Local NewsFort Bend County Judge Invites Disney World, Twitter to Move to Texas

Fort Bend County Judge KP George invited Disney and Twitter to consider the county “a welcoming and diverse place to do business.”
April 22, 2022
After Florida state lawmakers approved legislation stripping the Walt Disney Company of longstanding special benefits this week, Fort Bend County Judge KP George, a Democrat seeking reelection this year, sent letters to the CEOs of Disney and Twitter urging the companies to move to Fort Bend.

“While you, your company, employees, and diverse fans face authoritarian, anti-business, and culture war attacks from extremists in Florida, we in Fort Bend are more than ready to welcome the [Disney and Twitter families] with thousands of good paying jobs and billions of dollars of investments,” wrote George.

He urged Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to visit Fort Bend County and consider it as a location for “a new Walt Disney World Resort” and “Twitter offices.”

George’s letter echoed a statement from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis several days earlier when he invited the construction of a “Mountain Disneyland” or “Twitter HQ2” in his state.

Polis’ remarks came after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would be exploring ways his state could “be holding these Twitter board of directors accountable for breaching their fiduciary duty” after the board maneuvered around an offer from billionaire Elon Musk to buy the company at over 15 percent above the share price.

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DeSantis noted that the State of Florida owns shares of Twitter through its pension funds despite its stock price remaining relatively “stagnant.”

Like Twitter, conflict between Disney and DeSantis has been in the spotlight lately.

After the company released a statement criticizing the state for its legislation that prohibits discussion of sexual content in classrooms with students in the third grade or below, DeSantis announced that in addition to redistricting, he was asking lawmakers to pass legislation removing special privileges the company has given to Disney.

This week, the Florida legislature approved legislation that will dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was created at the founding of the company’s theme park in the state to expedite its own infrastructure development.

The special status reportedly allows Disney to levy taxes on itself amounting to $163 million to provide for its own services and pay off bond debt — something that counties covering the district will need to fulfill if the bill is signed into law.

Despite the invitations of George and Polis, building another Disney World would be full of its own costs.

The theme park is estimated to have cost $400 million to build in 1971. Accounting for inflation, that would be over $2.8 billion today.

Moreover, like DeSantis, lawmakers in Texas have also been critical of Disney for its statement opposing Florida’s education bill and its increasing push for a “woke” agenda.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sent out a campaign email earlier this month criticizing the company, suggesting potential legislation similar to Florida.

George’s invitation to Disney also diverges from another Fort Bend County elected official, Rep. Gary Gates (R-Richmond).

Gates sent a letter to DeSantis praising him for the legislation, affirming his support for the similar bill that Patrick wants to pass, and expressing dissatisfaction with Disney.

“Disney’s conduct disregards me as a parent and feels like a betrayal,” wrote Gates.

Update: This article was updated to include George’s party affiliation.


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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.

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