Posted on June 3, 2022
HARTFORD – State Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco (R-80) ranking member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, and State Sen. Rob Sampson (R-16), today condemned news of the Lamont Administration’s latest effort to censor the voices of concerned Connecticut residents. Early this week, local and national media began reporting on the administration’s addition of a $150,000 per-year, taxpayer-funded “misinformation” specialist within the Office of the Secretary of the State (SOTS). The Yankee Institute first reported on this position, intended to “combat election misinformation,” in February of this year. Funding for the position was quietly inserted into the biennium state budget adjustment and comes with little fanfare from SOTS or the Office of the Governor.
“I have always been in favor of election integrity. My record on that speaks for itself. However, we have already heard this story, and the motives of those behind this type of attempt have been exposed. The Biden Administration tried, and failed, to quietly institute a governance board within DHS under the guise of nonpartisan election integrity. Within days, the radical, hyper-partisan views of the board’s director were exposed for all to see. Americans were not fooled and repudiated such rhetoric. A position of this nature is intended to silence political dissent by branding it as ‘misinformation.’ I, and other reasonable Connecticut citizens, find it hard to believe that Connecticut’s political Majority leaders have a different motivation. This is a Governor that has been in lockstep with Joe Biden’s failed policies from the beginning,” said Senator Sampson.
I am eager for more details on this position under SOTS purview. My immediate question is: what is the Lamont Administration’s definition of “misinformation” and exactly what groups will be policed? The New York Times’s report states that ‘far right’ social networks will be targeted. Will an equal effort be made to moderate ‘far-left’ rhetoric or groups like Antifa? The First Amendment that we are all bound to in this nation is absolute. It is not the business of any administration, Republican or Democrat, to be the arbiter of what is fit for public consumption unless a crime is being committed. This is yet another example of state government overreach and is dangerous,” he said.
“People are smart and are fully capable of understanding truth from fiction, this position assumes otherwise of our residents and is offensive. The good people of our state don’t need the government to sort it out for them. And if this overpaid arbiter disagrees with a statement he or she finds online, then it’s ‘misinformation’ and subject to censorship? According to the job description, that person then reports the ‘misinformation’ to the various social media companies, which, let’s face it, have continued to censor political voices, not because of misinformation, but simply because they just don’t like what they have to say,” Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco said. “The Office of the Secretary of State – an elected official – would oversee a state employee whose mission is to hide information from the public view, scrub news sources and social media accounts of information he or she considers false and put a government label on information that the Secretary deems not credible.”