Following Elon Musk’s $2.89 billion dollar purchase to become the largest shareholder of Twitter (9.2 percent), Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis penned a letter to the business mogul and Tesla co-founder urging him to move the social media platform headquarters to Florida.
Musk has long been critical of Twitter’s history of account censorship and alleged suppression of free speech, previously musing the launch of his own social media platform. Patronis, now, is looking to capitalize on Musk’s dissatisfaction with Twitter, such as the banning of Donald Trump from its platform, in an effort to promote free speech and fight against what he refers to as the “woke agenda.”
“As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and a former small business owner myself, I have seen the challenges the woke agenda, and ESG ideology, has caused social media platforms like Twitter. Corporate glad-handing to online mobs has detracted from free speech and free thought,” said Patronis. “New ideas are blocked, or muted, and creativity is demonized. For example, Twitter’s recent de-platforming of the Babylon Bee is a total disgrace. I wholeheartedly agree with you that free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. In Florida, under Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership, we value free speech and honest debate. We also know what it means to grow or maintain a business and the tools they need to succeed.”
Musk will also be appointed to Twitter’s board of directors, serving as a Class II director with a term that expires at the company’s 2024 annual shareholder meeting, according to a notice posted by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
I’m excited to share that we’re appointing @elonmusk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
Musk’s positioning and public leverage are likely to lead to sweeping changes in the way that Twitter presents itself both on screens and behind the scenes. Musk posted a poll on Twitter last week asking if users wanted to see an edit button added to the platform. Patronis, however, has bigger plans in mind than the ability to edit tweets.
“You recently moved Tesla out of California due to their state government’s obvious disdain for your businesses and others like them. While Texas is an upgrade over California – a low bar – you should seriously consider moving Twitter further east. In Florida, you won’t have an unreliable electric grid – problems you’ve already experienced in the Lone Star State. With my time on the Florida Public Service Commission, I know firsthand the strength of Florida’s power grid and, with what you have built with Starlink, this combination could provide the ultimate backbone for the world’s largest social media company,” wrote Patronis. “You already trust the Florida Space Coast with SpaceX – you should relaunch a new and improved Twitter right here in Florida. The fact is Florida is for Winners, and you have had incredible success in creating winning products. My door is always open, and my phone is ready to take your call. Also, since you now own a good portion of Twitter, you can even tweet me at @JimmyPatronis. Let’s discuss all the ways Florida can benefit Twitter and grow the platform where everyone has a voice and free speech is valued.”
Florida in 2021 welcomed over two dozen tech companies that moved from California, seeking cooperative government and a more beneficial tax structure. Gov. Ron DeSantis stands ready to bring in even more, with Musk and Twitter possibly leading the way.