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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — PayPal reversed its hold on donations and funds for conservative group “Moms for Liberty” soon after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he would crack down on financial institutions discriminating against people based on political beliefs.
Gov. DeSantis highlighted the story of parental rights organizations Moms for Liberty, which found out on July 15, while DeSantis spoke at its event, that PayPal had blocked the group’s ability to process monthly donors. It also placed a hold on $4,500 in the organization’s account.
“PayPal told [founder Tina Descovich] that [Moms for Liberty] could not operate on the platform until the IRS approved the organization’s paperwork,” Florida’s Voice reported. “However, Descovich said that PayPal had already accepted the paperwork they filed with the IRS, which is backlogged, in January of 2021.”
Those problems went away a few days after Descovich spoke at a July 27 event with Gov. DeSantis to discuss efforts to stop discrimination against people by financial institutions as well as to stop the use of woke “Environmental, Social, and Governance” scores in investment decisions.
Descovich said at the July 27 event that her organization had processed $300,000 worth of transactions in 2021 without any problems. She said all of her tax documents had been properly filed, but that a federal backlog at the IRS has slowed down the processing of its documents.
“We were paralyzed for weeks,” Descovich said, speaking of the freeze on her account. That included purchases for different materials bought from the group by local chapters. Moms for Liberty has not had problems with Florida institutions and began transitioning away from using it.
She blamed a July 15 event that received media attention for causing PayPal to take action against the group.
DeSantis’ office took credit for PayPal’s reversal.
Last week Tina Descovich, Co-Founder of @Moms4Liberty, shared that PayPal locked their account and withheld funds with no warning or justification.
Days after our event, their funds were released.
Florida has put WOKE banking on notice. pic.twitter.com/p2e9yisC4V
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 1, 2022
“Last week, Tina Descovich, Co-Founder of @Moms4Liberty, shared that PayPal locked their account and withheld funds with no warning or justification. Days after our event, their funds were released,” the Florida governor tweeted Monday. “Florida has put WOKE banking on notice.”
“The ‘threat’ only works when it comes from a leader who has a track record of following through. Which .@GovRonDeSantis does,” DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted Monday in response to commentator David Marcus tweeting that the “threat” of punishment of “woke corporations” is enough to stop them.
PayPal did not respond to a request for comment on what prompted the original decision to freeze the account and then to unfreeze it. LifeSiteNews emailed Tuesday morning and also asked if pressure from DeSantis factored into the decision.
DeSantis says state money should be invested to benefit people, not ideology
The policies proposed by the Republican governor will push back against ideology being used to guide investment decisions. Instead, fund managers, according to DeSantis, should act in “the best interests of the beneficiaries of those funds,” such as public employees who rely on the money for pensions.
The Miami Herald reported:
DeSantis plans to have the State Board of Administration, which oversees investments, direct pension-fund managers against “using political factors when investing the state’s money.” So-called ESG policies have drawn criticism from Republicans across the country. “We want them [fund managers] to invest the state’s money for the best interests of the beneficiaries of those funds, which is, again, the people that are retired cops and teachers and other public employees,” DeSantis said Wednesday during an appearance at a Tampa restaurant.
DeSantis also asked the Florida Retirement System (FRS) at the end of 2021 to ensure that its investments do not support the Chinese Communist Party regime.
“The State of Florida will investigate its holdings in Chinese companies and retake control of its shareholder proxy voting from ideology-crazed investment funds,” a December 20 news release from the governor’s office stated.
“If you look at how these major companies behave when faced with Chinese disapproval, they censor what the CCP tells them to censor and we see groveling apologies,” DeSantis said. “Go back a generation, and the idea of the American elites was, ‘If we allow China into the WTO [World Trade Organization] and give them most favored nation status, that will make China more like us.’ This experiment has failed and it has endangered our nation’s national and economic security.”