South Dakota Senator Benched in ‘Suckling’ Advice Scandal

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
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Location: Long Island, New York

31 Jan 2023, 12:00 pm

Daily Beast

The state legislature has been consumed by a bizarre scandal after a lawmaker allegedly stepped way over the line and gave a staffer unsolicited advice on COVID vaccines and breast-feeding, including a suggestion that she suckle her husband.

State Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, a Republican from Rapid City, was suspended from her committee assignments last week and stripped of the ability to vote after the incident was first reported to Senate leadership.

In a statement, the staffer, who works for the Legislative Research Council, said Frye-Mueller and her husband came into her office on Jan. 24. She said that after discussing the draft of a bill, the senator asked about her baby son and whether she had been vaccinated.

“I told her ‘yes.’ Without allowing me to elaborate further, she proceeded to point her finger at me and aggressively say that this will cause him issues,” the staffer said. She said added that Frye-Mueller told her people are being used as “guinea pigs for Big Pharma,” warned that was she was “taking away God’s gift of immunity from your son,” and falsely claimed the child could get Down syndrome or autism or “die from those vaccines.”

The staffer went on to say that the lawmaker asked if she was breast-feeding, and when she said was feeding with formula, she got more unwanted advice.

“I was told by Senator Frye-Mueller that my husband could ‘suck on my breasts’ to get milk to come in. She indicated ‘a good time for that is at night.’ She proceeded to provide hand gestures to her chest area and motion to her husband to see if he agreed. He smiled and nodded,” she wrote.

The staffer said the senator then became even more emotional and aggressive, and with tears in her eyes, told her to stop vaccinating the infant. She said she knew of twins who were harmed by a vaccine and asked if the woman wanted that to happen to her child. The staffer told her she would think it over.

“I did so in the hope that it would end the conversation and not upset her further,” she wrote.

Although the inquiry into Frye-Mueller’s behavior became public last week, the full details of the allegations did not come to light until Monday. The staffer is scheduled to testify Tuesday behind closed doors before the Senate Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion.

Republicans are in total control of South Dakota’s state government, holding a 31-4 edge in the Senate and a 63-7 supermajority in the House. Republicans have served as governor since 1979. Senate leaders named seven Republicans and two Democrats to serve on the committee.

While they rarely need to battle with statehouse Democrats, the South Dakota GOP has a lengthy history of family feuds.


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