In June 2008, Doug Smith had recently retired as speaker pro tempore of the S.C. House of Representatives. In this OpEd in the Spartanburg Herald Journal, he determines “someone finally has to speak the truth” about Rick Beltram. In his offering entitled “Focus should be on local Republican Party, not its self-absorbed chairman“, Doug says:
Back in 2004, Beltram was exuberant when he found out “the Democrats had a field of candidates to run against Republicans” and was “overjoyed” because “it’s been a long time since our people have had a campaign.” These words reveal that Beltram is not about our party and its interests; he’s about media coverage for himself.
Beltram says that, as party chairman, he provides a “level playing field” in Republican primaries, yet recently we learned he was acting as a political consultant for candidates seeking seats held or being sought by other Republicans. If Beltram desires to play such a role, common sense and ethics dictate he should first resign as chairman.
I was never guaranteed my seat, nor did I ever expect the party chairman to protect or cover me if I had faced a primary. Once I was in office, however, I did expect the chairman to defend his local Republican elected officials – an expectation Beltram, as chairman, has consistently failed to meet.
Most know Beltram as a self-absorbed media hound who has never met a news release he wouldn’t release. It is a pity hardworking Republicans have had to work in the shadow of someone who either doesn’t understand the damage he does to our party, or doesn’t care, or both.
A portrait of Ronald Reagan hangs in the S.C. House Chamber because of a resolution that I prepared and sponsored. I am normally a believer in Reagan’s commandment not to speak ill of a fellow Republican, but when it comes to an extreme case like our local Republican chairman, someone finally has to speak the truth.
At this time, the current Spartanburg GOP Chairman, Curtis Smith, has once again moved the party offices inside the business offices of Rick Beltram. Curtis’ decision and affiliation with Beltram is politics of the very shady past that Spartanburg Republican voters should be alarmed at.