Politics

Rokita and Messer Trade Accusations

Indiana Republican congressmen are both considering running for Senate against Donnelly

Rep. Todd Rokita  said fellow Indiana Republican Rep Luke Messer planted a story about him using campaign funds for a private plane. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Todd Rokita is accusing fellow Republican Rep. Luke Messer of planting a negative story about him in the media ahead of the two possibly facing in Indiana’s Senate race next year.

A recent post in Politico Pro revealed that Rokita had used $100,000 in campaign funds on use of a private plane. The story pointed out that he had broken no ethics rules or laws.

“Messer is attacking me for using my small prop plane to travel Indiana meeting Hoosiers — the same plane I use doing charity work for wounded veterans and sick children,” Rokita wrote in a fundraising email to supporters, the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne reported. “However, as the reporter notes, I have done nothing unethical and followed all relevant laws.”

Rokita said Messer planted the story to distract from an Associated Press story that reported that Messer’s wife has a contract with the city of Fishers worth $20,000 a month.

Messer’s office said Rokita’s claims were unsubstantiated.

“Rokita has a history of making unhinged comments,” an official in his office told the newspaper. “These comments are no different.”

Both Rokita and Messer are considering a run against Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.