The conservative backlash against Bud Light is not over yet, as explained by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday on Fox News that he is willing to take legal action against his parent company.
DeSantis looks like Jesse Watters Primetime in conjunction with a letter written by a 2024 presidential candidate, received by CNN, suggesting that AB InBev breached the legal duties owed to its shareholders by engaging in “radical social ideologies”. Bud Light used transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney to help market its product, and sales subsequently plummeted thanks in part to musician Kid Rock and others leading a boycott.
According to DeSantis, the losses seen by the Florida pension fund after the partnership could be actionable. According to CNN, the pension fund held AB InBev shares worth $46 million in March this year. Its price has fallen from $66 per share to $58, although the outlet notes that it is still higher than the $44 low in September 2022. DeSantis, along with the state’s attorney general and chief financial officer–both Republicans–are trustees of the State Administrative Board, which handles public worker retirement funds.
“We must prudently manage the funds of Florida’s hard-working law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and first responders in a way that focuses on increasing results, not subsidizing an ideological agenda through victory signaling,” DeSantis wrote in his letter.
DeSantis reiterated that point to Watters.
“We believe that when you take your eye off the ball like that, you’re not following your fiduciary duty to do the best you can for your shareholders,” he said.
“So we’re going to launch an investigation into Bud Light and InBev, and it could lead to a derivative lawsuit filed on behalf of Florida pension fund shareholders,” he continued. “Because at the end of the day, there have to be penalties when you put business aside to focus on your social agenda at the expense of hard working people.”
DeSantis is far from the only Republican who has made it a point to address the Bud Light controversy by using the tools at their disposal.
His latest action came not long after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) demanded that the Beer Institute investigate Bud Light’s short-term partnership with Mulvaney — one that the senator also claimed “requires detailed oversight by Congress.”