DeSantis plans to fight ‘woke ideology’ of Paypal and other financial services

Governor Ron DeSantis plans to make money transfer services such as PayPal – along with credit cards and banks – the next targets of his campaign against “woke ideology”, announcing a series of measures on Wednesday ahead of the next legislative session.

The proposals, which DeSantis said would include a combination of legislative and executive initiatives, would prohibit credit card companies and money transfer services from “discriminating” against users based on political or religious ideology.

Banks, credit cards and money transfer services ‘shouldn’t collude to marginalize people with whom they have political disagreements,’ DeSantis said, addressing an audience in the dining room paneled Harpoon Harry’s Crab House in downtown Tampa. “That’s not how you can effectively manage an economy.”

DeSantis named PayPal as a company its proposed actions would affect.

PayPal already has cut accounts and fundraising platforms affiliated with far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, but also anti-facism or “antifa” groups, for violating its policy of promoting violence or intolerance.

The governor specifically referenced the decision by crowdfunding website GoFundMe to block donations to a convoy of Canadian truckers that shut down Ottawa in January and February to protest vaccination mandates. Earlier this year, DeSantis said he would work with the state attorney general to investigate the company.

Details of the proposals remain unclear. But they would also prevent the State Board of Administration, which manages Florida’s retirement funds, from considering the environmental or social impact of companies before investing – an approach known as ESG, short for environmental, social and governance investment.

DeSantis said his proposal would force managers of state pension funds to make investment decisions based solely on return on investment.

Paul Renner, R – Palm Coast, the incoming speaker of Florida House, said at the event that he looked forward to working with the governor to move the proposals forward.

Renner has previously said limiting environmental, social and governance investment in the state’s financial sector is one of his legislative priorities.

Speaking alongside DeSantis at the Tampa restaurant, he described him as “the woke elite arming American capitalism against us.”

“It’s a portfolio issue, and we won’t back down until we start dismantling this dangerous form of ESG,” Renner said.

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