A proposed law in Florida would force bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis and other elected officials to register with a state office and file monthly reports or face fines of $25 per day. The bill was filed in the Florida Senate Tuesday by Senator Jason Brodeur, a Republican.
If enacted, the proposed law would likely be challenged in court on grounds that it violates First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and the press. Defending his bill, Brodeur said, “Paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk. They both are professional electioneers. If lobbyists have to register and report, why shouldn’t paid bloggers?” according to the Florida Politics news website.
The bill text defines bloggers as people who write for websites or webpages that are “frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content.” Websites run by newspapers or “similar publications” are excluded from the definition.
There’s an article posted on ArsTechnica where Florida’s Little Dictator, Ron DeSantis, is trying to squelch all criticism within the state, especially anything critical of him. Oh, the proposed law has all the politicians listed out, but don’t be fooled: it’s all about him. I don’t get paid a penny for what I post, and I will never have advertising on my blog unless I can no longer pay to not have ads on my blog. But as along as I can run a blog as free of influence as possible, I will write about anything, including the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as Tallahassee.
I’ve been a citizen of Florida since moving here in 1984. One reason I moved down here was because it was a reasonable Democratic state, with Bob Graham as Florida’s Democratic Governor. We had Democratic Governors until 2000, when we got Jeb Bush. And it’s been a slow downhill slide into hell ever since. There are a number of reasons for the switch, one of which is the villainy of Republicans, and another is the incompetence of the Democratic party, as exemplified by what happened in Miami-Dade/Palm Beach Bush/Gore presidential recount and the “hanging chads” debacle. And the Florida Democratic party has only gotten worse since. Florida is Republican because the Democratic party cannot mount an effective political offense against Republicans. The sting of Gore’s loss is worsened by the fact that he won the popular vote, but had victory stolen from him by the machinations of the anti-democratic Electoral College.
Our only hope of kicking the Republicans out of power in Florida is to take advantage of these increasingly authoritarian acts being perpetrated by the Florida Republican party. Hopefully as Republicans get stupider, I pray the Florida Democrats will get smarter, and in the process, grow a backbone.
I will continue to do my very small part to call out the Republican assholes in Tallahassee. Fuck you, Ron DeSantis.
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