John Oliver raised an eyebrow or two at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” on HBO, after the politician responded without sharing any concrete plans to quash concerns that Orange and Osceola counties could face tax hikes over Disney losing its self-contained governing status.
Oliver dug into things after making a joke about one of the essential services the Disney Corp does not currently provide in its special district.
“Yeah, it’s true. In the part of Central Florida where Disneyworld is the company technically functions as a self-contained government providing essential services except crucially, a morgue. Why? Because no one, look at me,” he said looking even deeper into the camera. “No one has ever died at Disney. And no one will ever die at Disney. There was no f—ing morgue at Disney. Not if you understand me (camera nods). Very good. There are plenty of signs that DeSantis didn’t really think this through with experts pointing out that the law might actually violate the contract clause of the Florida constitution, and also, the Florida State law requires the county assume the district’s debt when it’s dissolved, which could mean that Orange and Osceola counties, where the district is, inherit upwards of a billion dollars in bond debt. So, it is no wonder that there are real concerns about all the potential disruption here. Thankfully, DeSantis had some reassuring words,” Oliver said.
The host then played a clip of a recent remarks from DeSantis, made at a press conference, where he offered assurances, but no exact details to Floridians about why that won’t happen.
“We’re going to take care of all that. Don’t worry, this is all — we have everything thought out,” DeSantis told a crowd. “Don’t let anyone tell you that somehow Disney is going to get a tax cut out of this. They’re going to pay more taxes as a result of it.”
At that point, Oliver likened DeSantis to a frat boy dealing with a police officer called out over a noise complaint.
“OK, there is just nothing more immediately off-putting then someone starting a sentence with ‘Don’t worry.’ Sounds like a frat boy trying to reason with the cops after a noise complaint. ‘Don’t worry, man. We’re gonna take care of all of that. We got everything thought out. You guys want a beer or something? You want to hang out?’” Oliver joked, adding that DeSantis’ office continues to “to be vague on details with one spokeswoman admitting, ‘The Governor’s office does not have a written plan on how the dissolution will proceed.’”
He continued: “Which of course it doesn’t. Look, do I think it’s bad if Disney pays more taxes? No, I don’t. That would be a good thing. I don’t love that it might happen not through meaningful tax reform but on the whim of one right wing dipsh– who’s scared of gay people and doesn’t understand the First Amendment. But hey, ends, means, what are you going to do?”