Kasey Helton writes and publishes The Hell-Fire Review, a blog for and about Livingston County progressives — that tenacious pack of Blue underdogs.

Helton is a former local newspaper reporter who ran for County Commission in 2018 and lost. She has spent over 20 years as a resident of Marion Township, where she lives with her husband, Jim, a steelworker, and her rescue mutt, Obi.

Her work has also been featured in The Livingston Post, Open Salon, and the Detroit blog Dyspathy. She likes to give hits on the track playing roller derby, and sometimes she swears a lot.

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The County Good Old Boy Network is worried. It’s about time.

 Desperate and sad.

Desperate and sad.

While I was out canvassing door-to-door for a six hour stretch today meeting voters in Hamburg and Putnam Townships yesterday, I got a text from a Republican friend of mine who received this mailer from #TheGoodOlBoyNetwork. They must be getting worried that someone who is running to hold them accountable might actually win, and with good reason.

So let's talk about this sad, desperate, non-union printed hit piece that a bunch of poor trees wasted their lives to produce.

1. Yes, I'm still upset about my peanuts from the #TrumpTaxScam. You should be too. That's our money, and we work hard for it. People over corporate tax cuts -- always.

2. My strong stance against the rising tide of racism, sexism, and xenophobia being witnessed daily in our country has never been a secret in my campaign. If you vote for me, you are getting someone who will take a moral, ethical stand against inequality without apology because it's the right thing to do. I won't go back on that to win an election and if my opponent wants to position himself against that -- well, I guess you all have a choice to make.

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3. We all have room for personal improvement, I'm no exception. Yes, I have said swear words on social media. However, you will never, ever find me referring to anyone with a derogatory, dehumanizing term like "hag" -- the word that appeared in a meme my opponent re-posted used to describe two women. Then he lied about it, publicly. People who know me know that I believe all people deserve basic human respect -- even people I don't agree with.

4. The other difference between myself and my opponent in this respect is that I will never, ever lie about my behavior as a public servant. That is my promise to you. I will not interrupt you or treat you with indignity by calling you a liar, as my opponent did when called to accountability by his constituents. If I make a mistake, I will apologize and strive for improvement. I will not put you down because of my own insecurities.

5. Lastly -- let’s get real for a second. The Livingston County Republican Party isn't really concerned with my language choices. How can they claim that when "shithole" was the word Trump used to describe other poorer nations? Ironically, the word they are bleeping out is his quote, not mine. I'll be looking forward to their mailer declaring President Trump unfit to lead the country because of his swearing in 2020.

What the Good Old Boy Network is concerned about -- and it's made clear in this mailer -- is that they are backing an incumbent whose failed record necessitates a mailer like this.

If my opponent had a record to run on, he'd be running on it.

Instead, this group is worried because my opponent made a huge error when he failed to recognize that the Veterans Services Committee -- appointed by the County Commission and that includes some members currently under criminal investigation -- under-reported their anticipated fund balance for 2018 by almost a million dollars.

They're worried because, instead of holding the Veterans Services Committee accountable, he's on a sub-committee with some of those very same people under investigation, planning a multi-million dollar building project using millage funds that were not designated for that as other veterans' needs are neglected. This committee doesn't really seem all that interested in putting forth a fair bidding process since my opponent stated during a county meeting that they already have a builder in mind. This project is a broken promise to veterans and millage voters, and is ripe for self- enrichment.

They are worried because my opponent has for the last few elections, including this one, accepted campaign donations in the thousands of dollars from the owner of a local towing company who received a no-bid, handshake, exclusive towing guarantee from my opponent in return -- hurting other local small businesses' bottom line.

They are worried because my opponent has been on the board for two years, and our poor road percentage now outpaces even Wayne County, and he or the Republican party has no plan to fix it. They're worried because Democrats do -- without raising your taxes.

They are worried because we have pollution in the Huron River Watershed, and people are concerned about it, and my opponent isn't advocating our Republican representatives in Lansing to wake up and take action to hold those who have contributed to PFAS contamination accountable.

They are worried because my opponent tried to use taxpayer resources to oppose Proposition 1 to decriminalize recreational marijuana instead of letting the people just have their say at the ballot.

They are just worried -- and they should be. To put it the way a mechanic friend of mine did who voted against him in the Republican primary: "Bob is corrupt."

But if my social media posts are something you have trouble getting past, please give me a call. My number is 810-844-9858 and my line is always open. I would be glad to speak with you, get to know you, and talk about the issues that are most important to you. I promise you that you'll discover the person depicted in this mailer is the opposite of the real life version. The question is, can you say the same about my opponent?

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