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Big Tech is stifling conservative speech and conservative politicians in Florida are fighting back.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet have been asked to divest the state’s pension funds of high tech stock companies that are squelching conservative speech.

Presumably that would affect Jacksonville’s three city employee pension plans, which already are subject to a rescue plan put into effect three years ago that is intended to reduce their unfunded liability.

Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is the one pushing the issue statewide.

Fine’s roommate in Tallahassee is Rep. Jason Fischer, a Republican from Jacksonville.

Fischer told Eye on Jacksonville, “It is something the Cabinet should consider. We should try to get best return possible and be aware who we are investing in. If people want to take rights away we don’t have to invest in them.”

An argument could be made that it would be wrong to divest in a profitable company when the profit would benefit pension fund members.

Fischer said, “There is a difference between principles and politics.” Violating people’s rights should have consequences, he said. There are many profitable companies that are not Big Tech, Fischer said.

The Cabinet meets again Jan. 27 and could take up the issue then.

In his letter to DeSantis, Fine mentioned Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Twitter specifically.

Fine also said he would file legislation in the upcoming session to forbid any state or local government from conducting business with those companies.

If the issue should wind up in bill form, it would pass through the House Governmental Operations Subcommittee. Fischer is the chairman.

Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, already has filed a bill that would require social media websites to provide individual and business users notice the website has suspended or disabled a user’s account with some recourse available to restore the account.

Other legislators have pointed out that Big Tech shut down the President of the United States but continues to allow liars, haters and dictators to use their platforms.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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