Florida Republican Submits A Bill Requiring ‘Bloggers’ to Register and File Monthly Reports

Florida lawmakers seem to be quite distracted by issues not related to the problems plaguing the state. 

Weeks after Democratic State Senator Lauren Brook proposed to ban dogs from sticking their heads out car windows, Republican State Senator Jason Brodeur last week proposed to require bloggers to “register with the Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics.”

READ: Florida’s Housing Insurance Crisis Is About to Get Worse

The measure, officially SB 1316, would also require bloggers to submit a report it they write “about an elected state officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that post.” The report, which would be filed monthly unless no posts fall under the rule, would require the registered blogger to disclose the amount of the compensation received.

With its wildly broad terms, the legislation defines “blogger” as “any person that submits a blog post to a blog which is subsequently published,” a “blog post” as “an individual webpage on a blog which contains an article, a story, or a series of stories,” and a “blog” as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content. The term does not include the website of a newspaper or other similar publication.”

It was immediately met with a tidal wave of criticism, including one from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who called it “insane” and “an embarrassment.”

Deemed unconstitutional, and an incursion to free speech, Brodeur’s measure has also been called “moronic” and Brodeur, who remains the sole supporter of the measure, an “idiot.”  

Brodeur attempts to explain that the measure is not a free speech issue, but one that addresses electioneering.

It looks like Brodeur is creating legislation for an issue that’s actually close to his heart. In 2019, the state senator was found to have paid $37,000 of his campaign money to Jacob Engels, an Orlando-based blogger associated with InfoWars and the neo-fascist group Proud Boys.

Information for this briefing was found via the Guardian, Twitter, Orlando Sentinel, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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