What is so depressing about living in Indiana these days is the dismal quality of our state government.
I’ve frequently posted about what the late Harrison Ullmann accurately called “The World’s Worst Legislature,” a body currently waging war on Indianapolis and higher education, among other travesties.
I actually had some residue of respect for the governor, who I thought was an “old kind” of Republican caught in the vice of MAGA world, but that respect evaporated when he sent Indiana National Guard troops to the southern border to bolster Texas’ performative pissing match with the federal government.
The embarrassment that is our current legislature is largely attributable to the gerrymandering that allows lawmakers to choose their voters, but that excuse is unavailable when we consider statewide candidates like our Attorney General, Todd Rokita, about whom I have posted more frequently that his sorry career warrants. (Put “Rokita” in the search bar, and multiple examples will come up.)
Rokita’s efforts to out-MAGA the MAGAs in his party have been so egregious and unethical that he was sanctioned by Indiana’s all-Republican Supreme Court.
As Paula Cardoza-Jones (a former member of the Disciplinary Commission) has noted, Rokita just can’t stop lying:
In 2022, Attorney General Todd Rokita spoke repeatedly and publicly about his investigation into complaints about a doctor who provided abortion services in Indiana to a 10-year-old rape victim who was unable to obtain such services in Ohio.
As a result, Rokita was accused of violating a statute that requires complaints about a doctor “be held in strict confidence until the attorney general files notice with the [Medical Licensing Board] of the attorney general’s intent to prosecute the licensee.” Ind. Code § 25-1-7-10(a) (“Confidentiality Statute”).
On September 18, 2023, the Disciplinary Commission (“Commission”) filed a Disciplinary Complaint in three counts (“Complaint”), Cause No. 23S-DI-00258, alleging violations of the following Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct (“Rules”):
(1) Rule 3.6(a)—making extrajudicial statements with a substantial likelihood of prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding;
(2) Rule 4.4(a)–using means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person; and
(3) Rule 8.4(d)—engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice based on his violation of the Confidentiality Statute.
Members of Indiana’s highest court agreed on the probity of those allegations, only disagreeing about the severity of the sanctions to be imposed. Rokita subsequently issued misleading pronouncements about that conclusion and was again reprimanded by the Court.
You might think being continually slapped down would teach him a lesson, but–despite his focus on Indiana schools–Rokita is clearly incapable of being educated.
A new dashboard unveiled Tuesday by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office makes public more than two dozen allegations of “potentially inappropriate materials” in Hoosier schools, like critical race theory materials and gender identity policies.
But numerous local officials told the Indiana Capital Chronicle they weren’t made aware of the complaints and contend the allegations were not properly vetted before the portal went live.
Attorney General Todd Rokita referred to “Eyes on Education” as a transparency tool that intends to “empower parents to further engage in their children’s education” and provide “real examples of indoctrination.”
The portal accepts submissions pertaining to K-12 classrooms, colleges, universities and “other affiliated academic entities in Indiana.” But it is unclear how, or if, they are vetting the accuracy of the allegations.
Given what we know of Rokita, it is highly unlikely that these allegations are being “vetted” at all. His “explanation” makes the politics of this new “portal” abundantly clear.
“As I travel the state, I regularly hear from students, parents and teachers about destructive curricula, policies or programs in our schools,” Rokita said in a statement, adding that the portal allows Hoosier parents to “view real examples of socialist indoctrination from classrooms across the state.”
“Our kids need to focus on fundamental educational building blocks,” he continued, “NOT ideology that divides kids from their parents and normal society.”
Several districts have pointed out that portal submissions were out of date or simply inaccurate–but of course, none of those responses appear on the portal. Representative Ed Delaney notes that–among other issues– public education matters are outside the purview of the Attorney General.
This effort to score political points with the most rabid of the MAGA cultists isn’t simply a dishonest ideological stunt; it exceeds the Attorney General’s jurisdiction.
But hey, it’s Todd Rokita–the “lawyer” who has no respect for the Constitutions of either the U.S. or Indiana, or for the rule of law.
Please vote so that I won’t have to waste pixels on this sorry excuse for a public servant after November.