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Speaking objectively for a single paragraph, Todd Rokita has done an excellent job as Indiana Attorney General. He’s been at it for a year-and-a-half. In that time, he’s managed to score several wins for Hoosier conservatives.

Sadly, the Attorney General also has a tendency to allow personal animosities and pettiness to become unnecessary distractions from his job.  Rokita’s latest battle with journalist Abdul-Hakim Shabazz who runs Indy Politics is a perfect example.

Shabazz was turned away from a press conference with Rokita last October by a member of the Attorney General’s staff. Shabazz had the proper media credentials to attend, but was denied entry on the grounds that he was “not a real journalist.”

As a result of the incident, Rokita is being sued in Federal court by the ACLU.

Rokita filed a motion to dismiss the case Thursday, arguing that fighting the lawsuit would be a waste of taxpayer money and that the First Amendment does not protect the right to hear from a public official in person.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s office has also banned Shabazz from attending any of Rokita’s future news conferences.

Regardless of how this ultimately plays out, Rokita stands to lose. Shabazz might not be the most beloved figure among hardcore conservatives, but he’s not running for office either.

This isn’t the first time that Rokita and Shabazz have butted heads.

In 2018, Rokita initially refused to participate in a Senate primary debate moderated by Shabazz and hosted by the Indiana Debate Commission on the grounds that Shabazz was “anti-Trump.”

Rokita ultimately reversed his decision and chose to participate in the event.

Neither of these petty dustups with Shabazz has served to benefit Rokita or Hoosier voters in the long run.

I get that the Attorney General has a personal beef with Shabazz, but what does he gain by letting that play out in public? Where’s the ‘win?’

Look, there are far better ways for Rokita to handle this feud with Shabazz – ways that won’t come back to haunt him conservative voters when he decides to run for Governor:

  • Anonymously send Shabazz a giant package of glitter.
  • Sign him up for a bunch of magazines that will get him in trouble with his wife.
  • Send his contact info to the Church of Scientology.

Yes, these suggestions are childish and stupid, but at least the public will (probably) be none the wiser.

Todd Rokita is one of a handful of politicians who has a track record of being good at government. He was an excellent Secretary of State. He’s consistently governed as a conservative and done what he said he was going to do. Why does he continue to insist upon getting in his own way?