Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill spoke to a predominantly older crowd at the Monroe County Public Library Monday night, addressing a range of conservative issues while failing to address allegations of sexual misconduct that have put him under intense scrutiny during past year in office.
People from Crawfordsville, Indianapolis, Martinsville, and Owen and Washington Counties listened to Hill , the featured speaker for a monthly Grassroots Conservatives meeting. The Bloomington group started in 2012 and supports conservative issues such as limited government, individual freedom and economic freedom, Robert Hall, leader of Grassroots Conservatives, said.
"I believe in freedom, and my job is to defend freedom," Hill said.
Hill geared his speech and his responses to questions submitted by audience members to the nearly 60 older people in the crowd. He answered one question about how to handle calls from unknown numbers — he advised not to answer them — and spoke at length about being dumbfounded by people's obsession with Facebook.
“Social media has really eroded our system of justice and accountability,” he said.
Hill said he agrees with President Donald Trump about the media.
“Fake news is real,” Hill said.
He talked about his disbelief that other states, particularly New York, had legalized abortion. He blamed grassroots Republicans like those in the crowd.
“We waved the white flag,” he said. “That’s on us.”
Neither Hill’s speech nor his answers to questions addressed allegations he inappropriately touched four women during a legislative party at an Indianapolis bar in March 2018. Several party leaders, including Gov. Eric Holcomb, called on Hill to resign in summer 2018 after the allegations surfaced.
While Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler announced in October he did not have enough evidence to file criminal charges, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed an administrative complaint in March.
Libertarian-leaning Republican and former Indiana Republican Convention delegate Greg Knott said he was surprised the allegations were not addressed throughout the one-and-a-half hour session. The investigation has changed his opinion of Hill.
“I think he probably should’ve talked about that if he wants Republican votes at the convention,” Knott said.
Knott submitted two questions: one about CBD and the other about the allegations.
He wanted to ask Hill: “As a father, how would you feel if a man put hands on your daughter the way these woman claim that you put hands on them?”
Hall, who moderated the event, said this was one of three or four questions he wasn’t able ask due to time. He saw Knott submitted two cards. He chose the CBD question and called the other one "nasty."
William Ellis, Monroe County Republican Party chairman, said bringing Hill here was crucial for local conservatives who are often afraid to put stickers on their cars or hold political functions at businesses.
“The perception is we’re very, very blue,” he said.
Hill encouraged the audience to mobilize at the city and county levels to enact change.
“This is the place where you can actually make a difference,” he said.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect that Greg Knott is a Libertarian-leaning Republican and former Indiana Republican Convention delegate.
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