Florida governor reveals true opinions at exclusive Teneo event

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, it was revealed that an exclusive retreat hosted by the Leonard Leo-chaired Teneo Network provided a “private and confidential” environment for Florida governor Ron DeSantis to reveal opinions he had not felt comfortable sharing publicly prior. Teneo Network is part of Leo’s dark money network, receiving the bulk of its funding from Leo-linked DonorsTrust. Its members include Sen. Josh Hawley, Rep. Elise Stefanik, and the heads of the Republican Attorneys General Association, Republican State Leadership Committee, and Turning Point USA, among other influential conservatives.

Far-right conservatives like Ron DeSantis see Leonard Leo’s shady Teneo Network as the perfect place to reveal their true thoughts in secret. What else are conservatives confessing behind closed doors at Leo-affiliated events? This is just the latest in Leo’s decades-long ploy to cultivate spaces for conservatives to conspire out of the public eye.”

Accountable.US spokesperson Derek Martin.

ProPublica highlights:

“DeSantis’ call to break up large tech companies occurred at the Teneo Network’s annual retreat in 2021. As ProPublica and Documented recently reported, the Teneo Network aims to “crush liberal dominance” across many areas of American society, according to its chairman Leonard Leo, the influential legal activist and longtime leader of the Federalist Society.”

“Matt Stoller, an antitrust expert who works at the American Economic Liberties Project, said it’s hard to tell if DeSantis’ private comments indicate genuine concern about corporate concentration of power or just anger at large firms perceived to be hostile to conservatives…Stoller added that he was more intrigued by DeSantis’ decision to call for breaking up tech at an event so closely associated with Leonard Leo. “If Leo buys that argument,” Stoller said, “then it means that a lot of federal judges might tip in that direction, too.’”

“Teneo’s retreats are invite-only affairs limited to its members, their spouses and special guests. ProPublica and Documented obtained a video of DeSantis’ remarks about big tech, which took place during a longer conversation between DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur who is now running for president as a Republican.”

Accountable.US recently launched its “Mr. MAGA” campaign, exposing Leonard Leo’s foundational role in the MAGA movement — from his time in Trump’s inner circle to his efforts to undermine democracy and his personal role in overturning Roe v. Wade. Learn more about Leo’s MAGA agenda and the Mr. MAGA campaign at LeonardLeo.org.



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