DeSantis Wants to Rule the Magic Kingdom…and Everything Else
An idiotic Florida Republican State Senator named Jason Brodeur has proposed a new law, The Information Dissemination Act of 2023, which would require bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, his cabinet, or state legislators to register with the state, declaring whether they have been, are being or will be paid to blog about Ron DeSantis and his cohorts, as well as how much they have been, are being, or will be paid to blog about DeSantis, and by whom they have been, are being or will be paid to do this blogging.
Under the terms of the proposed legislation, bloggers who fail to register with the “appropriate office” of the state government within five days of publishing each post or suffer a penalty of $25 per day PER POST up to a total fine of $2,500 per post.
In direct contradiction to the terms of proposed legislation currently pending in the Florida legislature, I am initiating a campaign to continually publish unflattering posts about Ron DeSantis and his cohorts.
These posts may be true or false, or debatable; they may be either laudatory (fat chance) or (more likely) injurious to the reputations of parties being written about but I am going to try damned hard to make them hurt as much as I legally can.
Under no circumstances, however, will I ever register with the state, disclose whether I have been paid, am being paid, or will be paid for publishing posts about DeSantis, ET. AL, or disclose the names of the individuals and organizations who may or may not have paid me, are paying me, or will pay me in the future to write about Ron DeSantis and his cohorts, or the amounts that they may or may not have paid me to write about Ron DeSantis.
This legislation, which will soon be proposed in other Red states as well as the Republican Controlled House of Representatives, affects anyone who blogs on any platform, whether or not the blogger lives in Florida. It clearly violates the First Amendment of the Constitution, but it also violates the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution since it will affect business enterprises that reach across state lines as all websites do.
These legislative initiatives are designed to squelch debate and dissent, impede attempts by Democratic and Liberal actors (the two are NOT the same) to have their fair say, exercising the freedom of speech guaranteed to them under the Constitution.
Some may argue that it is not censorship to ask whether writers are being paid to write about DeSantis but it is a violation of the right to privacy, and a whole long list of other rights that Americans have enjoyed for the past 232 years since the Bill of Rights was ratified by three-quarters of the stares on December 15, 1791.
If it isn’t outright censorship (which, realistically, it is) it is an outright instance of intimidation, an attempt to silence the opposition to a dictatorial governor who is seeking the opportunity to become a dictatorial president.
Let’s get started:
I consider Ron DeSantis to be an outright but very smooth fascist demagogue and dictator-in-waiting who is trying to position himself to be the last duly elected president of the United States. In other words, he’s taking Donald Trump’s most feverish ambition and trying to actually implement Trump’s plan.
Evidence of his overweening desire to impose his twisted view of reality and religion on the people of Florida:
He has usurped the autonomy of The New College, the most liberal college in the Florida state college system by appointing six ultra-right-wing, fundamentalists to the school’s board of trustees to the school’s governing board for the express purpose of turning the liberal institution into a publicly funded bible college. DeSantis choose to attack New College specifically because of its open admissions policies, liberal programs, and its acceptance of divergent lifestyles.
DeSantis has terminated a decades-long agreement that made Disneyworld and the surrounding environs – one of the best-managed municipalities in the nation – and appointed a hand-picked group of right-wing Christocentric DeSantis followers to the supervising board of the district, renamed from the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as it was known when Disney was in control, to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
His justification included allegations that Disney executives are promoting homophilia while injecting sexuality into their programming, but the triggering event was the Disney Corporation’s public opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act. which bans classroom instruction on sexuality and gender ideology in kindergarten through third grade and requires that sex instruction in other grades be age-appropriate.
Whether you agree with that policy or not, it’s hard to argue that appointing Ron Peri to the new board might not have been a good idea. Peri, an Orlando-based former pastor and the CEO of The Gathering – a Christian ministry focused on outreach to men – has publicly stated that “tap water could be making more people gay.”