Rep. Ro Khanna and his staff has been
accused of misusing Daily Kos in the past.

Rep. Ro Khanna has vowed to support a growing list of bedrock progressive principles since he was sworn-in to Congress last January. He’s strongly backed an open Internet, smacked around Walmart for exacerbating income equality, and called for a steep increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, among other issues. He even said Sen. Bernie Sanders should run again for president in 2020.

It’s the kind of boilerplate that brings readers of the influential progressive website Daily Kos to their feet in rousing applause. But in his zeal to attract progressives, Daily Kos’ audience is no longer available to Khanna.

After authoring a single post in June, Khanna’s account was banned by the Daily Kos staff. An ominous orange skull and crossbones depicts Khanna’s status on the site. Roll over the graphic and the word “banned” appears.

Daily Kos did not respond for further comment. But Khanna’s banishment is clearly linked to the opinion piece he posted on the site on June 21. Daily Kos staff established that a user on the site posted a comment from the same IP address as the one that posted Khanna’s article. It suggests the user was a Khanna operative surreptitiously posing as someone else.

The source of the IP address is unclear. But, Khanna said Saturday the article was posted by his campaign-side finance director. Khanna does not know the identity of the commenter using the fake ID, “csquared2.”

Daily Kos quickly banished “csquarrd2” upon learning of the similar IP address, but it is not clear that Khanna was also banned other than to view his diary’s page.

The decision to prohibit Khanna’s from using the site is likely because a similar incident occurred last September. Khanna’s then-campaign manager was caught posting comments using two separate user names to rebut anti-Khanna sentiment on the site. He was later kicked off the site.

Khanna, at the time, said he reiterated to his campaign staff that this type of behavior was inappropriate. More than a week later, Khanna and the campaign manager were sued by Honda for alleging hacking into his digital donor files. The campaign manager resigned, Khanna won the election and then pivoted in hopes of becoming national icon of the progressive movement.

 NOTE: Edits to this article were made to include Khanna’s comments.