Editor, Times-Union:
I read with interest – and surprise – of the latest round of mud-slinging in the county commissioner race. The Times-Union refers to an alleged email from Bob Conley to Jon Fussle, in which Conley threatens “to run a very, very dirty campaign.” That is a very surprising remark to say the least.
I don’t know Jon Fussle personally, although I’ve known of and have respect for the Fussle family. While I don’t know Mr. Fussle, I have, however, known Bob Conley for at least 15 years.  I have always thought of Mr. Conley as a sweet, thoughtful, compassionate man. He’s a good businessman and a competent and honest county commissioner. Frankly, I don’t think he has a mean bone in his body, and it is hard for me to believe that these comments are true.
Not only is Mr. Conley not mean, he is also not stupid. It would be foolish, and political suicide, to make such statement in print and then let it get to your opponent. I question the truthfulness of the email.
The solution seems to be obvious: If Jon Fussle can produce a legitimate email, then Bob Conley should be ashamed. If, on the other hand, he cannot produce the email, then his truthfulness and wisdom are called into question: Jon Fussle should be ashamed and withdraw from the race. My gut feeling is that there is no such email. I call on Mr. Fussle to “produce the goods,” or be quiet.
This kind of political mud-slinging is better suited to the streets of Chicago or Washington than the country roads of Kosciusko County. It is just not the kind of ugly behavior that is generally characteristic of Hoosier politicians. We have higher standards in Indiana.
The old saying goes something like this: If you wrestle with a pig, whether you win or lose, you always end up smellin’. I suggest everyone stick with the issues facing Kosciusko County and  forget the stupid comments. Keep the mud in the garden.
Dave Halyaman
Warsaw, via e-mail

Editor’s note: Jon Fussle published an online statement March 13 along with an email of his to supporters in which he said, “my opponent has warned me that he is going to run a very, very dirty campaign.” He has not claimed that the remarks were made to him by email, but did tell the Times-Union that Bob Conley “sent me the message through a mutual friend in conversation.”