Editor, The Beacon:
Ken Griffin, CEO of the Citadel hedge fund, said he views Florida as a better corporate environment than his current home base in Chicago. Citadel and its 1,000-plus employees will soon be moving to Miami.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is welcoming Griffin with open arms. With good reason. In addition to the increased tax base and other economic advantages for the state and for the city of Miami, Citadel’s CEO has donated nearly $10.8 million to DeSantis’ political committee, making him the governor’s top individual political donor.
There should be a fly in the ointment, given Griffin’s criticism of DeSantis’ decision to go after Disney following the feud between the governor and the entertainment giant over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Griffin said, “I don’t appreciate Gov. DeSantis’ going after Disney. It can be portrayed, or feel, or look like retaliation.”
Griffin was also highly critical of DeSantis on other occasions. During the height of the debate around COVID and masks, Griffin said, “He’s caught himself up in a political maelstrom of putting the concept of personal freedom first and foremost around masks, and I understand the principle. But Florida’s a really diverse state. He should have let each county make a decision on its own.”
Apparently, DeSantis never heard the criticism. The $10.8 million obviously drowned out Griffin’s words. Disney did contribute to the governor’s campaigns, but only in the $100,000 range.
Pony up larger donations, and DeSantis will put in his earplugs and leave you alone.
J. David Bethel