May 31 • 21M

How Ron DeSantis helps the billionaires who help him

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has spent years courting the billionaires and big-dollar donors he's counting on to finance his presidential campaign

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Appears in this episode

Jason Garcia
"Rent-seeking" is a term in economics that describes when a corporation uses its political influence to twist tax laws and other public policy in its favor. Seeking Rents – The Podcast brings you the stories of how that's happening in Florida, where corporate interests like Florida Power & Light, Big Sugar, and Walt Disney World wield enormous influence everywhere from local city halls to the state Capitol. Hosted by award-winning journalist Jason Garcia, Florida's leading corporate-accountability reporter.
Episode details

In this episode: With his eye on the American presidency, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has spent the past four years courting the billionaires and big-dollar donors he hopes will bankroll a national campaign. DeSantis has hosted private receptions at the Governor’s Mansion and planned $100,000 rounds of golf. But he’s also granted policy favors that have helped some of the world’s richest people — often at the expense of workers and consumers. Today, we look at three examples from Florida’s just-concluded legislative session involving space moguls, baseball owners and car dealers.

Further reading:

  • Reuters: Texts tie DeSantis closely to Trump insider Lev Parnas in 2018 race

  • Tampa Bay Times: Ron DeSantis’ political team planned $25K golf games, $250K ‘intimate gatherings,’ memos say

  • NBC News: Ron DeSantis administration officials solicit campaign cash from lobbyists

  • New York Times: DeSantis Campaign Says It Raised $8.2 Million in First 24 Hours

  • Seeking Rents: Ron DeSantis risked selling out his Republican base to help Disney

  • Seeking Rents: The Ron DeSantis administration gave $16.5 million. The Ron DeSantis campaign got $200,000.

  • Seeking Rents: Ten special-interest tax breaks from Ron DeSantis' first term as Florida governor

  • Seeking Rents: How Ron DeSantis helped Florida Power & Light raise electricity rates by $5 billion

  • Seeking Rents: Ron DeSantis tried to help a developer pass a bill making it easier to turn affordable housing into high-priced apartments

  • Seeking Rents: A big lottery contractor is cashing in. So is the Ron DeSantis reelection campaign.

  • Seeking Rents: Ron DeSantis worked with gas-station lobbyists who wanted to weaken a gas-tax break for consumers

  • Seeking Rents: After taking money from Walmart heirs, Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature helped billionaires hide their family fortunes

  • Seeking Rents: Ron DeSantis’ crackdown on “woke” banks could help a big Ron DeSantis donor

  • Seeking Rents: A chemical company that donated to Ron DeSantis now wants the state to help sell its product

  • Seeking Rents: After a personal meeting, and a $10,000 donation, DeSantis approved a $10 million earmark

  • Orlando Sentinel: DeSantis attacks $15 minimum wage initiative; Morgan fires back


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