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Indiana’s attorney general’s discipline is the subject of an amendment



Indianapolis, Indiana – On Monday, the Senate Elections Committee added a provision to a bill that would exclude certain Indiana residents from seeking attorney general.

A qualification to run for attorney general would be added by amending House Bill 1265 to state that the candidate cannot have been disbarred or suspended without being automatically reinstated within a year of the election.

The committee then approved the bill 6-2.

Attorney General Todd Rokita, who was chastised for wrongdoing in November, would not be covered by it at this time. However, more complaints have been made against Rokita, and they are currently being processed by the disciplinary board. By this modification, he would not be able to run if he were suspended without receiving automatic reinstatement.

Following his 30-day suspension in May 2020 for inappropriately touching four women, former Attorney General Curtis Hill was immediately restored. Subsequently that year, Rokita became victorious in a convention and secured the Republican candidacy for the position.

Sen. Mike Gaskill, a Republican from Pendleton who chairs the committee, turned down multiple amendments submitted on the same bill as well as an additional one. However, he let this alteration proceed. An attorney for the Legislative Services Agency explained, and Gaskill omitted to mention who submitted the change.

The following comment was issued by a Rokita representative, condemning the amendment’s policy.

“This amendment does not affect the attorney general, however, this amendment is bad for voters and the taxpayers because it takes away their powers at a time when judicial institutions are being weaponized at all levels for political purposes. Deep state players, like backroom legislators, are taking the peoples’ power away and giving it to secret committees who are accountable to no one. The fact that the language is limited to an election year just shows that this is about politics and completely devoid of policy.”

Two other bills were also passed by the panel:

• House Bill 1264 passed 5-3. The bill creates new requirements for first-time voters, proof of citizenship and more. It also would allow state election officials to pay for commercially available data — likely Experian’s TrueTrace — and let county voter registration offices use the information for voter list maintenance. Supporters called it an election security bill while opponents said it adds unnecessary hoops for eligible voters.

• House Bill 1133 passed 7-1. The proposal requires disclaimers on political campaign communications including fabricated media depicting a candidate that a reasonable person wouldn’t know was fake. The panel amended the bill to add federal candidates alongside state candidates.

The entire Senate will now consider all three proposals.

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