- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for an investigation into Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev’s social policies, alleging negative impacts on the state’s retirement holdings.
- Critics say the move is driven purely by presidential politics.
- The State Board of Administration in Florida, overseen by the Governor, CFO, and Attorney General, is responsible for managing the state’s retirement system, and CFO Jimmy Patronis has expressed support for DeSantis’ request.
- DeSantis accuses Anheuser-Busch InBev of having a “political agenda” and claims that the company’s actions, including the hiring of a spokesperson and promotion of “transgenderism,” have resulted in financial losses for shareholders, particularly Florida’s retirement fund.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is prompting the State Board of Administration (SBA) to launch an investigation into Anheuser-Busch InBev, purportedly to determine if the beer giant’s social policies, deemed as “woke” by critics, have negatively affected the state’s retirement holdings. But critics say the move smacks of presidential politics, with CNN pointing out that many in GOP is using the issue as political fodder – and DeSantis is no different:
…DeSantis’ actions on Thursday signaled Republicans are not done using the company as a punching bag as they seek to gain favor with the party’s base. The move against Bud Light also served as another reminder that DeSantis as a sitting governor can use the power of the state to weigh in on the issues animating Republican voters, an advantage he holds over a 2024 primary field that includes many people not currently in office, including his top rival, former President Donald Trump.
In Florida, the State Board of Administration is responsible for managing the state’s retirement system. It is overseen by a three-member Board of Trustees, composed of the Governor, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and the Attorney General. CFO Jimmy Patronis, a member of the Board, also piled on late Thursday, issuing a strong statement in support of DeSantis’ request.
“The downfall of Bud Light will serve as a lesson to businesses on why it’s important to avoid politics,” Patronis said. “It’s a narrative about the arrogance of neglecting customers, and the consequence of that lack of accountability is a financial hemorrhage.”
Patronis argued that the Governor’s action was both necessary and a demonstration of common sense.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Bud Light, has been in the spotlight for what DeSantis referred to as their “political agenda,” citing the hiring of spokesmodel Dylan Mulvaney as a case in point. DeSantis asserts that these actions have cost shareholders significantly, especially in Florida where the state’s retirement fund reportedly holds around $50 million in the company.
“We will be launching an inquiry about Bud Light and InBev,” DeSantis said on Fox News. “This could potentially lead to a derivative lawsuit filed on behalf of the shareholders of the Florida Pension Fund.”
DeSantis’ critiques of Bud Light’s parent company have also been incorporated into his campaign speeches, accusing the company of promoting “transgenderism.”