ongoing feud? Let us know!

[Source: Orlando Sentinel]

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