DeSantis appoints Moms for Liberty founder to Florida Ethics Commission: report

DeSantis appoints Moms for Liberty founder to Florida Ethics Commission: report
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 18: Republican U.S. presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at an event hosted by Conservative radio host Erick Erickson on August 18, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. The first debate of the Republican Presidential primary is set to take place August 23, 2023. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images).

Florida governor and 2024 Republican presidential primary candidate Ron DeSantis on Wednesday added Tina Descovich, a c-founder of the right-wing organization Moms for Liberty, to serve on the Florida Commission on Ethics, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Leslie Postal reports. Moms for Liberty, Postal recalls, is "known for fighting mask mandates and pushing book bans in public schools."

Postal writes, "Descovich was one of two people DeSantis appointed Wednesday to the nine-member commission, which serves as 'the guardian of conduct for officers and employees of Florida and its political subdivisions.' The commission investigates complaints of 'breach of the public trust by public officers and employees.'"

Powell notes that Descovich "was elected to the Brevard County School Board in 2016 and served one term before being defeated by a challenger. In early 2021, she helped found Moms for Liberty with two other conservative women, who were on or had been on Florida school boards."

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Postal continues, "DeSantis announced Descovich's appointment in a press release that did not say why he wanted her on the commission," which was met with mixed reactions.

"It will be a privilege to serve the state I love as a member of this commission," Descovish tweeted, while "Stephana Ferrell, a founder of the Florida Freedom to Read Project, which was created to fight book bans and oppose some of the Moms group's efforts, said Descovich's appointment makes 'a mockery of the state government,'" Powell explains.

"DeSantis should not appoint 'people to positions of power that put their own political interests above the people of this state — in this case, appointing a leader of a special interest group to a Commission on Ethics,'" Ferrell stated in an email to Powell. "It's a fox guarding the hen house, and Floridians should not accept it."

Powell adds, "Moms for Liberty chapters across the state have pushed for books to be yanked from public schools" dating back to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Though group leaders say they are just trying to make sure the books are appropriate for children," Powell notes, "soon turned toward the broader issue of 'parents’ rights,' focusing on books it viewed as 'pornographic' and academic lessons it did not like, including those that focused on racism or LGBTQ issues."

READ MORE: How far-right groups like Moms for Liberty can 'spiral quickly out of their control': historian

Postal's analysis continues at this link (subscription required).

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