Florida Tourism Board Member Reveals What’s REALLY Going on With the Disney Lawsuit

State of Florida

Last week, we learned that Disney filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) for usurping its attempts to hold onto quasi-governmental control of its land, but what hasn’t been reported is that the company also sued the board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), which serves at the request of the governor and the state legislature.


On Monday morning, the CFTOD board held a meeting in which it discussed how to handle the lawsuit. At the outset of the meeting, Board Chairman Martin Garcia made a statement in which he outlined what the board has done so far.

“Please hear me loud and clear,” Garcia also declared. “The task of this board is to promote better governance and evaluate a new and better zoning structure for the district, among other things. This means that we must address and correct longstanding problems and evaluate and adopt new policies and practices to promote more prosperity for more people working and playing in the district, and, in addition, for all the residents of Osceola and Orange Counties.”

Garcia went on to remind everyone in attendance and watching online that the CFTOD board didn’t enact the legislation that Disney objects to and that the board is merely serving the public with its actions. He accused Disney of “asking a federal court in Tallahassee to wrestle back the hands of time to 1967 [the year Disney’s quasi-governmental authority was created], while this board is instead charged legislatively with bringing the district into the 21st century with new and better policies and practices.”

“This district will seek justice in state court here in Central Florida, where both it and Disney reside and do business,” he added. “Yes, we’ll seek justice in our own backyard.”


Related: You Won’t Believe How Disney Took Advantage of Its Self-Governing Status

The board voted unanimously to sue Disney, and just before adjourning, one member made a comment that tells us all we need to know about what’s going on with Disney’s lawsuit. Ron Peri, a retired pastor and businessman, spoke up about the treatment he has received as a member of the board.

“It’s been represented in the media, that we are somehow political individuals trying very hard to force an agenda that is not ours,” Peri began. He explained that DeSantis called him to ask him to be part of the board, and he added, “I felt it was my civic duty to help any way that I could.”

Once Peri took his place on the board, media outlets began to attack him. Business Insider called him an “anti-gay ex-pastor,” while Forbes alleged that Peri had “a history of homophobic comments.” He related some of the stories about his poor treatment at the hands of the press.

“I can tell you there was nothing that could have prepared me for this,” he said. “What I encountered was gross misrepresentation in the press. They actually said that I believed that if you drank tap water it would make you gay. I never said that. I don’t believe it. Certainly. I have gotten hate mail every day. I’ve gotten phone calls from people who are just so angry. They believe what’s in the press. I’ve been mocked by CNN, by Forbes. By now actually, even European media have been contacted and besieged me. I have encountered all of these things. Even Stephen Colbert did two sessions on me.”


Peri concluded by pointing out the sacrifices the board members have made, and he asked the public to allow the board to do its job and to pray for the board members — both of which are sensible and easy to do.

“It is my hope, and I know it’s the hope of the board, that the actions that we take will ultimately wind up being better for everyone, Disney included, and certainly the citizens and the taxpayers of this area,” he told the meeting.

The CFTOD board isn’t the only group of people the media has gone after for bucking The Narrative™. The left is always eager to pounce and go after anyone with heterodox opinions and ideas.

How can you help us speak the truth fearlessly? For starters, read and share our articles. The more people read them, the better. But there’s one way you can support us that gives you extra benefits that you’ll love: a PJ Media VIP membership. Maybe you’ve considered signing up before. There’s no better time than now.

Your VIP membership unlocks access to exclusive content: hotter stories, deeper dives, and even podcasts, as well as — best of all — an ad-free experience! Trust me, that alone is worth the price of admission.

And don’t forget about VIP Gold, which unlocks access to VIP perks at all of our Townhall Media sister sites, along with live chats like Five O’Clock Somewhere. PJ Media VIP is a tremendous value on its own, but you can use the promo code SAVEAMERICA and get 40% off!


What are you waiting for? Sign up today! You won’t regret it, and we’ll be eternally grateful. Because supporting fearless conservative reporting and analysis is more important than ever.


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member