South Carolina state treasurer Curtis Loftis has removed Disney from the approved investment list maintained by his office. The treasurer’s current portfolio contains an estimated $105 million dollars in Disney debt instruments which, according to a release from his office, “will mature and not be replaced.”
“The treasurer will focus on the equity portfolio in the coming weeks,” the release noted.
In an address to his staff this week, Loftis said he was concerned that “Disney has abandoned its fiduciary responsibilities to its investors and customers by joining far-left activist in boycotting legal, taxpaying, employment-creating corporations to further Disney’s political agenda.”
“Multi-billion-dollar corporations should not engage in boycotts designed to silence legitimate debate,” he said. “Since America’s founding, freedom of speech has been one of its core principals, and Disney should not engage in nefarious practices aimed at silencing those with less power and money.”
Loftis is in his fourth term as treasurer – having won reelection unopposed in 2022. He manages an estimated $70 billion in assets in his role as the “state’s banker.”
While Loftis’ move has a political justification, it is clearly warranted from a fiduciary standpoint. Disney’s stock has cratered over the last two-and-a-half years – plummeting from $197.16 per share in March of 2021 all the way down to $90.50 during Tuesday’s trading.
Loftis’ posture toward Disney differs dramatically from that of former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley – who is currently emerging as the GOP’s top alternative to former president Donald Trump. Earlier this year, Haley rebuked one of her presidential rivals – Florida governor Ron DeSantis – for his battle with the liberal corporate giant, offering to take its jobs in the event Disney left the Sunshine State.
“Hey Disney, my home state will happily accept your 70,000+ jobs if you want to leave Florida,” Haley tweeted. “We’ve got great weather, great people, and it’s always a great day in South Carolina! (Our state)’s not woke, but we’re not sanctimonious about it either.”
Haley also seemed to indicate her former colleagues in the S.C. General Assembly – and current S.C. governor Henry McMaster – would be okay with the Disney pitch.
“South Carolina was a very anti-woke state, it still is, and if Disney would like to move their hundreds of thousands of jobs to South Carolina and bring the billions of dollars with them, I’ll let them know I’ll be happy to meet them in South Carolina and introduce them to the governor and the legislature that would welcome it,” Haley added.
No word yet on whether DeSantis or fellow 2024 presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy will use Loftis’ announcement to draw a bead on Haley’s prior comments.
For more on that subject, click here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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