OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has often spoken of how he and the GOP-controlled Florida legislature have managed to create a prosperous oasis of freedom with their policies, but the popular governor nevertheless still has concerns about the state’s future.
And one of the biggest is that as a beacon of liberty and opportunity, it will attract companies from places like deep-blue California and New York the country that bring with them left-wing Democratic voters who could then overwhelm GOP majorities and turn the state into another liberal “dumpster fire.”
“There is cause for concern,” DeSantis said during an event Monday. “Texas would have all these companies moved from California over the years. So you’d have companies move from San Francisco to Austin, and they’d bring hundreds of employees with them. And those employees would vote the exact same way they voted that turned San Francisco into the dumpster fire that it is.”
ICYMI: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) calls San Francisco a “dumpster fire” and expresses concern about Democrats moving to Florida:
“It is a problem because I do think there’s a class of voters who would come to Florida, and they would continue to vote the same way.” pic.twitter.com/BYcIvTydKY
— The Recount (@therecount) April 25, 2022
He went on to express new fears that voters from California could move to Florida and then continue to vote the same way after failing to make a connection between “leftist” policies and the problems created by them.
“It’s like the leftism, they will not draw the connection between their leftist ideology and the destruction that’s all around them,” DeSantis said. “It is a problem because I do think there’s a class of voters who would come to Florida, and they would continue to vote the same way.”
Fox News adds:
The Republican governor’s comments come as many high-profile companies and entrepreneurs in the technology industry have either expressed interest in, or already have, moved from California to Texas and Florida.
Among the most high-profile movers was Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who moved from California to Texas last year and has publicly floated the idea of moving Tesla’s headquarters with him. While a Tesla move to Texas hasn’t happened yet, the company has invested in a large facility close to Austin and appears poised to make Texas a priority.
That said, the Sunshine State governor is doing his part to keep Florida increasingly red.
Earlier this month, Florida’s Legislature essentially turned over the state’s redistricting following the 2020 Census to the governor in what appeared to be an unprecedented move.
“At this time, Legislative reapportionment staff is not drafting or producing a map for introduction during the special session,” state Senate President Wilton Simpson and state House Speaker Chris Sprowls said in a joint statement.
“We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support. Our intention is to provide the Governor’s Office opportunities to present that information before House and Senate redistricting committees,” they added.
The Washington Examiner reported further:
DeSantis vetoed a map the Legislature sent him late last month after which lawmakers agreed to hold a special session from April 19-22 to draw a new map. The announcement Monday comes as the state is approaching the June 17 deadline for prospective candidates for federal office without a map. The state’s primary election is slated to take place in August.
When he issued the veto, DeSantis argued the map the Legislature sent him violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by preserving a racially gerrymandered district favorable to Democrats. Many outside observers noted DeSantis had been lobbying the Legislature for months to pass a map with more GOP-friendly lines. The Legislature’s map would have likely given Republicans an 18-10 advantage, up from the current 16-11 split, per Florida Politics.
Also, another report from earlier this month noted that former Democrats are re-registering in Florida as Republicans, widening the GOP voter registration advantage for the first time in the state’s history.