I’m not talking about the weather.
Florida Senate Bill 1316 would require bloggers who write about the governor to register with the state. It’s not just the governor either. It includes the Attorney General, and members of the Florida executive cabinet or the legislature. If you don’t register there are penalty fines. The bill would require monthly reports and require the disclosure on the amount of money made from the writing.
It’s pretty obvious that the bill is a designed to have a chilling effect on free speech. Historically, public figures have less protection from libel and slander than the regular public. It is assumed receiving harsh commentary is part of the job. Basically, if you want to be a public figure you can expect to put up with public attacks.
I guess those poor Florida politicians need a safe space. Apparently they are too sensitive to deal with the realities of lively political discourse. As a blogger it’s pretty neat to realize that those politicians fear me and other bloggers.
I’m going to keep an eye on that legislation. I don’t know if pertains to just Florida bloggers or if the are casting a wider net. No matter. If they pass that bad law the only thing for any self respecting blogger to do is to violate the law.
It’s called free speech. There’s an old legal document going back to the founding of this country that has something to say about it. Maybe we should send the the Florida politicians a copy?