He wants to make it easier to sue newspapers and other publishers for libel and defamation — and harder to obtain Florida's public records.
June 13, 2022

Investigative newsletter Seeking Rents tells us where Ron DeSantis is headed: toward total control of anything he can ram through the state legislature. Via Seeking Rents:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has drafted a far-reaching set of plans that would dramatically expand his authority, according to public records obtained by Seeking Rents and other organizations.

Legislation written by the Republican governor would both strengthen his own executive power and weaken some of the institutions most likely to challenge him.

The governor’s ideas include:

  • Giving himself more power to remove independently elected state attorneys and School Board members
  • Making it easier to sue newspapers and other publishers for libel and defamation — and harder to obtain public records from the state
  • Imposing more barriers to citizen-led campaigns to amend the state Constitution
  • Stripping oversight authority from the state’s independently elected Cabinet members and making it more difficult to legally challenge executive actions by the governor’s administration
  • Taking control of organizations that do everything from governing high school sports to building toll roads

These plans are on top of DeSantis’ proposal, first reported last week, to remake Florida’s higher education system in a way that centralizes more control of public colleges and universities under the governor’s political appointees, makes schools more dependent on funding controlled by politicians in Tallahassee, and imposes more restrictions on what students can be taught.

His office drafted the proposed legislation in the weeks leading up to this year’s legislative session, which ended in March.

Copies of the drafts were obtained through a series of public-records requests — some made by Seeking Rents, which sought communications between the governor’s office and the Legislature, and others by American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group that sought communications related to the governor’s role in Florida’s redistricting process.

As you can see, DeSantis is a dangerous man -- unlike Trump, he is an actual true believer and knows exactly what to do to make his authoritarian dreams come true.

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