The Broward Coalition of Condominiums, Homeowners Associations and Community Organizations, Inc., regularly puts out newsletters. No surprise. Lots of organizations do.
This Florida organization, though, does something more. Its newsletters regularly feature political subjects. Nothing shocking about that, either. This is America, right?
Well, yes. But the First Amendment has been abridged. In Florida, especially, there exist onerous “electioneering communications” laws that squelch the kind of speech that the Broward Coalition engages in.
Florida law requires any group of people to register with the government if the group mentions a candidate or ballot issue in any media — electronic, paper, or plastic — and to report all of its spending and funding sources, too.
That kind of oppressive control is what started the American Revolution. Fortunately, we have a less violent way of opposing speech tyranny today.
The Broward Coalition has joined with the National Taxpayers Union and the University of Florida College Libertarians to file suit. Represented by the Institute for Justice, they charge that the law regulating their speech goes against the First Amendment.
Bert Gall, IJ senior attorney, puts it exactly right when he insists that “Florida’s law is part of a growing trend of shutting up and shutting out anyone but political pros from politics.”
And that trend must be stopped.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.