Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened legal action against Twitter for its “poison pill” defense to keep billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk from taking over the Big Tech platform. Watch:
“The state of Florida and our pension system we have shares of Twitter. I didn’t buy it, we have people that run the fund, but nevertheless, it hasn’t exactly been great in returns on investment. It’s been pretty stagnant for many, many years. So — but nevertheless, I mean to me, I think that that’s probably an injury to the fund. So we’re going to be looking at ways that the state of Florida potentially can be holding these Twitter Board of Directors accountable for breaching their fiduciary duty. (Applause) So, stay tuned on that.”
DeSantis argued Twitter’s “poison pill” defense made without the board of directors’ approval was a political decision and not a business move that was in the interest of its shareholders.
Musk’s offer of $43 billion — or $54.20 per share — was about 20% higher than the $45.08 closing price the day he made the offer.
During a news conference in The Villages, DeSantis said lawyers are reviewing state actions to hold the Twitter board of directors “accountable for breaching their fiduciary duty.”
“I don’t want to expend resources just to kind of be able to send out a press release or something. I mean, we really want to feel like we have a solid theory to be able to win,” DeSantis said. “But I can tell you just looking at it, most of the time the people I talk to would say if you’re on the board in that situation, you really do need to sell. It’s a massive return for your shareholders. I mean, most people and their investment vehicles are not making 20% in a year.”
Also on Tuesday, DeSantis announced that he is calling on the state legislature to end special protections for Disney’s Florida operations.
“But I am announcing today that we are expanding the call of what they are going to be considering this week,” he continued. “And so yes, they will be considering the congressional map, but they also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968. And that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District.”
Reedy Creek Improvement District currently functions as its own government, and provides its own fire protection, emergency services, utilities, and planning services for the Disney World property.
“There are certain entities that have exerted a lot of influence through corporate means to generate special privileges in the law,” DeSantis said in early April. “I don’t think we should have special privileges in the law at all.”
The governor argued in his updated proclamation that the Florida Constitution “prohibits special laws granting privileges to private corporations,” and he added “it is necessary to review such independent special districts to ensure that they are appropriately serving the public interest.”
Disney’s controversial response to the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, misleadingly dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, has led to a backlash from parents and conservative lawmakers who now question the agenda of the Magic Kingdom. Disney’s stock price is down over 20 percent in the last six months.
Governor Ron DeSantis is now taking the fight to Big Tech bullies like Twitter and culture giants like Disney. It’s all in a day’s work for the Florida governor.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.