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(LifeSiteNews) – Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking aim at yet another component of left-wing activists’ takeover of American culture, announcing new legislation to curtail the influence of environmental, social, & governance (ESG) standards on the business world and calling on other states to do the same.
ESG, a scoring system that incentivizes investing in companies not on the basis of their performance for customers and shareholders but rather on their fealty to so-called “social justice” principles such as diversity and environmentalism, is one of the reasons why so many once-apolitical businesses have in recent years taken stances on issues ranging from homosexuality and transgenderism to race relations to even abortion.
During a Wednesday press briefing, DeSantis announced he would be working with the Florida Legislature to enact new legislation curbing ESG, starting with prohibiting large banks credit card companies, and other payment processors from discriminating against customers on the basis of political, religious, or social views; prohibiting Florida’s State Board of Administration (SBA) from considering ESG factors in decisions on investing taxpayer dollars, and requiring SBA fund managers to make investment decisions solely on the basis of maximizing the return on investment for Florida retirees.
Gov. DeSantis Hits Back Against ESG Funds https://t.co/jXzK71Pq9P
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 27, 2022
“The leveraging of corporate power to impose an ideological agenda on society represents an alarming trend,” DeSantis said. “From Wall Street banks to massive asset managers and big tech companies, we have seen the corporate elite use their economic power to impose policies on the country that they could not achieve at the ballot box. Through the actions I announced today, we are protecting Floridians from woke capital and asserting the authority of our constitutional system over ideological corporate power.”
“Do we govern ourselves through our constitution and through our elections or do we have these masters of the universe occupying these commanding heights of society?” he asked. “For every master of the universe who’s prattling on about, you know, no emissions and all this stuff, I don’t see very many of them giving up their private jets.”
“They’re using things like social credit scores to be able to marginalize people that they don’t like,” DeSantis added, referencing discrimination against conservative customers by services such as GoFundMe and PayPal.
During the event, the governor invited to speak Tina Descovich, co-founder of the grassroots group Moms for Liberty, who relayed how PayPal had frozen more than $100,000 of the group’s donations earlier this year, bringing the organization “to a screeching halt” and rendering them “paralyzed for weeks.”
“In a day and age of canceled culture, where parental-rights groups are being designated as domestic terrorists by our own United States Department of Justice, the cancellation of our financing by major organizations just seems like the next step in these draconian policies,” Descovich said.
DeSantis also called for Florida’s actions to be just the start of a multi-state effort to put collective weight behind anti-ESG influence.
If Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Texas worked together, for instance, “we’d have a lot of money, a lot of voting power under management,” he said. “And so we could be a real check against a lot of the excesses that we’ve seen and probably have enough resources to beat back a lot of the stuff.”
Over the past few years, DeSantis has made a name for himself as one of the most proactive conservative leaders in the United States, prompting interest in potentially nominating him for the presidency in 2024. His latest comments have inspired hopes and speculation about how he might dismantle the federal government’s promotion of ESG in the White House.