Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur (R-Lake Mary) is targeting bloggers who have the audacity to do their jobs by writing about elected officials. Brodeur is seeking to require bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and other Florida executive cabinet members or legislature members to register with the state. This sounds so snowflakey, and I’m pretty sure this is unconstitutional.
Brodeur’s proposal, Senate Bill 1316: Information Dissemination, would require any blogger writing about government officials to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics.
In the bill, Brodeur wrote that those who write “an article, a story, or a series of stories” about “the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature” and receives or will receive payment for doing so, must register with state offices within five days after the publication of an article that mentions an elected state official.
Brodeur has put a lot of thought into this proposal. If another blog post is added to a blog, the writer would be required to submit monthly reports on the 10th of each month with the appropriate state office, according to the outlet.
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 a blog post is written about executive branch members, fines would be made payable to the Executive Branch Lobby Registration Trust Fund. If it concerns both groups, the penalty may be paid equally to both related trust funds.
The proposal requires that bloggers file additional paperwork if they fail to file the initial paperwork. If the fine hasn’t been paid in time, an additional $25 penalty per day would be added for each day it’s late.
I’m starting to think that Republicans aren’t really about small government. Or the First Amendment.