Commentary: Florida Governor DeSantis Strikes Back Against Big Tech Censorship

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

After months of aggressively censoring what it called “COVID-19 misinformation,” Facebook recently announced that it would no longer block user posts claiming that the coronavirus was “man-made” or “manufactured.” That’s because those posts, which typically referenced the work of scientists who supported the idea of a possible coronavirus “lab leak” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now appear to have been credible.

This entire episode should be extremely embarrassing for Facebook, a company so confident it has cornered the market on “truth” that it has made it their prerogative to “fact-check” individual user posts, banning anything that fails to comport with Silicon Valley’s extreme left-wing view of reality. Last year, Facebook banned an ad from the American Principles Project PAC claiming Joe Biden and the Democrats would destroy girls’ sports by supporting policies that allowed boys who identify as transgender to compete against girls.

Facebook said the ad was “missing context,” and so our PAC wasn’t allowed to communicate with voters. On Joe Biden’s first day as president, he signed an executive order specifically allowing these boys to compete in girls’ sports.

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DeSantis Announces Special Election to Replace Congressman Alcee Hastings

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he would sign an executive order to set the date for the special election to replace recently deceased Congressman Alcee Hastings who represented Florida’s 20th Congressional District.  The date scheduled for the special primary election is November 2nd, 2021; and January 11th, 2022 for the special general election.

Since the death of Hastings, Democrats have been pressing DeSantis to set the dates for the special election. One candidate, Rev. Elvin Dowling, filed a federal lawsuit to force DeSantis into setting the date. In past circumstances when a special election was necessary, the average amount of time between a seat becoming vacant and being filled is approximately 4 months, whereas the seat left vacant by Hastings will remain unfilled for approximately 9 months.

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Florida Teachers’ Unions Fought Against Raises

The pandemic has made it clear to parents that teachers’ unions don’t represent the interests of students. And while, in theory, the union should serve the interests of teachers, in practice they have another master: the Democratic Party. When these interests don’t align, the result can be fascinating political contortions – as when Florida teachers’ unions fought against pay raises provided by the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.

In October 2019, DeSantis declared that 2020 would be the “year of the teacher.” Despite the massive budgetary uncertainty presented by COVID, in March 2020 DeSantis requested $600 million for teacher raises and $300 million for teacher bonuses. The legislature delivered $500 million for raises and $100 million for bonuses, which Jacob Oliva, chancellor of the Division of Public Schools in the Florida Department of Education, described as “the single largest compensation increase ever in Florida and a statement to the nation that Florida is elevating the teaching profession.”

One might expect teachers’ unions to applaud DeSantis and call on other governors to follow his lead. Instead, some local teachers’ unions actually fought against the raises, effectively keeping money out of their own members’ pockets.

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Addresses Marijuana, DeSantis, and Democrats

Nikki Fried

  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried recently appeared on Facing South Florida, with Jim DeFede and responded to questions related to medical marijuana, Governor DeSantis and her political future. Provided below is a summary of the interview. Jim Defede: You ran on legalizing medicinal marijuana and you want to move…

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