House Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Friend, Indiana

House Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Friend, Indiana

Indiana House Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Friend is a pig farmer. In 2012, the Republican helped pass a bill awarding attorney’s fees to any farm dealing with a “frivolous” nuisance lawsuit — a law that animal rights advocates worried would discourage neighbors who otherwise might sue polluting farms.

“The law does not uniquely benefit me personally or my business, and does not present a conflict of interest,” he said. “I put a high premium on integrity and transparency, and that’s why I have a record of supporting efforts to strengthen disclosure laws and protecting the public trust through updating Indiana’s ethics laws.”

Reporting by the Center for Public Integrity’s Liz Essley Whyte and David Jordan; The Associated Press’ Summer Ballentine, Ryan J. Foley, Michelle Price, Holly Ramer, Gary Robertson, Mark Scolforo, Brian Slodysko.

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