Ron DeSantis just put the co-founder of a book ban advocacy group on Florida's state ethics commission

  • Ron DeSantis appointed the co-founder of right-wing parental rights group to the state's ethics committee.

  • The group, Moms for Liberty, says its mission is to "stoke the fires of liberty."

  • The group has proposed book bans and fought against mask mandates and teachings about racism and gender issues.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is putting the co-founder of a conservative advocacy group that's pushed for book bans on the state's Commission on Ethics.

DeSantis on Wednesday announced the appointment of Tina Descovich, a former Brevard County school board member, to the prominent commission.

Descovich co-founded the conservative group, Moms for Liberty, which says its mission is to "stoke the fires of liberty" and "stand up for parental rights at all levels of government," according to the group's website.

Representatives for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Moms for Liberty has endorsed banning books in schools, and in July successfully lobbied to get five books removed from high school libraries in Leon County, Fla., saying they contained harmful content like pornographic material, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

The group, however, has rejected the idea that they are seeking to ban books.

"No one is looking to ban books. Moms for Liberty certainly isn't," Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice told NewsNation earlier this year. "What we're talking about is curating content in a library. You wouldn't have the same books in a medical college that you would in a seminary, and just because a book is printed doesn't mean that it belongs in a children's library."

In recent years, conservatives have sought to remove a range of books from classrooms that they have found objectionable, including books that contend go against laws in a range of states that have limited how race can be taught in classrooms. DeSantis while campaigning for president has touted his conservative bona fides as it relates to his education record in Florida, but his policies have also divided many educators and parents in districts across the state.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Moms for Liberty an "extremist" group, stating that the anti-government organization engages in "anti-student inclusion activities" by advocating for book bans and opposing LGBTQIA+ topics and racially inclusive curriculum in schools.

The group has also railed against school mask mandates, which became a major flashpoint during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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