What Is Rokita So Worried About?

Even before Donald Trump made it impossible for rational people to remain in the GOP, Indiana had more than its share of deeply problematic Republican officeholders. The office of Attorney General, especially, has often been occupied by ideologues and cranks. (I particularly remember the stories that lawyers shared about  “General” Sendak. And more recently, there was Curtis Hill, who hasn’t let his 3-month disbarment for inappropriate “groping” deter him from running for Governor.)

That said, it’s hard to identify an Attorney General more pathetic than the current occupant of that office. Todd Rokita is the “real deal”–if you define “deal” as unethical, monumentally ambitious, self-important and totally un-self-aware.

I’ve posted several times about Rokita, beginning when he was a Congressman accused of abusing his staff and more recently as he has relentlessly attacked the doctor who aborted a ten-year-old rape victim. Rokita accused her of failure to file paperwork, despite the fact that it took only a  cursory check to confirm they’d all been properly submitted.

Rokita  regularly falls over himself pandering to the  Hoosier MAGA crazies who oppose abortion, hate gays and want to outlaw “woke-ness” (which they can’t define.)

Being AG is a full-time job, but when Rokita first took office, he tried to keep (and hide) a lucrative side hustle (details at the link). Now, the Indianapolis Star has discovered that he requires lawyers working for his office to sign wide-ranging non-disclosure agreements.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s employees are signing nondisclosure agreements that could cost them $25,000 if they share personal information about the AG — an unusual policy for state office and one that sets him apart from almost all other attorneys general in the country.

The contract, which IndyStar obtained through a public records request, gives Rokita and his staff the power to decide what information counts as confidential. It covers “personal or private information” about the attorney general, his employees and their families.

State offices here and dozens of other states’ attorney general offices told IndyStar they don’t have their employees sign contracts like this. Rokita’s office stands by it, however, and says its employees “understand this requirement” before they agree to work there.

Rokita doesn’t want his own information to be public, but his privacy concerns don’t extend to anyone else. In a letter he signed onto last month, Rokita opposed a federal proposal to block state officials from accessing information on residents’ reproductive health care services obtained outside the state.

Experts who reviewed Rokita’s NDA said it raised concerns about constraints on free speech and about the public’s right to know about the conduct of public business.

“The (NDA’s) definition of ‘confidential information’ seems designed to shield public officials from scrutiny,” contract law expert Michael Mattioli told IndyStar. “And that’s an essential part of living in a well-functioning democracy.”

Rokita declined to be interviewed. Instead, an office spokesperson sent a statement: “For any professional or executive, signing an NDA is a conventional office practice that has worked well to protect clients and employees alike.”

I haven’t practiced law lately, but in my lawyering days, signing a non-disclosure agreement was unheard of–and when I asked friends who still practice, most confirmed that  it remains very unconventional.

According to the Star,

The contract essentially gives Rokita and the AG’s office control over what an employee can say, both during and after employment. The stated rationale is that the employee will be “privy” to information that could be protected by laws and state professional conduct rules.

Typically, when information is protected by professional conduct rules, professionals can be trusted to observe those rules. An NDA isn’t needed. As the Star correctly notes, state and federal laws already protect confidential information received by public employees.

But it doesn’t stop there. It says Rokita and his office ultimately have the power to decide what information fits the definition of “confidential.”

That includes “all material, non-public, information, written, oral, or electronic … that is disclosed or made available to the receiving party, directly or indirectly, through any means of communication or observation …” The category also shields “personal or private information” about Rokita and his staff.

No other Indiana State office requires NDAs, although several deal in as much “sensitive” information as Rokita’s. AGs in most other states haven’t found the practice necessary.

Rokita’s overweening ambition probably plays a role– his appearances on Fox News and a trip he took to the U.S.-Mexico border last year have been widely panned as “headline shopping.” Given Rokita’s appetite for higher office, the sort of disclosures that might emerge–his “side hustle” comes to mind–would be distinctly unhelpful.

One ethics professor found the contract a “reprehensible attempt to intimidate.”

Makes one wonder what Rokita’s so intent on hiding….


  1. This guy seems to feel that he has SOMETHING (s) the needs to be hidden. Makes one curious WHAT is so scary to him. Does he listen to Show tunes with Lindsey Graham?

  2. There seems to be no end to the putrid corruption of the organized crime cabal known as the GOP.

  3. “What is Rokita so worried about?” Heavens, what are Republicans so worried about that they voted for this Trumpian wanna be? It isn’t like they didn’t know who and what he was before voting for him. Are they all so deranged? So self-destructive?

  4. Todd’s ego and desire for positive publicity lead him to constantly create press releases. However, his staff filters out any negative publicity that comes with his job as a public servant. Unfortunately, Todd does not fully grasp the concept of serving the public. He is not alone in his love for being a “change-maker,” but not the part where he is accountable to the public.

  5. It’s not just Indiana. How about the savagery exhibited by the monster in Texas’ governor’s chair? I’ve just started reading Miles Taylor’s latest book “Blowback”. Folks, we’re in grave danger of being taken over by the 30% who want a fascist dictatorship and the destruction of our Constitution.

    What was once the GOP is now a collection of foaming-at-the-mouth ideologues whose lust for power at any cost is set to overwhelm us. This 30% is sort of typical for any sized human group. The problem we now face is that not enough of the 70% who still retain their rationality and desire to live by the rule of law and the Constitution are banging the drum to save our country from the lying crazies. If the 70% don’t get off their asses NOW, the stinking red tide of insurrection will sweep us all under. We will look like the 21st century version of Nazi Germany.

    Low-life creatures like Trump and DeSantis are just the beginning. As stated above, Indiana has had to deal with MAGA-like crazies for a long time. After all, the majority of Indiana voters would rather sell their mothers into slavery than vote for a Democrat. And this is what you get.

  6. What will it take to engage all of those who don’t vote? How do we convince them that they can make a difference, but only if they all get off their chairs and vote? Dems have to run for every office. They have to be present in the lives of the bystanders. It’s just possible that they’re waiting to be asked.

  7. Dirtbags like Rokita have earned that name by always having dirt of some sort to hide.

  8. Lol. Yeah Rokita went after Target for selling Pride merchandise. Are you serious? WHO CARES! How is the Attorney General allowed to target and harass a group of people and a neutral company merely for having different clothing preferences or options? God forbid gay people be allowed to shop for rainbow merchandise in the same store as straight white homophobes. That just might encourage gayness! Forget the fact that it’s basically an attempted act of “segregation” with no real basis in fact. Umm there have been gay people since the beginning of time! It’s not a new “trend” and the fact you treat it as such just shows your lack of education on gay people.

    I saw the author of “Blowback” on tv this morning and really he isn’t saying anything that I haven’t already “sensed” is going on. The sad thing is when the majority of people stay “silent” and don’t want to get involved because they don’t want to be targeted if everything goes to hell. They have a very naive sense of safety because these people are currently on a “power trip” and the more they allow these jerks to hold positions of power the less rights and freedoms they are going to have. Staying “removed” from the politics of your country because you “don’t like conflict” is naive and dangerous. That is the “problem” with the Democratic Party in general. It’s anemic. The Nut jobs are attacking women, LGBTQ, black people, immigrants, and probably disabled people as well. They are attacking our constitution through legislation. This stuff is “Hitler-seque” and if your not concerned on some level of these “white racist homophobic idiots” in and running for public office and training for Armageddon with weapons and bulletproof vests in America then your naive.

    Because democrats aren’t running around with guns and planning for a civil war. And Hitler and his goons were not the majority. I mean our own White House, was overrun by these “fanatics”. They beat and killed cops who they claim to respect as “authority”. Our National Guard had to sleep in the White House to prevent an overthrow. Wake Up folks! It would be the saddest thing in the world if our own military has to step into its own country to prevent people from killing each other or a dictatorship from running this country. This is the GARBAGE that gets them killed in the first place folks. And these jerks have the nerve to say they “respect the military” and “respect authority”? If you respected the military you would stop threatening to overtake this country and stop threatening to “get rid” of anyone you don’t agree with. If you respected “cops” who work to keep us safe and free from harassment, abuse, violence, and corruption everyday then you wouldn’t come out and beat them with an American flag. Honestly, if nothing I have said makes a lick of sense to you then you are clearly off your rocker.

    My father didn’t fight in Vietnam and become 100% disabled just so he could come back and watch his country fall apart.

  9. Interesting to watch the disdain shown to the SCOTUS by the Alabama legislators and governor as well as the arrogant challenge to the DOJ by Abbot in Texas to say nothing of licenses of drivers from 5 other states that DeSantis, et al, have ruled invalid.

    SCOTUS has given license to scofflaws in the highest offices of states with their complete disregard to precedence and the gordian knot that they make of arguments to support their bias. So you sow, shall you reap.

    The mindless cult and the willfully ignorant may just be how our form of governance dies. Unless or until those who will ultimately be directly impacted in an undeniably negative way realize what they have lost, nothing will change. I suspect lots of people will lose everything including their lives before it is over. Of course, most will find someone else to blame.

  10. Peggy,

    I am increasingly thinking that DEMs need to paint nasty pictures of life when MAGA takes over. It will be tricky, as many “doing ok” folks won’t notice much difference in their lives. Forget the “well off” – they will be at least as well off, if not more. Time to take off the gloves, quit talking “policy” and start talking “life without democracy”.

  11. Lester,

    If you don’t care about democracy then I encourage you to go to Russia, China, or North Korea and express your thoughts and see what happens.

  12. Suzanne – ???? WADR (which you didn’t give me)…I DEEPLY care about democracy as I comment was intended to suggest…

  13. I’m sorry if I misinterpreted you Lester. I apologize. I misread your tone. But I honestly thought you were defending MAGA and were confident they would take over. Plus you stated that most wouldn’t notice much of a difference in their lives but I think they will! I think you have a point though that most people don’t understand what it’s like to live without democracy or what will happen to the stability of the world overall if the U.S. no longer supports other democratic countries. I don’t think MAGA supporters understand that!

  14. I hope you all are doing more than just posting words on Sheila’s blog. At least sharing on your social media.

  15. Why does he demand that he has a right to women’s medical records to see if they have had an abortion outside of the state, but he gets total secrecy!

  16. I have it on good authority that he dresses as a drag queen and does story hours at preschool libraries in all states adjacent to Indiana. He goes by the stage name of Ivana Gno Itall. Pictures are only available on the Dark Web.

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