As Mike Huckabee gains in the polls, the former Arkansas governor is finding that his record in office is getting more scrutiny. One issue likely to get attention is his handling of a sensitive family matter: allegations that one of his sons was involved in the hanging of a stray dog at a Boy Scout camp in 1998. The incident led to the dismissal of David Huckabee, then 17, from his job as a counselor at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, Ark. It also prompted the local prosecuting attorney— bombarded with complaints generated by a national animal-rights group—to write a letter to the Arkansas state police seeking help investigating whether David and another teenager had violated state animal-cruelty laws. The state police never granted the request, and no charges were ever filed. But John Bailey, then the director of Arkansas’s state police, tells NEWSWEEK that Governor Huckabee’s chief of staff and personal lawyer both leaned on him to write a letter officially denying the local prosecutor’s request.
Original DVD cover
Swim, puppy, swim!!! Save yourself!!
Bailey, a career officer who had been appointed chief by Huckabee’s Democratic predecessor, said he viewed the lawyer’s intervention as improper and terminated the conversation. Seven months later, he was called into Huckabee’s office and fired. “I’ve lost confidence in your ability to do your job,” Bailey says Huckabee told him. One reason Huckabee cited was “I couldn’t get you to help me with my son when I had that problem,” according to Bailey. “Without question, [Huckabee] was making a conscious attempt to keep the state police from investigating his son,” says I. C. Smith, the former FBI chief in Little Rock, who worked closely with Bailey and called him a “courageous” and “very solid” professional.
But wait, kids, there’s more!
From the International Herald Tribune (04.26.2007):
LITTLE ROCK: The son of a U.S. presidential candidate was arrested an Arkansas airport Thursday with a loaded pistol in his carryon luggage — a week after his father said the Virginia Tech shooter could have been stopped if other students or teachers had been armed.
David Huckabee, 26, later pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of possessing a weapon in a prohibited place.
Huckabee had a .40-caliber Glock pistol in his black carry-on bag, Little Rock police officer Arthur Nugent said. Eight live rounds were in the gun — none in the chamber — and a nine-round clip was in the bag.
But, according to his dad, it’s all okay, because David
has the potential to be a really good serial killer is an Eagle Scout! No word yet on what he did to an eagle to earn that honor.
But wait, kids, there’s more! Let’s meet mom! From U. S. News & World Report:
In 2002, Mike ran for re-election as Arkansas’s governor. Janet also ran for a statewide office: secretary of state. In response to her detractors during the campaign (critical of her use of state resources for campaigning, among other things), she told the New York Times, “If it wasn’t for the grace of God, I’d have shot a few people already.” While Mike won his election, Janet lost hers.
She likes to hunt and once shot a grenade launcher at a National Guard training camp in Arkansas (“hitting the target two out of three times”).
This family does love their weaponry!
And now Mom and Dad together. From the Guardian Unlimited:
A $1,000 pair of cufflinks from a supporter, tens of thousands of dollars of clothing from a wealthy Little Rock businessman and thousands in gift certificates and cash from staff and appointees were among the lavish gifts given to Republican presidential candidate and unexpected frontrunner Mike Huckabee while he was governor of Arkansas.
The gifts fell within Arkansas’s ethics rules but have raised questions among the governor’s political opponents and ethics analysts at a time when scrutiny of the candidate is intensifying, and are at odds with the humble persona Huckabee has adopted on the campaign trail.
It has previously been reported that when Huckabee and his wife, Janet, left the governor’s mansion, they registered at a department store for gifts to fill their new home.
A review of state records by the Guardian indicates that during his more than 10 years as governor, Huckabee received thousands of dollars in presents almost every year: gift certificates to sporting goods stores, clothing boutiques and Wal-Mart, a $3,695 pair of cowboy boots, a $500 belt and more.
In addition, some former Huckabee staff and appointees acknowledged to the Guardian that Huckabee’s chief of staff and a cabinet official solicited contributions from staff and appointees for Christmas gifts for the governor.
Huckabee’s chief source of largesse was Jennings Osborne, a Little Rock businessman who made his money in the medical testing business.
Let’s take a little look at some of the
loot bribes graft gifts Osborne gave the Huckleberries Huckabees over the years:
gift certificates to department stores and clothing boutiques, 200 copies of a book Huckabee wrote, ties, flowers and air travel.
$200 flower arrangements to the governor’s mansion every week
$250 flower arrangements for Janet Huckabee on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and her birthday
He bought Huckabee more than $20,000 of clothing and spent $7,500 on a party for the governor’s staff and security detail
But it’s not like Osborne got anything out of it….oops!
In February of that year , Huckabee appointed Osborne to the War Memorial Stadium Commission, which oversees the football arena where the University of Arkansas Razorbacks play in Little Rock. The term expired in 2006.
A former top Huckabee staffer said the governor saw nothing wrong with Osborne’s gifts. “It was because of his background as a preacher,” said the staffer, who asked to remain anonymous. “They typically get gifts. In his own mind he was righteous, so the appearance didn’t matter.” Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister.
Alice Stewart, a spokesman for Huckabee, said Osborne’s gifts were appropriate because Osborne received no special treatment from the governor. “Osborne is known for being a generous businessman and philanthropist,” she said. “As a proud citizen of Arkansas, he enjoyed being able to donate those items so that the taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay for them.”
Wow! I want to run for office in Arkansas! I had no idea that the taxpayers are supposed pay for flowers and clothing and travel and all that good stuff, especially for the family! Just think how much money I would save on presents, not to mention the time shopping!
And Dad’s family values? From Mother Jones:
In the days before this debate, Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, was hit with questions regarding his past remarks and positions on religion (in 1998 he said, “I hope we…take this nation back for Christ”), on AIDS (in 1992 he proposed that people with the disease be quarantined), and on the role of women in society (in 1998 he endorsed an ad affirming the Baptist teaching that a “wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband”). And Huckabee was obviously trying to come across as a friendly and reasonable fundamentalist who eschewed the politics of division. But not too long ago, Huckabee was quite willing to be divisive. In a 1998 book decrying American culture, Huckabee was no seeker of common ground. He drew stark lines, equating environmentalists with pornographers and homosexuality with pedophilia and necrophilia. He also declared that people who do not believe in God tend to be immoral and to engage in “destructive behavior.” He drew a rather harsh picture of an American society starkly split between people of faith and those of a secular bent, with the latter being a direct and immediate threat to the nation.
In Kids Who Kill, Huckabee [...] wrote,
Abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism have fragmented and polarized our communities.
Why was he lumping environmentalism with activities he considered sinful? He did not explain further. A few pages later, Huckabee complained,
It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations—from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.
Huckabee did not say what public endorsement of pedophilia or necrophilia he had in mind. But he did seem to be equating homosexuality with both.
Throughout the book, Huckabee warned of going soft on immorality. He slammed those Christians who accept a “misguided version of ‘tolerance’” and do not voice outrage at cultural deterioration. Mocking such Christians, he huffed, “We don’t want to offend anyone.” He denounced what he termed “radical ideological secularism,” and he declared, “in the name of civil liberties, cultural diversity, and political correctness, a radical agenda of willy-nilly moral corruption and ethical degeneration has pressed forward.” Without identifying any secularists by name, he wailed,
The legal commitment of ideological secularism to any and all of the fanatically twisted fringes of American culture—pornographers, gay activists, abortionists, and other professional liberationists—is a pathetically self-defeating crusade that has confused liberty with license.
This is not the rhetoric of a fellow looking to heal divisions within American society. And Huckabee approvingly quoted a “pastor-patriot” of the early 1800s who said, “Every considerate friend of civil liberty, in order to be consistent with himself, must be the friend of the Bible.” That’s a rather fundamentalist definition of a civil libertarian.
There’s a lot more over at Mother Jones. I will leave it to you, kids, to read it on your own. There may be a quiz later on.
The other brother? John Mark Huckabee. From Wonkette:
A reader writes:
For what it’s worth: I went to college with John Mark Huckabee … at Ouachita Baptist University in the late ’90s. John Mark had the biggest porn magazine collection on campus and used to delight his nerd-friends by reading aloud Penthouse Letters he composed and submitted for publication. Not sure if any of them were ever published…. I was present in the dorm room of a mutual friend on one occasion while JM was reading his letters aloud, so this is first hand information.
Now, we don’t know if this is true or not, but, if it is, I suppose it’s a good thing. It’s proof that he can read and write.
From Mike Huckabee (dot com):
Iraq is a battle in our generational, ideological war on terror.
Let’s see, John Mark is around 30, David is 26, and their sister Sarah is 24. They are not in the service fighting in Iraq, because………………………..?
I will close with one other little tidbit that I found amusing. Did you know what Janet Huckabee’s maiden name is? McCain!