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TIMES EDITORIAL: Rokita needs to explain VU probe
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TIMES EDITORIAL: Rokita needs to explain VU probe

Indiana AG investigating VU, Confucius Institute

Jeff Doebler conducts Valparaiso University musicians at a Chinese cultural awareness event in October 2016 at Central Park in downtown Valparaiso. The event was held in conjunction with the university's Confucius Institute, which Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita contends may be a front for the Chinese Communist Party.

Attorney General Todd Rokita made news Tuesday when he announced his office will investigate the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University.

Rokita wants to find out whether the institute is operating under the influence of the Chinese government and using communist propaganda to influence Hoosiers.

The efforts of our state’s top lawyer would be better spent on other endeavors. Rokita should drop this probe and get back to legal matters that truly impact Hoosiers.

The Munster native said his office plans to use "every tool at our disposal" to figure out what's going on with the Confucius Institute.

"Hoosiers deserve answers and transparency into the impact of these institutes on our schools and students," Rokita said.

We agree with Rokita on one point. Hoosiers do deserve transparency in education — and beyond.

But what exactly is the impetus for this investigation?

Despite being so keen on transparency, Rokita offered few details into the genesis of the probe.

All we can discern from thus far is a letter Rokita sent to VU seeking information regarding whether its Confucius Institute complies with federal higher education statutes and Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

The university responded fairly quickly to Rokita.

"Valparaiso University does not and would not support any kind of endeavor that furthers or promotes communist ideology as doing so would conflict with its Christian mission and purpose and its strong support of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects the freedom of speech and religion," the university said.

Perhaps we're missing a smoking gun that only Rokita knows about.

If that's the case, we Hoosiers deserve to know what’s driving his desire to make national headlines with this probe.

From the State of Indiana government website, "The Office of the Indiana Attorney General represents the state in cases involving the state's interest, provides legal defense to state officials or agencies in court and gives formal legal advisory opinions on constitutional or legal questions to state officials."

Where is the state's interest in this probe?

The state deserves an attorney general who stays above the fray of partisan hackery or chasing of shadows.


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SCOTT SHELLADY: So now we find ourselves in the unenviable situation of having to decipher what is real and what is a lie. But wait, it is getting worse. They now are asking us not to believe our very own eyes. That is it. Not just the rhetoric, but now our own eyes.

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