DeSantis Weakened Law Restricting Chinese Property Buyers To Please GOP Donor: Report
Ken Griffin reportedly used his immense sway as a Republican donor to convince DeSantis to weaken a Florida law
In a display of significant political influence, billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin reportedly swayed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to revise a proposed law that would have prohibited Chinese nationals from purchasing real estate in the state.
The original draft of the legislation sought to bar citizens from seven countries, including China and Venezuela, from buying property in Florida. The controversial proposal came as part of DeSantis’s anti-China crackdown, aiming to limit foreign influence in the state.
Griffin, the founder of Citadel, was among those who opposed the sweeping legislation. His opposition was not without reason: the law could have complicated the relocation of Citadel’s employees to Florida, where the company has recently expanded its operations.
Following Griffin’s intervention, the law was reshaped significantly. While it still restricts Chinese nationals’ ability to invest in Florida’s real estate market, the restrictions are less severe than initially proposed. As it stands now, the law is being challenged in court, but a recent ruling allows it to remain in effect during the legal battle.
This incident highlights Griffin’s significant influence in Florida politics. Known for his substantial political donations, Griffin has been a key player in shaping policy decisions. His relationship with DeSantis has been particularly notable, with reports suggesting that Griffin may be rethinking his support for DeSantis’s potential presidential bid.
However, Griffin’s intervention in the property law has raised questions about the role of big donors in influencing policy decisions. Critics argue that such influence undermines democratic processes and favors the interests of the wealthy over the public good.
The changes to Florida’s property law illustrate the significant sway that major donors like Griffin can have over state politics. As the law continues to face legal challenges, the debate over foreign property ownership and the influence of big money in politics is likely to continue.
The move also comes as DeSantis continues to face opposition from supporters of 45th President Donald Trump who believe he is too close the establishment wing of the Republican Party.