“The right to photograph is the same as free speech. Somtimes that freedom is inconvenient, but it is a fundamental right.” – George Sheldon, Esq. and Florida Attorney General Candidate
Florida Attorney General candidate George Sheldon is an old-school Florida political candidate in the mold of Bob Butterworth or Bill McCollum. They’re gentlemen who respected the law; agree or disagree with their positions, you know where they stand on principal.
In less than a week, Sheldon could be the number one state law enforcement official, guiding policy for 19,000,000 Floridians.
In that light, I felt it important to ask for his opinions on the First Amendment rights of photographers. In addition, Sheldon shared his perspective on Florida’s often copied open records law, the “Sunshine Act”.
We also learned about Sheldon’s opinions on the militarization of police, which came to national attention after the civil unrest in Ferguson, as well as many other important topics in this short interview.
The position of Attorney General has drawn significant press attention this week with the revelation that lobbying laws don’t extend to the office known as “the People’s Attorney”.
First, The Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald reported on Florida’s incumbent AG Pam Biondi’s penchant for joining national litigation as a result of her national party affiliation to RAGA (the Republican Attorney General’s Association).
Then, it was revealed that Biondi’s campaign war chest received a significant six figure donation from RAGA, who the New York Times revealed to be a cesspool for slush money by the Fortune 500 looking to immunize their business interests. Florida’s incumbent AG was singled out by the Gray Old Lady for a feature story about Biondi’s relationship to Dickstein Shapiro, a law firm focused on lobbying state AGs.
PINAC is a non-partisan blog, and this article only mentions party as needed to disseminate the facts.
Written and Recorded by Grant Stern, Executive Director of PINAC, Inc.
If you’d like to hear the explicitly political second half of my interview with Mr. Sheldon, it’s on my weekly radio program Only in Miami Show.
Produced by Brandon Mowry