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Disinformation Governance Board could be issue in Illinois congressional race

By Greg Bishop | The Center Square May 2, 2022 at 4:00 PM

(The Center Square) – The recently revealed federal Disinformation Governance Board through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security could be an issue in upcoming Illinois congressional elections.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, asked the question that revealed the board.

“Another huge threat to our homeland is mis- and disinformation,” Underwood said to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “One of my main concerns about disinformation is that foreign adversaries attempt to destabilize our elections by targeting people of color with disinformation campaigns.”

Mayorkas said the Biden administration has established a Disinformation Governance Board.

Underwood pushed for the department to do more.

“What I’ve heard you describe is internal organizations. What we are looking for is external communications with the American public, including those for whom Spanish is their predominant language to make sure that the information the department around mis- and disinformation campaign is reaching those individuals,” Underwood said.

Mayorkas said they are communicating externally with the American public.

Five Republicans are looking to advance out of the June 28 primary to take on Underwood in November. They are Jack Lombardi, Scott Gryder, Mike Koolidge, James Marter and Jaime Milton.

In a nearby district, five Republicans are looking to take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Schaumburg. They are Karen Kolodziej, Chad Koppie, Peter Kopsaftis, Phil Wood and Chris Dargis.

Dargis is a retired naval officer and nuclear engineer. He told The Center Square on Monday that regardless of who’s President of the United States, such a board is a bad idea that is prone to political abuses.

“It’s explicitly mentioned that they want to police speech in advance of the 2022 election and I think that gives the game away,” Dargis said. “The Democrats know that they’re in trouble in this election and they want to run the same playbook that they did in 2020 which is to suppress the speech of Americans to express political opinions that they disagree with.”

Dargis said it’s “creeping incrementalism of censorship encouraged by the government and then enforced by private industry so that the government can essentially say that their hands are clear of that.”

“But we all know that pressure from the governments, labeling things as misinformation or disinformation simply puts pressure on private companies to act and the private companies understand that and they move accordingly,” Dargis said.

He urged Krishnamoorthi to oppose the board.

“Congressman Krishnamoorthi looks forward to debating the issues pertaining to social media and disinformation with the Republican nominee after the primary election on June 28th, 2022,” said a spokesperson for Krishnamoorthi’s campaign.

Krishnamoorthi faces a Democratic primary opponent in Junaid Ahmed.

Read more at The Center Square