Gov. Ron DeSantis has gone all-in on a legislative measure filed by Florida House Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R) to penalize Big Tech companies, like Twitter and Facebook, if they “de-platform” a candidate for “statewide” office, but the bill doesn’t appear to protect potential federal candidates like President Donald Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, and Reps. Matt Gaetz Byron Donalds.
When Gov. DeSantis first announced his support for the legislative effort to impose a $100,000 a day fine against companies until they reinstate a de-platformed candidate’s account, it was the news that many Republicans wanted to hear after President Trump was completely de-platformed by social media companies that deemed his behavior and rhetoric dangerous, yet refuse to ban the accounts of world leaders and organizations that promote anti-Semitism and global terror.
“Under our proposal, if a technology company de-platforms a candidate for elected office in Florida during the election, a company will face a daily fine of $100,000 until the candidate’s access to the platform is restored again,” said DeSantis.
“When our legislature convenes next month, it will pass and I will sign, the most ambitious reforms yet proposed for combatting political censorship and de-platforming, for preventing big tech from interfering in our elections, and for safeguarding the privacy of your personal data.”
The way Rep. Ingoglia’s 21-page bill “Transparency in Technology Act” is worded, it appears as if all candidates, federal and state, would be covered under the bill.
But can a Florida state law protect a federal candidate, who for all intends and purposes, has to adhere to rules and regulations imposed by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC)?
The Floridian spoke to Ingoglia a few weeks back about his bill, insuring that “if President Trump ran in 2024, he would be covered.”
The Floridian also spoke to Gov. DeSantis briefly before he addressed the CPAC gathering in Orlando, where he said that he wasn’t sure if the measure covered all past and present candidates for elected office.
“I don’t know if it’s like past, but definitely perspective,” said DeSantis
DeSantis moments later told the Conservative faithful the Big Tech bill “will pass” and he would sign it into law.
“When our legislature convenes next month, it will pass and I will sign, the most ambitious reforms yet proposed for combatting political censorship and de-platforming, for preventing big tech from interfering in our elections and for safeguarding the privacy of your personal data,” said DeSantis during his CPAC address.
But now in an in-depth post about Ingoglia’s bill by conservative journalist and congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who writes that the bill “has major issues,” and warned that if those issues are not addressed, DeSantis would be putting himself out there over “an empty bill.”
Loomer, who is arguably the “most banned” woman on social media, contends that “the legislation focuses on candidates, but needs to be extended to elected officials as well to ensure Big Tech can’t deplatform the people’s chosen, elected representatives.”
As it is written right now, Senator Rubio and any other federal candidate that have not already officially announced (filed) their re-election to federal office, could be de-platformed, and like Loomer, if they are de-platformed, they will not be eligible to be reinstated, at least not by Facebook.
Through a spokesman, Facebook told Breitbart News that individuals who ”have been banned,” regardless if they are running for office, would not eligible to set up a new account,” including Loomer and President Donald Trump.
“People who have been banned from our services aren’t able to set up a new account even if they’re running for office,” said the spokesman.
In speaking to Loomer about the “empty bill” DeSantis has said he would sign into law, Loomer said that she spoke to Ingoglia over the phone earlier this month about her concerns with the bill.
“I spoke with Blaise on March 12 via phone where I reiterated my concerns that candidates like myself running for US Congress in 2022, and Donald Trump, a Florida resident who might run for President again in 2024,” said Loomer. “During the call, Blaise admitted that there is awareness amongst the Governor, Florida House, and Florida Senate that this would only apply to “statewide” candidates.”
Loomer then when on to accuse Ingoglia of not being able to “provide an explanation despite his claims his claims that the bill will protect all Florida candidates from de-platforming and censorship,” and said that he admitted that federal candidates would not be covered under his “Transparency in Technology Act.”
“ I explained to him that congressional candidates and presidential candidates would therefore not be protected by the legislation, to which he stated the goal was to have other states pass their legislation using this framework, then in “a few years” maybe something could be figured out for Congressional or Federal level candidates,” added Loomer. “When I asked him “How does this help me, a current candidate for Congress in Florida’s 21st District and the only de-platformed candidate in the nation, or how it would help President Trump as a future candidate, Blaise seemed unable to provide an explanation despite his claims that the bill will protect all Florida candidates from de-platforming and censorship.”
Another conservative journalist, Michelle Malkin, also railed against the Florida Legislature’s Big Tech bill, calling it “weak.”
In a past request for comment to DeSantis’ office about Ingoglia’s bill, a spokesperson suggested that we reach out to Ingoglia because he was the sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives.
In the second request for comment about this story, we were not able to reach anyone in the governor’s executive office.