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Wells calls for stronger standards, workers’ bill of rights

Destiny Wells talks attorney general run

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Destiny Wells said the attorney general’s office needs to take a more proactive stance on protecting workers’ rights.

Wells’ comments came during her first television interview since she announced on Monday her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2024. This would put her opposite incumbent Todd Rokita assuming Rokita is nominated for a second term at the state Republican convention next summer.

Speaking to News 8 for “All INdiana Politics,” Wells said if Rokita enacted a Parents’ Bill of Rights despite the Indiana Department of Education already having a complaint process, then workers deserve a Workers’ Bill of Rights as well.

“The Illinois Attorney General’s office has a very robust labor division where they are looking at issues like worker misclassification and wage theft,” she said. “And so we want to help Hoosiers in that way and work with whether it be supporting union needs and making sure that we are giving enough resources to work and collaborate with local prosecutors.”

Wells has criticized Rokita for joining other Republican state attorneys general in high-profile cases dealing with social media, environmental, and border security issues and for his frequent appearances on cable news talk shows. She said the attorney general needs to be more focused on meeting Hoosiers’ needs.

Wells said while she would also pursue legal action against social media companies where appropriate, she would conserve the office’s resources for lawsuits that are truly needed and don’t already involve another state.

In a similar vein, Wells said she would restore high professional standards to the office. The Indiana Supreme Court reprimanded Rokita at the beginning of the month for his public comments on Dr. Caitlin Bernard, a doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio. Rokita’s predecessor, Curtis Hill, had his law license briefly suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct.

“What we want to do is restore integrity and professionalism to the office,” she said. “I’ve worked in the office before and I understand the day-to-day affairs. I understand the expectations that are put on the staff and where there are areas for improvement.”

The attorney general’s tasks include representing the state in all legal cases involving it, such as ongoing lawsuits against Indiana’s abortion ban and the ban on gender transition care for minors. Wells has sharply criticized those laws. Asked whether she would enforce them if elected, she replied she would have the responsibility of upholding the laws passed by the legislative branch.

Wells ran for secretary of state in 2022, taking home 40% of the vote in a three-way race with Republican Diego Morales and Libertarian Jeff Maurer. Asked what makes the 2024 cycle different from last year, she said she blamed her loss on lack of voter turnout.

Since the 2024 state elections coincide with a presidential race, Wells said far more voters will pay attention and might be willing to hear her message. Moreover, she said the connections and name recognition left over from her first campaign will give her a boost.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WISH-TV.