Florida Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS seems petrified of taking a stand on State of Florida's $300 million in Russian investments, and Russians' investments in Florida real estate. Wonder why?
From NY Daily News:
Gov. Ron DeSantis rejects push for Florida to sell Russian investments
By DAVE GOLDINER
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
MAR 01, 2022 AT 2:52 PM
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has rejected a push for Florida to sell investments in Russian-owned companies in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.
The Republican governor pushed back after state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the Sunshine State’s top elected Democrat, called on the state move to divest itself of assets tied to Russia.
“The letter lacks necessary clarity,” said Christine Pushaw, a spokeswoman for DeSantis.
She also claimed “confusion” over Fried’s demand that the state moves to seize real estate owned by Russian oligarchs.
“To the extent, Russian citizens purchase South Florida real estate, for example, that has nothing to do with the state of Florida investing in or divesting from ‘a list of Russian-headquartered entities,’” Pushaw said.
DeSantis and two allies, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody control the State Board of Administration. The SBA manages an estimated $195 billion in state-owned holdings, including about $300 million in Russian-based entities.
Even as he rebuffed the calls from Fried and a similar call from fellow GOP Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) for tougher action, DeSantis portrayed himself as urging a hard line against Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
DeSantis called on President Biden to take steps to expand U.S. energy production, suggesting that would hurt oil-producing Russia, although he did not elaborate.
“Hit (Putin) where it counts,” DeSantis said in his first public remarks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The problem .... with Biden is that he has stepped on the neck of our domestic energy here in the United States.”
Since the shocking invasion, DeSantis had failed to mention the Russian invasion in the first few days. He was silent on the topic at his high-profile speech at the CPAC convention last week, even though he denounced China and even U.S. allies Canada and Australia in it.
DeSantis keeps quiet on Russian invasion of Ukraine in CPAC speech »
He appears to be isolated among governors from both parties and across the political spectrum in refusing to take any concrete actions against Russia.
Democrats and Republicans alike have taken steps like refusing to sell Russian-made alcohol in state-run liquor stores to protest Putin’s invasion.
A potential 2024 White House hopeful, DeSantis may be wary of getting too far ahead of former President Trump, who has praised Putin as “very savvy” and a “genius.”
DeSantis finished a solid second to Trump in a presidential straw poll of CPAC attendees, the latest sign of his rising political star on the right-wing of American politics.
New York Daily News
Dave Goldiner is a political reporter at the New York Daily News. A 30-year newsroom veteran, he believes he is the only reporter to cover both the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the death and funeral of South African freedom icon Nelson Mandela on the ground.