Newt Gingrich rebukes ‘Republican state legislator in Florida who introduced a bill’ about blogging criticism –

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) rebukes a state legislative initiative that purports to require bloggers criticizing a politician to register with the government, and he calls upon a Republican state legislator in Florida to withdraw a bill to that effect immediately.

Fox News reported details about the legislative effort:

According to local reporting, SB 1316 “would require any blogger writing about government officials to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics.”

The text of the bill, which was filed in the state senate on February 28, seems to confirm this account. It stipulates, “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.”

Such a proposal is unconstitutional.

Voluminous commentary can be written and spoken about such an idea. Hours of debate can be had about such an idea. The bottom line will remain.

Such a proposal is unconstitutional.

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