For the last three months, I had the unique opportunity to work with the Florida Legislature on the historic passage of a bill to stop Big Tech from silencing the voices of Floridians. After months of discussions and hard work, the Florida House voted 77-38 to pass the Social Media bill after the Senate approved it in a 23-17 vote.
It was an honor to also engage with everyday-regular-ol’-Americans, small business owners and veterans who have been affected by Big Tech censorship. Many in the Florida grassroots community reached out to me as well to help us build effective coalitions in 67 counties around the state. Leading Conservative voices, legal experts, and journalists around the country were paying close attention to our efforts as well, because how goes Florida goes the nation, and they enthusiastically gave their support to help ensure that this bill made it over the finish line.
We couldn’t have gotten this far without my incredible team, consisting of Kingston Public Affairs, led by Karen Giorno, and Cynergy Consulting, led by Cynthia Henderson.
With the extraordinary amount of grassroots support behind us and the numerous meetings and substantive discussions that we had with lawmakers, I am proud to announce that the Social Media bill is now on its way to the desk of Governor Ron Desantis for his signature to officially become Florida law. Although the penalties against Big Tech in the bill of $250,000 for “statewide candidates” and a mere $25,000 for all “other candidates” are still nowhere near being high enough, even after they were more than doubled from $100,000 and $10,000 after my team’s suggestion to substantially increase the fines to $100 MILLION a day to make them punitive, the bill is a first good step is taking action against Big Tech for their censorship of Floridians and Florida candidates.
Unfortunately, the bill does not provide protection for me as an already deplatformed Florida congressional candidate, and it will not protect President Trump if he decides to run for President again in 2024. These concerns are raised, because the proposed amendments my team provided Florida legislators to make the bill retroactive were not added to the bill. However, I am hopeful that these amendments can be made during a special session for the sake of further strengthening the bill and making it flagship legislation that can be replicated in other states around the nation.
I want to thank the Governor of the Great State of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who truly understands that Big Tech tyranny is an existential threat to our Constitutional Republic, to free and fair elections, and to free speech – which is the bedrock of our Constitution. I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Senate President, Simpson and Senator Rodrigues for their artful maneuverings of this bill, and for defending the rights of the citizens of Florida.
Background: SB 7072, titled Social Media Platforms, was filed as a request by the Governor at the start of the Florida legislative session to reign in Big Tech Silicon Valley companies from silencing conservatives. During session, YouTube and Twitter actively censored Governor DeSantis, and removed his COVID-19 roundtable discussion with doctors. The intent of this bill was to require these monopolistic companies to post clear and unchanging Terms and Conditions prior to deplatforming users, and to enforce those Terms and Conditions equally across the political spectrum to prevent discrimination. The bill also prohibits state agencies from awarding state contracts to Big Tech companies when they violate this law. Lastly, the bill also authorizes the Florida Attorney General to investigate these Big Tech social media companies for Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices.
As a Florida resident, business owner, and Florida candidate for US Congress in Florida’s 21st District, I look forward to continuing my efforts fighting for election integrity, and eliminating Big Tech censorship, discrimination, and Big Tech election interference, the most important issues facing our nation and the world today.
Although we did not get everything on our wish list, this law will put Big Tech on notice that Florida will not be intimidated, subjugated and Floridians will not be silenced.
Together, we will Stop The Bias!