Florida Republican Introduces Political Blogger Registration Bill

When I read that Florida Republican State Senator Jason Brodeur had introduced legislation to require registration and reporting by bloggers writing about legislators, plus elected and appointed state officials, I thought, “Is this guy nuts?’

Doesn’t he know that the highest protection under the First Amendment is for political speech?

Here’s what the bill proposes:

For blog posts that “concern an elected member of the legislature” or “an officer of the executive branch,” monthly reports must disclose the amount of compensation received for the coverage, rounded to the nearest $10 value.If compensation is paid for a series of posts or for a specific amount of time, the blogger would be required to disclose the total amount to be received, upon publication of the first post in said series or timeframeAdditional compensation must be disclosed later on.Failure to file these disclosures or register with state officials, if the bill passes, would lead to daily fines for the bloggers, with a maximum amount per report, not per writer, of $2,500. The per-day fine is $25 per report for each day it’s late.The bill also requires that bloggers file notices of failure to file a timely report the same way that lobbyists file their disclosures and reports on assessed fines. Fines must be paid within 30 days of payment notice, unless an appeal is filed with the appropriate office. Fine payments must be deposited into the Legislative Lobbyist Registration Trust Fund if it concerns an elected member of the legislature.For writing about members of the executive branch, fines would be made payable to the Executive Branch Lobby Registration Trust Fund or, if it concerns both groups, the fine may be paid to both related trust funds in equal amounts.Explicitly, the blogger rule would not apply to newspapers or similar publications, under Brodeur’s proposed legislation.

Apparently Governor Ron DeSantis may have a better grasp on the First Amendment than Senator Brodeur.

One can only wonder what heat Senator Brodeur has been taking from bloggers.

Florida Politics reports,

“’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?’ Brodeur said of his bill.

“Brodeur notably has been the subject of frequent criticism in the media in recent years, much of it surrounding the presence of a ‘ghost candidate‘ when he first ran for Florida Senate in 2020. He won that election with just 50.3% of the vote, besting Democrat Patricia Sigman while a no-party-affiliation candidate siphoned off thousands of votes.”


Florida Republican Introduces Political Blogger Registration Bill — 7 Comments

  1. Whew. ole’ cal, your crack reporter, is certainly safe from this infringement.

    Although he has a second home in Fl (on our tax dollars) his solid reporting will go unchallenged.

    His reporting is not considered professional nor does his mess on a site qualify as a blog.

    So breath easy all the deep thinkers out there.

  2. Republicans, now they want us to pay for the right to free speech.

  3. Surprised it was a Republican. One could readily understand if a Democrat or someone from the Biden regime proposed this.

    But, the Democrat party need not worry about comments from individuals. Most of the main stream media are really mouthpieces for and protectors of Democrats actions, decisions, incompetence. They are akin to Pravda being the mouthpiece for the communist party in the old USSR.

  4. The Florida state senate race cited in this story makes no sense.

    The election wasn’t that close, and while 50.3% of the vote is barely a majority, Florida does not require majority winners in general elections like neighboring Georgia.

    Florida is winner-take-all, both primary and general.

  5. Cal when you go to Cape Coral and manage this blog you may have to register. You are compensated by the State of Illinois.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.