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America’s blacklist culture: Republican in Florida proposes bill to regulate speech

Jason Brodeur: Republican politician in love with restricting free speech
Jason Brodeur: Republican politician in love with
restricting free speech

They’re coming for you next: The desire of people in our culture today to control and regulate the behavior of everyone else is not a partisan thing. Though the Democrats and their leftist allies have certainly led the way in blacklisting, censoring, and destroying anyone who disagrees with them, Republican politicians are just as likely to try to use their power to squelch opposition, and should never be trusted either.

Today we have a perfect example of this non-partisan lust for power. On March 7, 2023, Florida Republican state senator Jason Brodeur introduced a bill that would amend state law to require all websites to register with the government if they made any money reporting on government actions.

You can read the bill here. The underlined portions are the sections that Brodeur wishes to add to the law. The key paragraphs state the following:

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, as identified in paragraph (1)(f), within 5 days after the first post by the blogger which mentions an elected state officer.

Upon registering with the appropriate office, a blogger must file monthly reports on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time a blog post is added to the blog.

The reports must reveal in detail the income the blogger obtained for any posts. If the blogger fails to provide this report on time he or she will be fined $25 per day per report for each day late, not to exceed $2,500 per report. This new rule only applies to the websites of bloggers, not newspaper or media websites.

The language of the bill, as well as statements by Brodeur, show that he thinks all bloggers are paid lobbyists, which he believes the state legislature has the right to regulate and control. Not only is he stupidly wrong, he is legally wrong. This law is unconstitutional on its face, violating the federal Constitution and its First Amendment as well as section 5 of Florida’s Constitution, which states unequivocally that:

Every person may speak, write and publish sentiments on all subjects but shall be responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. [emphasis mine]

The law also violates section 16 (paragraph 2) of the state Constitution, which guarantees the right of every Florida citizen “…to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse.” Brodeur’s law is clearly designed to squelch free speech, to intimidate free bloggers from writing whatever they want, regardless of how they make money from that writing.

Even if Brodeur was right in his claim that some blog posts are simply paid lobbying for specific issues or candidates, so what? His attempt to register such action is still an infringement of free speech and an attempt to intimidate. How can speech be “free” if you will be fined for not doing it exactly as the government dictates?

Not surprisingly, the left immediately latched onto this law as proof that the Republicans in Florida, led by Governor Ron DeSantis, are fascists who want to shut down free speech. And who can argue with them? They are right, except that the left will also refuse to see any of the innumerable examples of their own side smashing its boot into the face of others.

By definition, all politicians run for office because they desire power, and once obtained will quickly do whatever it takes to retain it. Since World War II Americans have forgotten this simple lesson, and have too often ceded power to the power-hungry. The result is our society today, where the rights of ordinary people is routinely squelched to satisfy the lust for control of those in power.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Edward

    This is an example of why I keep saying that the Republican Party is moving to the left. Republican voters nominated him for the ballot, and presumably Republican voters voted him into office. Several times in the Florida House of Representatives and recently in the Florida Senate. He has been in Florida politics for a little over a decade.

    Even in Florida, the Republican Party is becoming less conservative.

  • David Ross

    Edward, this is common in the South.
    Politicians there were never libertarian (DeSantis being something of an anomaly). Leaving aside the DixieCrats; more liberal Democrats in the South also moved to the Republicans wherefrom they voted for the same good-ol’-boy network and pork as they’d always voted. Shelby in Alabama is a classic example.
    Brodeur reminds me of Lindsey Graham (another leftist who has burrowed into state-level Republican politics – a “lifelong bachelor”, also, fwiw). Graham tried for a national ban on abortion knowing that couldn’t work. It is widely murmured that Graham did this to tank the Republican ticket in purple districts 2022.

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