This isn’t really happening, is it? Florida isn’t really going to force bloggers to register with the state if they criticize state officials, is it?
It is if fascist-loving Republican state senator Jason Brodeur has his way.
Hey, Republicans, if you want people to stop accusing you of being fascists then maybe quit the fascism. Hmm? And make no mistake about it, this is fascism at its very core. Did you know that bloggers in Russia with over 3,000 readers must register with the state? That way it’s easier for them to find you when it’s time to throw you off a building.
This bill is titled “Information Dissemination,” which is bizarre coming from the party of election lies. The legislation states, “If a blogger posts to a blog about an elected state officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that post, the blogger must register with the appropriate office within five days of the post.” The bill defines “elected state officer” as “the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature.” Florida’s cabinet officers are elected and included the Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Commissioner of Agriculture.
Failing to register your blog on state officials would result in a fine of $25 per day, capped at $2,500.
The bill also states the bloggers’ reports to the state “must include” the “individual or entity that compensated the blogger for the blog post, and “the amount of compensation received from the individual or entity.”
The state wants to know who’s saying bad things about officials and who’s paying for it. I guess that way, state officials can track down the financial benefactor and put the squeeze on them, if not the writer himself. Sometimes trying to pressure a blogger doesn’t work because I hear some of them can be crazy and out of fucks to give.
Several people contribute to this blog each month. They can vary from $1.00 to $15. There are not a lot of them but I appreciate each and everyone one of them for believing in my work so much that they want to contribute to it. They contribute to keeping it going. Now, imagine if I had to give the state a list of everyone who contributes. I would refuse, even if it became law.
The bill defines a blog as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content,” but it says the “term does not include the website of a newspaper or other similar publication.”
I think WordPress, which hosts this blog and millions of others, needs to hire some lobbyists and lawyers to challenge this shit.
Ron DeSantis’ spokesgoon said the governor was reviewing the bill and, “As usual, the governor will consider the merits of a bill in final form if and when it passes the legislature.” That was the wrong response if the governor loves freedom and democracy. Instead of saying he was considering the merits of some fascist legislation, he should have said, “This legislation, if passed, will go straight from the legislature and straight into the governor’s trash can.” Not this governor.
Who believes the governor who has punished Disney for disagreeing with him will veto this bill? Who believes the governor who outlawed the word “gay” from classrooms will veto this bill? Who believes the governor outlawing black history being taught will veto this bill? Who believes the governor firing elected officials will veto this bill? Who believes the governor trying to take over a state college in order for it to give a “conservative” education will veto this bill? Who believes the governor who just created a board of homophobic religious zealots to oversee Disney’s content will veto this bill? Who believes the governor who proclaimed that Florida is “where woke goes to die” will veto this bill?
I don’t think Ron DeSantis will veto this bill.
You would also think this is useless legislation since it violates the Constitution, but considering all the goons Trump and Mitch McConnell have stacked in the courts, who says it can’t get survive court challenges?
Brodeur needs more than a civics lesson. He 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? Because in many cases, bloggers are journalists. A lobbyist has to file as a lot of their legislative efforts aren’t public. A blogger’s work is public. My cartoons and blogs are public and I rarely if ever talk to government officials. I don’t take government officials out to lunch or on fact-finding trips. I don’t play golf with congressmen. And what if a blogger isn’t paid?
Blogging is also speech. Freedom of speech is a constitutional guarantee. If I don’t register with the state, then I can’t say something about a specific topic? Republicans call themselves constitutionalists but it seems none of them have read the Constitution.
I haven’t read that this bill, if passed, would apply to bloggers outside of Florida. Maybe its author doesn’t understand he can’t legislate beyond his state’s borders. But I have half a mind to move to Florida just to challenge this bullshit bogus fascist legislation. But even without being in Florida, I need to care about this because Florida is still a part of the United States. Also, DeSantis is planning to run for president and I’m sure if elected, he’ll push his fascism nationwide.
Not in my America. When you go after bloggers and freedom of speech, you’re coming after me. You wanna fight? You got one. And if you think the mouse was tough, you haven’t tangled with a political cartoonist yet.
Frustrating blog note: I’m writing this at McDonald’s in Central Park. No, not the famous Central Park in Manhattan but the stupidly named Central Park in Fredericksburg which is not a park but a collection of strip malls with a neon design inspired by Las Vegas’ sunset strip. I’m not shitting you.
I came to Central Park to pick up my new eyeglasses. There were supposed to be two but apparently, I only bought one pair even though the salesman talked me into making sure the lenses for both frames were progressive, me handing him two frames, and us going back and forth about the lenses for both pairs. What really stumped me is that I paid the same price for this one pair that I paid for two last year. But OK, I bought one pair with a better set of lenses even though I wasn’t aware of that at the moment and they couldn’t compare to my last order because, for some reason, I have two accounts at America’s Best. Whatever. I have one pair now.
After picking up my ONE pair of eyeglasses, I walked over to Wegmans and got some rice and noodles from the buffet. I checked the notifications on my phone and realized I couldn’t read them because my eyes have not adjusted to my brand new ONE pair of eyeglasses at America’s Best, or they fucked them up. I had donated all my old pairs of eyeglasses to America’s Best to give to charity, but I decided to go back and retrieve the one I wore into the store. I did that, took a long walk to Starbucks to discover the lobby is closed, then walked back into the wind to write the blog at McDonald’s where I also ordered a mocha….and learned after paying that the mocha machine is done.
I also missed the bus to get down here so I had to order a Lyft. Quite frankly, the only thing that worked right today was the Lyft, the rice, and the noodles. Also, Madonna’s “borderline” is playing right now. “I feel I’m going to lose my mind.”
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