Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints Moms for Liberty co-founder to state Commission on Ethics

Sep 6, 2023, 2:51 PM

FILE - Moms for Liberty co-founders Tina Descovich, left, speaks at the Moms for Liberty meeting in...

FILE - Moms for Liberty co-founders Tina Descovich, left, speaks at the Moms for Liberty meeting in Philadelphia, June 30, 2023. The co-founder of Moms for Liberty, a “parental rights” group that has sought to take over school boards in multiple states, was appointed Wednesday, Sept. 6, to the Florida Commission on Ethics. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a co-founder of Moms for Liberty, a “parental rights” group that has sought to take over school boards in multiple states, to the Florida Commission on Ethics on Wednesday.

Tina Descovich was named to the nine-member, Tallahassee-based commission, which investigates alleged breaches of public trust by elected and appointed officials, as well as state employees.

Descovich was previously elected to the School Board of Brevard County in 2016 and served as president of the Florida Coalition of School Board Members.

Moms for Liberty started with Descovich and two other Florida women fighting COVID-19 restrictions in 2021. It has quickly ascended as a national player in Republican politics, helped along the way by the group’s political training and close relationships with high-profile GOP groups and lawmakers.

The group’s support for school choice and the “fundamental rights of parents” to direct their children’s education has also drawn allies such as the conservative Heritage Foundation.

DeSantis spoke at Moms for Liberty events in Tampa last year and in Philadelphia earlier this year. The Republican governor also discussed his presidential campaign on the group’s podcast in July.

Moms for Liberty has been labeled an “extremist” organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center for allegedly harassing community members, advancing anti-LGBTQ+ misinformation and fighting to scrub diverse and inclusive material from lesson plans.

Along with Descovich, DeSantis also appointed South Florida attorney Luis Fuste to the commission. Both will need to be approved by the Florida Senate.

Former commission chair Glen Gilzean resigned from the unpaid position last month after a legal opinion said he was unable to simultaneously serve on the commission and work for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The special taxing district for the land of Walt Disney World Resort was created earlier this year as part of an ongoing feud between Disney and DeSantis. Gilzean earns $400,000 annually as the district’s administrator.

Another vacancy on the ethics commission was created in June, when former member Jim Waldman’s term ended.

National News

Associated Press

Anti-abortion groups demand liberal Wisconsin prosecutors charge abortion providers despite ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A coalition of anti-abortion organizations on Tuesday demanded that prosecutors in Wisconsin’s two largest counties bring charges against abortion providers who have resumed practicing following a court ruling that consensual abortions are legal in the state. Wisconsin Right to Life, Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin held a news conference in […]

2 minutes ago

Associated Press

California education chief Tony Thurmond says he’s running for governor in 2026

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s top education official, Tony Thurmond, on Tuesday announced his bid for governor in 2026, a move that comes amid debates about the rights of students and parents, and what role the state should play as school boards approve class materials. If elected, Thurmond, the state superintendent of public instruction, would […]

19 minutes ago

Associated Press

Tanker crew member falls overboard, prompting frantic search, trip to shore for medical care

BOSTON (AP) — The crew of a commercial fishing boat recovered a man who had fallen overboard from a tanker and began CPR before the Coast Guard rushed him to shore for medical care, officials said. The crew of America pulled the man from the water Tuesday morning, and CPR continued aboard a Coast Guard […]

33 minutes ago

Associated Press

Judge refuses to immediately block grant program for Black women entrepreneurs

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge in Atlanta ruled Tuesday that a venture capital firm can continue offering a grant program only to Black women entrepreneurs, saying a lawsuit arguing it illegally excluded other races was not likely to succeed. Senior U.S. Judge Thomas Thrash denied a preliminary injunction that would have blocked the grants […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Officers escort Richard Allen out of the Carroll County courthouse following a hearing, Nov....

Associated Press

Prosecutor says theory that 2 slain Indiana teens died in ritual sacrifice is made for social media

DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — The prosecutor overseeing the case against a northern Indiana man charged in the 2017 killings of two teenage girls has dismissed as “fanciful” a recent court filing by the man’s attorneys contending the girls actually died as part of a ritual sacrifice. Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland called the theory a […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A new battery recycling facility will deepen Kentucky’s ties to the electric vehicle sector

A recycling facility will be built in Kentucky to shred electric vehicle batteries in a $65 million venture between American and South Korean companies that will supply material for a separate battery-related operation in the same town, the companies announced Tuesday. The 100,000-square-foot (9,000-square meter) EV battery recycling facility to be built in Hopkinsville will […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints Moms for Liberty co-founder to state Commission on Ethics