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Indiana Republicans’ liquor stores deal raises conflict of interest concerns

Save-on Liquor in Elwood, Indiana (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The involvement of two prominent Indiana Republicans in a deal to purchase a chain of liquor stores has raised conflict of interest concerns.

The Indianapolis Star reports that state GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer and Indianapolis Business Journal co-owner Nate Feltman are minority partners with Indiana Liquor Group in a deal to purchase Save-on Liquor.

Business leaders and political experts fear that the move has strengthened the liquor lobby and that Republican lawmakers will advance legislation favoring the industry to help their political allies.

Hupfer and Feltman say they don’t plan to push for legislation to favor the business.

There are no laws saying Hupfer can’t have private investments. Hupfer noted that he’s not an elected official and doesn’t make any policies.

Feltman says he hasn’t been directly involved with the Statehouse in over a decade.

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