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IREHR in The Kansas City Star: “1 in 5 state GOP lawmakers in far-right Facebook groups, study says. MO high on list” – May 25, 2022

By May 25, 2022May 4th, 2023No Comments2 min read

IREHR’s report, Breaching the Mainstream, was cited in The Kansas City Star;

Journalist Judy Thomas writes, “Nearly 22% of Republican legislators in the country have joined at least one far-right Facebook group, with Missouri ranking among the top five, a watchdog organization found in a study released this month.”

Thomas continues, “According to the report, Missouri has 36 state lawmakers who have joined far-right Facebook groups — 18% of the state legislature — ranking fourth overall behind New Hampshire, with 62; Pennsylvania, with 40; and Minnesota, with 39.”

IREHR’s President, Devin Burghart, was quoted many times in The Kansas City Star;

“The numbers are staggering,” said Devin Burghart. “The findings show how deeply the far-right has penetrated state politics.”

Thomas writes, “Burghart said not every legislator identified in the report can be characterized as expressing far-right ideology.”

“However, all of them have become members of far-right Facebook groups,” Burghart said. “It normalizes these groups, and it gives them that legitimacy they so crave.”

Judy Thomas writes, “Burghart said the actual number of state legislators who have joined far-right Facebook groups is likely higher than the report determined.”

“We didn’t, for instance, have a QAnon dataset to search, so that’s part of what’s missing from it,” he said. “And we were very specific about what we included, because we didn’t want to run into criticism about this just being about conservative politics.”

Read more here

Laura Gibbons

Author Laura Gibbons

Laura Gibbons is an IREHR research associate.

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