The Huckster File – An Open Letter to Those Considering Reverend Mike for President

I received an email from a friend urging me to donate to Mike Huckabee’s campaign for President, so I pulled together his top 10 scandals and fired them back. I’ve added source citations in order to demonstrate that his scandals are not being manufactured by some Swift Boaters with a few websites. They are well documented, many are on camera, and are cross-referenced by multiple national media outlets. Forward as needed to the Huckabee boosters in your life. 

In no particular order:

Scandal #1 – Huckabee misrepresents his stand on illegal aliens – He ran Arkansas as a safe haven state for illegal aliens, and favored illegal aliens over US citizens for cut-rate in-state tuition. Now he’s claiming he’s against amnesty when he refused to sign a bill to start deporting illegals.

(Arkansas Journal) (Washington Times)

Scandal #2 – Huckabee lied about urging parole of a rapist who raped and murdered again – He pardoned or commuted sentences on 1,033 criminals while governor. He urged the parole board to approve parole of many more criminals that were politically difficult to pardon. One example, Wayne DuMond, went on to kill and rape 2 women after Huckabee personally pressured the parole board to release him 25 years early for a rape conviction. The Arkansas parole board forwarded Huckabee a letter from one of DuMond’s prior rape victims urging the governor not to pardon DuMond, and predicting that DuMond would rape and kill again. Huckabee pushed for the pardon anyway. Huckabee later denied receiving the letter, and tried to cover it up, according to a former aid who provided the letters. 

(Huffington Post) (ABC News)

Scandal #3 – Huckabee’s non-stop abuse of Christianity as a political gimmick – This “phone call” will absolutely turn your stomach, as does his oh-so-subtle floating cross Christmas ad. Give me a break. It disgusts me as a Christian, and no doubt frightens non-Christians to see this sort of thing.

Scandal #4 – Huckabee is a pro-war “Christian” – Here’s a chance to actually put some of Christ’s sermons (Blessed are the warmongers?) into action. Instead, he supports continuing the war in Iraq to “save national honor” rather than admitting it was a mistake (no WMD’s, no al Qaeda) and withdrawing. How many more have to die before we “leave with honor”? Is that the 11th Commandment? Maybe it’ll be as honorable as Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan or Serbia… He has absolutely no idea how foreign policy and militarism connects with the dollar crisis, terrorism, and the coming recession. This makes him identical to all but Ron Paul out of any of the candidates, but is noteworthy given how bloodthirsty he is for a minister.

  Read More Open Letters    

Scandal #5 – Huckabee destroyed state files and equipment as he left the Governor’s Office – He ordered the payment of $25,000 from a state emergency fund to physically destroy the hard drives of his office at the end of his term. That data belongs to the Office of the Governor, not the man, and a public official should have NO expectation of privacy when carrying out the duties of office on government equipment. To turn one of the government’s favorite phrases around “if you don’t have anything to hide…” So much for rule of law over personal privilege. We could expect little return to Constitutional guarantees of privacy and transparent government under Huckabee. Allocating the funds from a state emergency fund earmarked for floods, tornadoes, and natural disasters is fiscally irresponsible, spendthrift, and perhaps illegal. We should not be surprised if this scandal takes on wings of its own, given all the possible angles.

(Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

Scandal #6 – Ethicsgate – Governor Huckabee was sanctioned 5 times for ethics violations, and had 9 other complaints, none dismissed as frivolous.  He’s taken practically every gift or favor ever given to him as Arkansas governor, and actively asked for gifts: “some former Huckabee staff and appointees acknowledged … that Huckabee’s chief of staff and a cabinet official solicited contributions from staff and appointees for Christmas gifts for the governor.” Shouldn’t it go the other way around? The boss buys a small gift for the staff. What about that old Christian nugget: it’s better to give than receive. There is also a very direct correlation between his receipt of gifts and his political appointments. 

He even went so far as to set up a wedding registry for him and his wife to receive gifts to decorate their house after they left office. How completely tacky. Clearly this guy thinks of public service as serving him, not the other way around. 

(MSNBC) (Guardian UK)

Scandal #7 – Huckabee wanted to quarantine AIDS patients in 1992 – He was in favor of rounding up AIDS patients for quarantine in 1992 – NOT 1985, but 1992, 7 years after it was well established that AIDS was not transmitted by casual contact. This is either a not so subtle “homos be damned” pander to the evangelical base, or a display of ignorance so shocking it borders on unbelievable.

This was a full year after Magic Johnson “mainstreamed” HIV/AIDS by admitting that he had it.  He would probably have given Magic a pass to play at the Olympics that year.

(CNN) (USA Today)

The Left, The Right an... Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr Best Price: $7.33 Buy New $40.00 (as of 07:55 EST - Details)

Scandal #8 – Huckabee refuses to admit when he’s mistaken or misinformed about current events – Rather than get informed or admit his lack of knowledge, he lies about his gaffes. A polite observer will say he was misunderstood, but watch the video and judge for yourself. See these comments about Pakistan under marital law and the Pakistan immigration “threat." How exactly does a former governor who didn’t even have Secret Service protection get a CIA briefing? Who briefed him? Where did those numbers come from? What? Then there’s this 46-second gem.

Scandal #9 – Huckabee seriously misrepresents his record on cutting taxes – He is not really a tax cutter, and in fact, is lined up to be a bigger spender than, well, Bush II. “Right now, we spend about 3.9 percent of our GDP on defense, compared with about six percent in 1986, under President Ronald Reagan. We need to return to that six percent level.” (Foreign Affairs) Does he realize that’s $300 Billion in additional defense spending, over the $500 Billion in on-budget Defense spending?

That last thing we need is to waste an additional $300 Billion on planes and battleships to fight guys with carbines and makeshift bombs. We need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and follow Ron Paul’s plan of granting Letters of Marque for the capture of bin Laden. This sort of policy ignorance is consistent with Huckabee’s generally misinformed worldview.

It gets better though. Here is his record on taxes from National Review and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

“According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the average Arkansas tax burden increased 47% over Huckabee’s tenure. Huckabee supported (in chronological order) a sales tax hike; gas and diesel fuel tax hikes; another sales tax hike; a cigarette tax hike; a nursing home bed tax; another sales tax hike; an income surcharge tax; a tobacco tax hike; taxes on Internet access; and higher beer taxes. Huckabee also oversaw a 50-percent increase in spending; happily signed a minimum wage increase and encouraged national Republicans to do the same; favors a national smoking ban, farm subsidies, and a federally mandated arts and music curriculum; opposes private school choice; and employs class-warfare and protectionist language on the campaign trail.”

(Foreign Affairs) (National Review) (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

Scandal #10 – Arkansans like Hillary Clinton better than Huckabee by nearly 4 to 1 – His home state rejects him as a left-leaning, tax and spend, authoritarian Republican. There’s no way a leftist Republican will beat a Democrat in the general election. Leftists will vote for the Democrat offered, and other than some evangelicals and die-hards, Republicans and Independents will stay home. Huckabee versus any Democrat would be an electoral beating to rival Reagan versus Mondale, except it will be the Dems taking the White House. He is a Democrats’ dream candidate to the point that they are calling him the “Glass Jaw” because they will break him head to head. (Drudge Report)

Here’s Hillary, one of the most despised people in politics, absolutely killing Huckabee in a late 2007 poll (35% to 8%) in Arkansas on the heals of out-raising him for bucks in their “home” state. The final word on Huckabee, and more in-depth reading of all his flip-flops, pettiness, gaudiness, and scandalous behavior I leave to one who knows him best. Max Brantley of the Arkansas Gazette writes for Salon about the man he’s covered for nearly 19 years.

(University of Arkansas) (Salon)

January 7, 2008

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts