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Cancellation for fun and profit, especially profit


Ron DeSantis wishes to clarify that his cancellation of student groups he doesn’t like isn’t cancel culture:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his call to ban pro-Palestinian groups from Florida state colleges Sunday, after one of his Republican presidential primary opponents, Vivek Ramaswamy, slammed the demand as “a shameful political ploy.”

“It’s unconstitutional. It’s utter hypocrisy for someone who railed against left-wing cancel culture,” Ramaswamy posted on X (formerly Twitter) Thursday, alleging that it violates students’ right to free speech.

DeSantis held firm Sunday.

“This is not cancel culture. This group, they themselves said, in the aftermath of the Hamas attack, that they don’t just stand in solidarity that they are part of this Hamas movement,” DeSantis said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“You have a right to go out and demonstrate, but you can’t provide material support to terrorism. They’ve linked themselves to Hamas. And so we absolutely decertified them. They should not get one red cent of taxpayer dollars,” he added, referencing a state law that prevents people from giving aid or assistance to terrorist organizations.

“You have the right to free speech unless you materially help groups I don’t like, and by ‘material’ I mean ‘issue vague statements of solidarity.” Well OK then!

One thing about bust-outs, though, is that they’re very profitable for the people doing them:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently recounted blow by blow at an Iowa sports bar his takeover of a tiny liberal arts school, describing how he turned Sarasota’s New College from a “Marxist commune” with gender studies courses into a conservative vision for higher education.

“So I appointed seven conservatives to the board of trustees,” the Republican governor and 2024 White House hopeful told those gathered. “They fired the president, hired a conservative president.”

As it was, the ink was barely dry on the contract for that new president, Richard Corcoran, a former state education chief under DeSantis. The day before DeSantis’ Iowa appearance, those New College board members pushed through an agreement that could eventually pay Corcoran up to $1.3 million a year to oversee their university — a school of about 700 students.

Working on the front lines of the culture fights for DeSantis can be quite lucrative, it turns out. Many of the governor’s top lieutenants in charge of executing his hard-charging agenda — which doubles as a platform for his presidential campaign — earn six-figure incomes. In some cases, their pay far outpaces the salaries for their jobs under past Florida governors.

Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the state surgeon general who is leading DeSantis’ crusade against the coronavirus vaccine, collects about $447,000 a year through an arrangement that also includes a paid position at the University of Florida College of Medicine. That’s nearly twice as much as what his predecessor was making when he left the position, which included a salary from the college as well.

Cord Byrd, the appointed secretary of state overseeing DeSantis’ new election police force and leading his crackdown on alleged voter fraud, makes $188,000 a year, a pay bump of 32% compared with the officeholder in the previous administration.

Manny Diaz Jr., the public education commissioner who recently sparred with Florida’s only Black Republican congressman over the state’s new African American history standards, has a salary of $314,000 — about $38,000 a year more than the previous two people to hold the job, one of whom was Corcoran.

Other allies have found themselves in high-paying positions not long after delivering on contentious DeSantis priorities. Like Corcoran, they were hired by boards stacked with DeSantis appointees.

You take a two hundred dollar case of booze and sell it for a hundred. It doesn’t matter. It’s all profit.

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