Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has targeted the next horizon in his administration’s struggle in the so-called culture wars: “woke CEOs.”
The Republican governor, who is considered a likely contender for the 2024 presidential election, said during a press conference last week that he plans to crack down on money transfer giants like PayPal, as well as mutual funds and banks, who are trying to impose a perceived “wake-up ideology” on their potential customers. He also hopes to introduce a series of legislative and executive initiatives that would prevent these companies from “discriminating against” customers based on their political or religious beliefs.
“Do we govern ourselves through our constitution and through our elections, or do we have these masters of the universe occupying these dominant heights of society?” Governor DeSantis asked rhetorically Wednesday while standing in front of a sign emblazoned with the words: ” Government of Laws. CEOs not awake.”
Financial service providers such as banks, credit card companies and money transfer services “should not collude with one another to marginalize people with whom they have political disagreements,” Gov DeSantis said before highlighting PayPal.
The San Jose, California-based money transfer service has recently drawn the hot-headed politician’s ire over claims the tech company froze the account of a Florida-based nonprofit in April after it raised funds to fight “gender abuse.” ideology” is taught in schools.
“[PayPal] cut off people they fundamentally disagree with,” Tina Descovich, the co-founder of Moms for Liberty, said loudly Bloomberg News.
In April, the conservative group had reportedly raised more than $100,000 before their account was frozen, Ms Descovich claimed, claiming it “brought our organization to a halt”.
“They use things like social credit to marginalize people they don’t like,” the Florida governor claimed, before citing the specific case of Moms for Liberty.
He also referenced an earlier incident in February, when online fundraising platform GoFundMe shut down campaigns by people involved in the Canadian trucker protests, where protesters actually brought the country’s capital to a standstill.
“We’re also going to make it very clear that discrimination, especially in the financial sector, isn’t something we want to see here in the state of Florida,” Gov DeSantis continued, before offering that other Red-dominated states — such as Texas, Tennessee and Arizona, could follow.
“We’d have a lot of money, a lot of voting rights under administration,” he said, noting that the four southern belt states could serve as a “real check” against financial excesses.
The Florida governor’s remarks on the financial sector follow proposals from the Security and Exchange Commission, which are proposing new rules that would require public companies to step up their reporting on ESG – the environment, social impact and corporate governance.
The federal agency announced possible changes to the company’s records earlier this year. The initial hope of the changes is that regulators can rein in some of the uncontrolled greenwashing – essentially companies professing to achieve green goals without ever committing to real action – that is developing as green investing becomes more popular Has.
One of the new proposed rules would require these companies to disclose what potential risks an investment in the climate crisis company would pose; in particular, showing how extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes, floods or even supply chain crises caused by extreme weather could affect the value of the company.
Another proposal the SEC has raised as a requirement was for companies to disclose data about their emissions, both direct (e.g. from pollution from manufacturing facilities) and indirect (e.g. from use of electricity that used to operate an office building).
Details of Gov. DeSantis’ executive and legislative proposals have yet to be fully announced, but one detail he made explicit during his address Wednesday was that he intends to get state pension administrators to invest in funds that exclusively be based on the investment’s ability to generate a profit and not take into account all other considerations.