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Tipsheet

The Florida Bill That's Being Denounced as 'Insane' and an 'Embarrassment'

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blasted a controversial bill in Florida that would require bloggers who write about elected officials to register with the state. 

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If the bloggers are paid for the content they produce about the governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet members or legislative officials, they would have to disclose how much they received and by whom. Late reports would be subject to a fine of up to $2,500. 

“The idea that bloggers criticizing a politician should register with the government is insane,” Gingrich wrote on Twitter. “It is an embarrassment that it is a Republican state legislator in Florida who introduced a bill to that effect. He should withdraw it immediately.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression also blasted the measure in a press release, calling it "an affront to the First Amendment and our national commitment to freedom of the press."

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Sen. Jason Brodeur, who filed the bill, defended the measure.  

“Do you want to know the truth about the so-called “blogger” bill?” Brodeur says in a video explanation. “It brings the current pay-to-play scheme to light and gives voters clarity as to who is influencing their elected officials, JUST LIKE how we treat lobbyists. It’s an electioneering issue, not a free speech issue.”

When asked about it, a spokesperson for Gov. DeSantis told the Associated Press he would consider the bill if it passes the legislature, which is unlikely. As National Review's Charles Cooke points out, the only person that seems interested in the terrible piece of legislation so far is the GOP lawmaker. 

"Brodeur wrote the bill. Brodeur sponsored the bill. And that’s as far as it’s got. It’s not going to pass," Cooke writes. 

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