One of our staff responds to Senator Brodeur and his misguided Bill HS1316. (Ed. Note: We discussed Brodeur's campaign donation from the DeSantis camp in a previous article)
I would like to express my strong opposition to the proposed State Bill 1316 which requires bloggers to register with the State office of Legislative Service or the Commission on Ethics.
The intention and concept of this bill is flat out censorship and a clear violation of 1st amendment rights endowed to me by our creator. This bill is a blatant attack on freedom and liberty. There is no room for this in the Free State of Florida. In a State that is currently fighting against "Big Tech" censorship, this bill clearly aligns with it. The government overreach proposed in this bill intends to crush small business and add more financial punishment and in turn stifle creativity and expression. (Chief Justice Roberts) The Supreme Court's holding turned largely on its determination that the church was speaking on "matters of public concern" as opposed to "matters of purely private significance." The Court explained that "[s]peech deals with matters of public concern when it can 'be fairly considered as relating to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community' or when it 'is a subject of general interest and of value and concern to the public.'" Speech on public issues is entitled to special protection under the First Amendment because it serves the "the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open." In any form, Censorship, whether it is imposed by governments, institutions, or individuals, is a grave violation of our fundamental rights and freedoms.
Censorship is an act of restricting access to information, ideas, or expressions that some people or authorities find offensive, controversial, or objectionable. It not only limits our ability to express ourselves but also prevents us from receiving and imparting knowledge and understanding.
In a democratic society, we must protect freedom of speech and the press. The freedom to express one's thoughts and opinions, even if they are unpopular, is a fundamental right that must be protected at all costs. Censorship not only violates our freedom of expression but also undermines our democracy and promotes authoritarianism.
Censorship can also have a chilling effect on creativity, innovation, and intellectual growth. It stifles the development of new ideas and can lead to self-censorship, where people refrain from expressing their thoughts or opinions due to fear of reprisal or punishment.
Moreover, censorship can be used as a tool to oppress and marginalize certain groups or individuals. It can be used to silence dissenting voices and maintain the status quo, perpetuating injustices and inequalities.
In conclusion, censorship is a dangerous and oppressive practice that undermines our rights and freedoms. It is crucial that we protect our freedom of expression and oppose any attempt to curtail it. Let us work towards creating a society that values diversity, tolerance, and free expression. I encourage you to veto bill SB 1316