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Minnehaha County GOP mailer shameful

by Greg Belfrage

It's hardly any secret to my listeners that I'm a Republican. I've spoken often about my transition from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican over the years.

I penned a column earlier today explaining why I'll be voting to re-elect Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether. Most people in political circles know that Mike Huether is a Democrat.

Yes, I'm voting for a Democrat.

When I arrived home today... I found this piece of garbage from Minnehaha County Republicans in my mailbox.

I'm a Republican. And I'm infuriated.

Party politics has seeping into Sioux Falls City Hall for years. This isn't the first time that one of the two major political parties has gotten involved in city races.

However, this is without a doubt the most disgusting display I've seen to date.

The Argus Leader is reporting that Huether's Republican challenger, Greg Jamison, was unaware of the mailer.

Sioux Falls residents know Jamison to be a man of integrity. He should call on those responsible to apologize for this shameful mailer. If I were Jamison, I'd be kicking asses at the Minnehaha County GOP right now. I really wish these party goons would stay out of local races.

Republicans are showing a lot of hypocrisy by accusing Huether of "shutting out reporters".

Republicans in Pierre wrote the book on it. Republican governors and legislative leaders in this state have repeatedly refused to pass sunshine laws opening up state government. Our state's open meeting law carries no penalty for violation. It's a joke.

Former governor Mike Rounds refused to release names of those invited to the governor's hunt. Former governor Bill Janklow wouldn't even speak to the Argus Leader.

By contrast, Mike Huether has never refused an interview request from me or KELO radio. He takes blind calls on my program every month and has never dodged or failed to answer a single question.

I'm well aware of Mike Huether's support for President Obama. I'd never send Huether to Congress to be yet another liberal voice. Neither would I send him to the statehouse because I believe he would be a "tax and spender".

But Huether's record of accomplishment as mayor of Sioux Falls is impressive. He's a problem solver who can get things done.

One of the benefits of my position is that I get to know some of our local news makers personally, especially the mayor. I have seen the toll that the job has taken on Mike. He has confided some of his challenges to me through our conversations and messages over the years.

Likewise, I've shared some of my personal and family challenges with him. Mike has taken an interest in them and prayed for me and my family. He recently gifted me with a very beautiful Christian devotional book to help lift my spirits. He has mailed encouraging notes to my home when he knew my family was facing adversity. I have been incredibly touched by his kindness and concern.

Mike knows I'm a Republican, but it hasn't stopped him from treating me with great respect. I'm very grateful to him for his leadership and his friendship.

This GOP mailer is disgusting. It exemplifies all that's wrong with politics today. These lousy tactics are one reason why many good men and women won't run for political office.

Minnehaha County Republicans ought to apologize. Right now.

Greg Belfrage ( @belfrageshow ) is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com.

This column has been edited to clarify that the mailer came from Minnehaha County Republicans. The return address on the mailer is the South Dakota GOP.