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Friday, December 28, 2007
posted by My Klob | 5:50 PM | permalink
http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/

...

This is my 2008 slogan: Reasonable Person for President. That is my hope, what I ask Iowa to produce, and I claim here to speak for thousands, millions. We are grown-ups, we know our country needs greatness, but we do not expect it and will settle at the moment for good. We just want a reasonable person. We would like a candidate who does not appear to be obviously insane. We'd like knowledge, judgment, a prudent understanding of the world and of the ways and histories of the men and women in it.

...

Mitt Romney? Yes. Characterological cheerfulness, personal stability and a good brain would be handy to have around. He hasn't made himself wealthy by seeing the world through a romantic mist. He has a sophisticated understanding of the challenges we face in the global economy. I personally am not made anxious by his flip-flopping on big issues because everyone in politics gets to change his mind once. That is, you can be pro-life and then pro-choice but you can't go back to pro-life again, because if you do you'll look like a flake. The positions Mr. Romney espouses now are the positions he will stick with. He has no choice.

....

Mike Huckabee gets enough demerits to fall into my not-reasonable column.
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2 Comments:


"10 Ways Democrats Could Use Huckabee's Pardon Of 1,033 Felons To Alienate Moderate And Conservative Voters"
By Rex McBride, Los Angeles


In late December 2007, Judicial Watch named Huckabee one of the 10 most corrupt officials, joining Mayor Giuliani and Senator Craig of Idaho as the only elected Republicans on the list. Elected Democrats include Senator Clinton, Senator Feinstein, Senator Obama, Senator Reid and Representative Pelosi.

It's not a great list for Huckabee or Giuliani to be on.

http://voxverax.blogspot.com/2007/12/judicial-watch-ten-most-corrupt.html#Contributors

This article is long, because in the 4 or 5 weeks that Huckabee has drawn national attention, a number of journalists have begin researching his method. If selected to be the Republic Presidential nominee, Huckabee's record would be placed under a microscope that dwarfs any quick research that journalists could perform in 4 or 5 weeks. In other words, Huckabee's record on pardons is a gift that would keep on giving for the Democrats, and they could mine it from all kinds of angles.

Dukakis had Willy Horton, but the difference is that Huckabee has 1,033 convicted felons and 12 convicted murderers whose pardons he was required to justify under Arkansas law, which he refused to comply with, as if he considered himself an emperor above the law that governed ordinary mortals.

To this day, Huckabee strongly defends all of these pardons and the secret criteria that he used. That means, as President of the United States, he will continue to pardon convicted felons and murderers, for one reason:

He has stated that his faith does not change from day to day, and it DRIVES his decisions. He meant it, when he described himself as "the Christian leader." That sets a high standard. Unfortunately, his record on pardons is indefensible for anyone who would consider a victims' (or a voters') point of view.

His record on pardons now has national implications. Republican voters need to "do the math" on the "big numbers" of what those pardons mean on a Federal level - as well as what it means to be elected President of a country with 300 million citizens. These "big numbers" relate to the reality of waging a national General Election campaign in all 50 states against well-financed, well-organized opponents.


-- BACKGROUND BEHIND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS --

If the Iowa Republican Primary favors him with 40% evangelical voters, that advantage vaporizes in most other States. On a national scale, only 23% of the electorate identified themselves as evangelicals in exit polls after the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Some "big numbers" of campaign funds raised so far, suggesting the brutal marathon ahead for leading candidates of both Parties:

Clinton ($90.9 million)
Obama ($80.3 million)
Edwards ($30.3 million)
Romney ($62.8 million)
Giuliani ($47.3 million)
McCain ($32.1 million)
Thompson ($12.8 million)
Paul ($8.3 million)
Huckabee ($2.3 million)

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/money/dems.html

Within these larger numbers, actual financial contributions from clergy show that (1) both Obama and Clinton have far more financial support from clergy than "the Christian leader," Huckabee, (2) Romney has about double the support from clergy as Huckabee, and (3) Huckabee, Edwards, McCain and Giuliani have about equal support from clergy:

Obama ($107,350)
Clinton ($88,910)
Romney ($39,350)
Huckabee ($20,610)
Edwards ($19,600)
McCain ($18,800)
Giuliani ($16,700)

http://dyn.politico.com/members/forums/thread.cfm?catid=1&subcatid=2&threadid=241552

With all the favorable press Huckabee has received, even Ron Paul has bested him 4 to 1 in overall fund raising. On a national scale, enough people don't believe in Huckabee to open their wallet to support his election to fund a national campaign. Huckabee has attacked the Wall Street/Main Street wing of the party, who would otherwise be expected to raise money for the Republican candidate - thus biting the hand that would feed him.

Other than royalties from modest book sales, his primary source of income is various health groups who will pay his $25,000 speaker's fee to learn how he lost over 110 lbs. His weight loss, and hunting skills with a .12 gauge shotgun, are commendable but they're not qualifications to be President of the United States with the country and world facing crisis.

There aren't enough groups who can afford his $25,000 speaker's fee to fund a national political campaign. Still, his $25,000 speaker's fees are a mark of how profitable life has become for Huckabee. He now makes about as much from one of his weight loss speeches as he did in a year's salary as Lt. Governor of Arkansas. Unfortunately for his Presidential campaign, no one will pay him for his skill with the shotgun.

Why haven't more people contributed more money to his cause, given how quickly Ron Paul raised his money from small voters? Or Fred Thompson, entering the race late? While everyone agrees that Huckabee is a likable person, the typical national voter does not see value and major-league executive skill when they look at Huckabee, because they do not see real competence. They see a man who some in Arkansas have said "can talk an owl out of a tree," who also has an embarrassing demonstrated record of profiting from hidden side income in a small rural State where political corruption has become an art form.

The $25,000 speaker's fees are peanuts compared to Clinton, Obama or Edwards - and if we see a Clinton/Obama ticket, they'll likely pool their funds ($170 million, if combined now).

Huckabee's glib face time on TV and his homey "let's go pheasant hunting and I'll demonstrate my ability to blast a frightened bird out of the sky" may persuade Iowans that he's got the "right stuff" to lead our country, but most voters in other States will see that his hunting skills have zero relevance to the serious issue of whether he's competent to lead a sophisticated country in the 21st Century - much less organize, fund, and staff a marathon campaign in 50 states.

With respect to competence, if your daughter needs heart surgery, you wouldn't choose her surgeon based on whether he can shoot birds that can't fight back. Being qualified to serve as President of the United States is more like being a heart surgeon, or head of a Fortune 500 firm, than being a pheasant hunter.

Some equally big election numbers for registered voters in the 2004 election:

Independents (42 million, or 24.9%)
Republican (55 million, or 32.5%)
Democrat (72 million, or 42.6%)

Without respect to party affiliation, of these 169 million eligible voters, the Pew Research Group discovered that the voters classified themselves as:

Moderate (45%)
Conservative (34%)
Liberal (21%)

Pew concluded that America elects its Presidents from the middle. In other words, neither the Democrat or the Republic nominee have enough registered voters to win the electoral college, without strong appeal to moderates in the center.

-- EVANGELICALS MAKE UP 23% OF THE ELECTORATE --

In exit polls in both 2000 and 2004, the Pew Research Group found that 23% of all voters call themselves evangelical Christians.

http://people-press.org/commentary/display.php3?AnalysisID=103


The Democratic and Republican Parties realize this, and each try to unify voters in their own base and then draw the majority of the voters from the middle to build the winning margin. That's why divisive campaign tactics and identity politics (which may work in small states that do not reflect the national electorate) will ultimately backfire.

In his campaign so far, Huckabee's record appeals to the far left (freeing violent criminals, granting tuition to children of illegal aliens, adopting a nationwide ban on smoking, or opposing vouchers in schools so as to receive the first-ever NEA endorsement for any Republican in New Hampshire) or the far right (eliminating the IRS) that will alienate millions of voters in the middle.

Huckabee is adept at papering over his extreme left and extreme right positions by emphasizing his "Christian leader" credentials - but only if evangelicals make up a huge voting bloc in a given State, or suddenly becoming ashamed of his self-selected "Christian Leader" title and watering it down to a "Proven Leader" title if there are few evangelicals in a State.

If Huckabee becomes the Republican nominee, such verbal sleight of hand will be hammered by the Democrats. They will focus on the thick file of published negatives in his record as Governor of Arkansas. They will dig for more.

They will argue, "do not judge this man by what he says, but by what he actual did or did not do in Arkansas" because he will use verbal smoke and mirrors - or irrelevant pheasant hunting - to hide his lack of competence in foreign affairs, war on terror, true immigration reform, building a strong economy and other issues.

When electoral totals are tallied up, Huckabee's highly controversial record in Arkansas is what one would expect for a 45 state loss in a national Presidential election. His record is so filled with self-dealing and scandal, and so extreme in its politics, that it appeals only to the extreme right or the extreme left.

This is graphically illustrated by his abuse of executive clemency to turn 1,033 felons free in Arkansas - including 12 convicted murders - through pardon or commutation of sentence. The number of pardons/commutations will give the Democrats plenty of ammunition to show that he is "soft on crime" and "totally unsympathetic to victim's rights."

What's worse, his methodology and rationale in continuing to justify all of these 1,033 pardons/commutations is frightening - because he sees absolutely no problem with his approach and stands behind it - as if the Bible directed him to revoke all 1,033 criminal sentences without notifying victims and ignoring recommendations of county prosecutors.

Because he's explained that his religious faith DRIVES all his decisions and he doesn't change his faith from one morning to the next, that means we can expect a President Huckabee to approve early release of still more convicted criminals on a Federal scale - including early release of still more convicted murderers - with no explanation whatever of what criteria he used in each case. Millions of Independents, Conservatives and Democrats will find Huckabee's arbitrary and capricious manner of granting pardons frightening.


-- 10 WAYS DEMOCRATS CAN USE HUCKABEE'S RECORD ON CRIMINAL PARDONS TO DRIVE AWAY VOTERS --

Here are 10 ways that Democrats could use public records of Huckabee's abuse of executive clemency powers in Arkansas, to scare voters away:

(10) HUCKABEE GIVES THE PHRASE 'THE CHRISTIAN LEADER' A FRIGHTENING DEFINITION WHICH MILLIONS OF VOTERS WILL REJECT OUTRIGHT.

The Democrats could accurately claim "As the one and only self-styled 'Christian leader,' Huckabee's 1,033 pardons were greater than (according to his definition) the apparently 'non-Christian leader' governors of nearby Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, and Louisiana, with a combined population 20 times more than Arkansas. Most of these states had no commutations for convicted murders, where Huckabee granted 12.

The press in Arkansas reported:

"Governors seldom reduce sentences in other states - and almost never for murderers serving life without parole or for rapists or for habitual drunk drivers, while in Arkansas it's a regular habit with Huckabee.

Other governors use their clemency power only rarely, while Huckabee has made it routine… Here are the figures for neighboring states since 1996, when Huckabee took office …:

Louisiana - 213.
Mississippi - 24.
Missouri - 79.
Oklahoma - 178.
Tennessee - 32.
Texas - 98 (includes 36 inmates released because they were convicted on drug charges with planted evidence).

Total: 624 vs. Huckabee's 703…

In Texas, we could find only one clemency case for a killer."

http://www.arkansasleader.com/frontstories/st_08_11_04/huckabee8.html

(9) ONLY A RIGHT WING EXTREMIST THINKS HE HAS THE SOLE MONOPOLY ON CHRISTIAN FAITH AND GOOD WORKS, RELATED TO FAIR TREATMENT OF CONVICTED FELONS.

Huckabee described the one guiding principle for his conduct in office:

"My faith is my life - it defines me. My faith doesn't influence my decisions, it drives them." http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.Home

This wasn't just a fervent appeal for support from evangelical voters. It was a statement of fact that explained how the only "Christian leader" in the campaign actually made decisions as Governor of Arkansas for ten years.

At the National Pastor's Conference in 1998, Huckabee explained that the reason he got into politics was to "take this nation back to Christ."

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/12/10/huckabee-wants-to-take-this-nation-back-for-christ/

In December 2007, he explained to one of his supporters than God was directing and supporting his campaign. (Are all other candidates chopped liver?)

"STUDENT: Recent polls show you surging... What do you attribute this surge to?

HUCKABEE: There's only one explanation for it, and it's not a human one. It's the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of five thousand people. (Applause) That's the only way that our campaign can be doing what it's doing. And I'm not being facetious nor am I trying to be trite.

There literally are thousands of people across this country who are praying that a little will become much, and it has. And it defies all explanation, it has confounded the pundits. And I'm enjoying every minute of them trying to figure it out, and until they look at it, from a, just experience beyond human, they'll never figure it out. And it's probably just as well. That's honestly why it's happening."

http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/000854.htm#seven

The moment Huckabee elevated himself above all other sincere, fallible candidates for President to proclaim himself as "the Christian leader," he became a divisive force - at a time when America needs to come together.


(8) SINCE HUCKABEE STOUTLY DEFENDS HIS BIBLE-DRIVEN METHOD OF PARDONING CRIMINALS, WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE HIM COMMUTE THE SENTENCES OF 267 CONVICTED MURDERS IN THE FEDERAL SYSTEM.


Based on Federal criminal justice data as of December 1998, there were 1,213 Federal prisoners already convicted of murder. Since Huckabee is proud that he gave 2% of the Arkansas prisoners a "get out of jail card" before their term was up, that same ratio would mean that he'd give pardon or clemency to 22% or 267 convicted murderers out of the 1,213 murderers in the Federal system (using published 1998 numbers), or a total of 267 convicted murders.

Why would he continue to do so? Because his religious faith DRIVES his decisions and that faith does not waver or change. In his soul, he believes in "giving people in prison a second chance" when they meet his secret criteria - which often involves a letter from an evangelical minister, or perhaps someone who raked leaves at the Governor's mansion.

The website www.democracticunderground.com had details on 11 of the 12 convicted murderers whose sentence was commuted by Huckabee. Each one of these reflects his judgment, or lack thereof:

"ROYCE MURPHY
Huckabee Commuted Sentence, Murphy Was Freed. On November 18, 1996, Mike Huckabee commuted the sentence of Royce Murphy, who was convicted in 1969 of killing another prisoner while serving time for burglary. Huckabee commuted the sentence to 159 years and 11 months. Murphy was released and was under parole supervision until March 2050. His location is unknown.

GEORGE SMITH
Huckabee Commuted Death Sentence, Smith Was Freed. On January 22, 1997, Mike Huckabee commuted the sentence of George Smith from life to 127 years and five months. He was released in April 1997 and was under parole supervision until July 2039. Smith was convicted in March 1975 for the death of David Powell. His location is unknown. Records, accessed 4/19/06]

JOHN DEGLER
Huckabee Commuted Death Sentence for Murderer. On August 6, 1999, Mike Huckabee commuted the death sentence of John Degler. Degler was convicted in February 1974 for the death of Curtis M. Turner. Huckabee commuted Deglers' sentence and he was immediately eligible for parole. His location is unknown.

LEE WALKER
Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Murderer Denied Clemency by Two Other Governors. On January 2, 1998, Mike Huckabee commuted the life sentence of Lee V. Walker, who was convicted of first-degree murder in February 1966. Huckabee commuted the sentence from life, making him eligible for parole. Walker was denied clemency once by Governor Bill Clinton in 1992 and twice by Governor Jim Guy Tucker in 1994 an 1996. His location is unknown.

BOBBY RAY FRETWELL
Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Man Who Murdered 81- Year Old Man. On March 8, 1999, saying that he had "prayed and sought God's help with the decision," Governor Mike Huckabee said he would stick to his plan of commuting the death sentence of murderer Bobby Ray Fretwell to life in prison without parole in 1999. Family members of Fretwell's victim, 81-year-old Sherman Sullins, had appealed to Huckabee to reconsider clemency for Fretwell. Fretwell was driving a stolen pickup truck when it broke down. Fretwell picked his victim's house at random, killed Sullins with a shot to the head, stole his truck and money.

JAMES MAXWELL
Huckabee Granted Clemency Over Family's Objections; Maxwell Was Freed. On October 30, 2000, despite objections from the victim's family, Governor Mike Huckabee decided to grant clemency to convicted murderer and robber James Maxwell making him eligible for parole in 2003. Huckabee was criticized because Maxwell spent three years assigned to work detail at the governor's mansion. The governor declined to discuss his acquaintance with the inmate… His location is unkown.

WILLIE WAY
Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Murderer, Way Was Freed. On May 14, 2001, Mike Huckabee commuted the sentence of Willie Way Jr., who was convicted of first degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and three counts of robbery in 1974. Way pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the July 13, 1973 killing of James V. Carter, owner and operator of a grocery store. Carter was robbed and fatally shot. Way also pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the December 17, 1973 killing of 14-year-old Reginald Mack. Mack was shot in Way's home. Way worked as a trusty at the Governor's Mansion. His location is unknown.

ELIZABETH HAGAR
Huckabee Granted Clemency to Woman Convicted of Killing Husband, Hagar Was Freed. On December 10, 2003, Mike Huckabee ordered the release of Elizabeth Diane Hagar who was convicted of manslaughter in the 1997 shooting death of her husband, Mark Hagar. Her location is unknown.

DON JEFFERS
Huckabee Granted Clemency to Murderer Who Bludgeoned Victim to Death with Prosthetic Leg. In 2004, Governor Mike Huckabee granted clemency to convicted murderer Don Jeffers, who pleaded guilty in 1980 to the bludgeoning death of William Hash. Jeffers allegedly hit Hash with his own prosthetic leg. A year after he initially granted clemency to Jeffers, Huckabee rejected the request after Attorney Robert Herzfeld successfully challenged Huckabee's original decision in court.

* Governor Laughed At Prosecutor's Concern About Clemency. When prosecutor Robert Herzfeld asked the governor to "re-evaluate" his clemency policies, he received a three-sentence reply from Cory Cox, the governor's deputy legal counsel and adviser on criminal justice. "The governor read your letter and laughed out loud. He wanted me to respond to you. I wish you success as you cut down your caffeine consumption."

DENVER WITHAM
Huckabee Granted Clemency to Man Convicted of Murder, Witham Was Freed. On July 6, 2004, Mike Huckabee gave clemency to Denver Witham, who had been sentenced to life in 1974 for the beating death of Stanley Wells. Huckabee commuted the sentence, making him eligible to seek parole. Witham was convicted of beating Wells with a lead pipe after a disagreement at a bar. His location is unknown.

WADE STEWART
Huckabee Granted Clemency to Killer Who Had 35 Disciplinary Marks on Prison Record. On December 17, 2004, Governor Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Wade Stewart despite Department of Correction records that showed that Stewart had 35 disciplinary marks on his prison record including battery, lying to the prison staff, possession of money, using abusive language, possession of gambling paraphernalia, unauthorized contact with the public, destruction and taking of state property, disrupting or breaking into a line, possession of contraband and throwing or spitting fluid. His location is unknown.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x3096850

(7) HOPING TO AVOID ACCOUNTABILITY, HUCKABEE REFUSED PARDON TO DuMond AND THEN PRESSURED THE PAROLE BOARD BEHIND THE SCENES TO SET HIM FREE - TO FULFILL HUCKABEE'S WRITTEN LETTER TO DuMond, WHO THEN RAPED AND KILLED CAROL SUE SHIELDS AND POSSIBLY SARA ANDRASEK.

During his term as Arkansas Governor, Huckabee stood for exercise and abuse of power without accountability, and then for attacking anyone who dared to hold him accountable. Nick Langewis reported on www.rawstory.com:

"…Mike Huckabee has come under intense scrutiny over his involvement in the early prison release of recidivist rapist and murderer Wayne DuMond in 1999.

"There were no letters sent to the governor's office from any rape victims," said Huckabee spokesperson Alice Stewart to the Huffington Post. In addition, Huckabee told CNN on Sunday, December 2: "None of us could've predicted what [DuMond] could've done when he got out."

Documents and personal accounts obtained by the Huffington Post directly contradict the above two statements. As the Huffington Post details in its Tuesday exposé, Huckabee had been repeatedly warned, including from DuMond's victims themselves, that DuMond was likely to be a continued threat to society if he were to be released from prison.

DuMond had been sentenced to life in prison plus twenty years, which was reduced to 39.5 years under Governor Jim Guy Tucker, for the 1984 rape of 17-year-old Ashley Stevens, a distant cousin of then-governor Bill Clinton. Clinton's ties to the victim, which prompted him to recuse himself from the case, was ultimately used to help fuel an aggressive campaign to release DuMond. On his release in September of 1999, DuMond moved to Missouri and proceeded to rape and murder 39-year-old Carol Sue Shields, a crime for which he would eventually perish in prison, but not before allegedly claiming one more victim, 23-year-old Sara Andrasek, in the same fashion in June of 2001.

While Huckabee denies ever receiving letters from DuMond's victims, staffers say that the letters did exist, but were considered politically damaging and hidden away accordingly.

Huckabee and the Arkansas Parole Board have refused to release any letters they may or may not have received. However, Parole Board members have gone on record. One New York Times report has a member insisting that Huckabee actively lobbied the Board to release DuMond.

"He expressed his concerns about DuMond's guilt," says former member Deborah Suttlar. "He felt he deserved to be released." As did Baptist pastor Rev Jay D. Cole, a personal friend of Huckabee's, who enlisted his help in lobbying for DuMond's release after DuMond was said to have "found God," after also forcibly losing his testicles, supposedly to a band of attackers; the story was taken by some as a self-inflicted ploy for sympathy.

Suttlar abstained from the vote that released DuMond, after years of rejections, out of disgust.

In addition, Huffington Post editor Nico Pitney appeared with two Arkansas Parole Board members, Ermer Pondexter and Dr. Charles Chastain, on MSNBC's Abrams Report to discuss repeated claims by Huckabee that the Board, rather than himself, were responsible for DuMond's 1999 release.

"There's no question that the Governor brought up the issue of releasing Wayne DuMond," counters Chastain, the only Board member to vote against DuMond's 1999 release. "I don't know who initiated the meeting, but we were told that the Governor [wanted] to come and meet with various boards and commissions."

Chastain says that Huckabee specifically brought up the DuMond case in an executive session, portraying DuMond as a "guy from the wrong side of the tracks who got a raw deal."

"I responded," says Chastain, "by saying: 'Governor, If you rape a cheerleader in a small town like that, you're going to get a long sentence if you're convicted. And, furthermore, that sentence had been changed by former governor Tucker to 39 1/2 years."
"When I was called for the next board meeting," adds Pondexter, "I was informed by board members that the Governor had appeared before them, asking them for support in the release of parole in DuMond."

Huckabee told NBC's Meet the Press on November 28 that the Parole Board asked his personal advice on whether DuMond should be paroled, and he, in turn, said that it ought to be given a "serious look."

Dr. Chastain disagrees: "If you think about it, there's no reason why the Parole Board would be asking the governor for advice about a given individual. [Huckabee has] met with a lot of people like me many, many times all day. I met with the Governor one time while on the Parole Board in seven years… I remember it very clearly."

Video of the entire MSNBC Abrams Report exchange, broadcast on December 6, 2007, is available for viewing below."

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Mike_Huckabee_pushed_for_Dumond_parole_1206.html

Huckabee claims that the 4 members of the Parole Board are lying about him applying pressure to release DuMond, ignoring the Bible standard of establishing truth in the mouth of two or three witnesses:

"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." (Deut. 19:15, see also Matt. 18:16)

When Mothers Against Drunk Drivers protested Huckabee's pardon of Fields after his 4th D.W.I. conviction in 5 years, Huckabee decided to criticize M.A.D.D. for not openly attacking another D.W.I. convict who defeated Mrs. Huckabee in her bid to be elected Arkansas Secretary of State. Under Huckabee's world view, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are the villain when he decides to pardon a big contributor to Republican politics. Millions of Christian voters from all Parties will reject Huckabee's view that the Bible directs and authorizes such conduct.

(6) WHAT WAS HE HIDING? WHEN HUCKABEE DESTROYED COMPUTER FILES IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE AFTER HIS TIME IN OFFICE, HE CLAIMED TO BE PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS AND OTHER SENSITIVE INFORMATION. THIS WAS A RUSE TO DESTROY INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE, BECAUSE OTHER GOVERNORS DO NOT USE EMERGENCY FUNDING TO DESTROY OFFICIAL FILES.

What was Huckabee hiding? John Brummett of the Arkansas News Bureau reported that Huckabee's staff took:

"...the hard drives out of all the office computers, saving information to private storage and [had] the hard drives crushed, by which I mean actually, physically destroyed.

It is customary for one leaving office to get hard drives wiped clean. Mike Beebe's attorney general's office did that. But, as explained to me, it remains possible after seven-step erasure for some uncommonly smart computer whiz to, at considerable trouble, restore some of what was there. Crushing simply removes even the remote possibility.

Huckabee wanted to make doubly sure, rather than singularly sure, that nobody would be prowling around in his and his staff's old hard drive memory.

Alice Stewart, still operating as Huckabee's spokeswoman for provincial matters, told me Friday that the state Information Systems agency actually recommended that the governor's office crush. That's easy to say, since the agency was run by Huckabee's old Texarkana church pal and media specialist, Gary Underwood.

Nobody recommended to Beebe that he take the extra step of crushing his attorney general's hard drives."

http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2007/01/20/JohnBrummett/339726.html

In the recent controversy over the CIA destroying tapes of interrogation of terrorists, Huckabee was one of the first to criticize:

"GOP presidential rival Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, questioned whether the CIA destroyed the tape for security purposes as claimed 'or to cover somebody's rear end.'"

http://cbs5.com/national/CIA.destroyed.tapes.2.607616.html

Huckabee is willing to assume the worst about others when it benefits him politically, but because he views himself as "the Christian leader" he demands that everyone assume the best about him and release him from accountability required by law - even when he releases a staggering number of convicted felons from prison or blocks a normal criminal investigation into his son's slitting the throat of a dog.

Arkansas law required that he explain, in each case, why he pardoned or commuted their sentences. Since he pardoned/commuted 1,033 convicts, he owes the public more than 1,000 explanations - because there are victims' interests in each case. Where were the victims in his political calculus?

(5) HUCKABEE'S DECISION TO FREE BRUTAL MURDERER GLEN GREEN SHOWS INCREDIBLY POOR JUDGMENT AND TOTAL INSENSITIVITY TO VICTIM'S RIGHTS. HE TOOK THIS STEP TO SATISFY THE REQUEST OF A BAPTIST MINISTER. AFTER IMMENSE PUBLIC OUTCRY, HIS "RELIGIOUS FAITH" SUDDENLY DROVE HIM TO WITHDRAW CLEMENCY.

The local press in Arkansas reported on the details of the Green case, showing why there was such a public outcry of yet another violent criminal about to be set free:

"Gov. Huckabee probably never read the confession of a demented killer named Glen Green before he made the monster eligible for parole. Green's confession is so depraved, its sadistic details so scary that no sane, responsible adult would consider him for parole.
___
If the governor didn't read the confession, he is guilty of dereliction of duty. But if he read the confession and still considers Green deserving of parole, he's certainly unfit to hold office. Who would free a madman who beat an 18-year-old woman with Chinese martial-arts sticks, raped her as she barely clung to life, ran over her with his car, then dumped her in the bayou, her hand reaching up, as if begging for mercy? …

In usual fashion, Huckabee's office didn't even contact the victim's family about the clemency. Although he's required to by the Constitution, the governor, as is his custom, won't say why he granted clemency to this crazed killer (over the unanimous objections of the Post-Prison Transfer Board).
___
Huckabee apparently listened to Green's minister (and a friend of the governor), who thinks the murder was an accident and Green was forced to confess. The Jacksonville police, who arrested Green in 1974 after a witness linked him to the crime, think the minister and Huckabee are both delusional, which is the mildest epitaph we can print.

This old police reporter knows a genuine confession when he sees one, and Green's depravity has the ring of truth.

Green, a 22-year-old sergeant, kidnapped Helen Lynette Spencer on Little Rock Air Force Base, where he beat and kicked her as he tried to rape her in a secluded area. She broke loose and ran toward the barracks' parking lot, where he caught up with her and beat her with a pair of nunchucks.

He then stuffed her into the trunk of his car and left her there while he cleaned up. Several hours later, he drove down Graham Road, past Loop Road and stopped near a bridge in Lonoke County. Green told investigators he put her body in the front seat and raped her because her body was still warm.

He dragged Spencer out of his vehicle and put her in front of the car and ran over her several times, going back and forth. He then collected himself long enough to dump her body in Twin Prairie Bayou.

This is what the Rev. Johnny Jackson, interim pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Jacksonville, calls an accident, and apparently Huckabee believes him.

"There is no doubt in my mind that he could kill again," warns Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley.

The crime started out in his jurisdiction and ended in Lonoke County, where Prosecutor Lona McCastlain has also spoken out against the clemency.
"Life means life," she said, referring to Green's sentence after he plead guilty to Spencer's kidnapping, rape and murder.

As he grants clemency to scores of violent criminals, Huckabee's motives are the subject of speculation: Why, people are asking, is he doing it? After studying the record for several weeks, all one can say is that his actions perhaps reflect a combination of arrogance and avarice and ignorance.

While his fellow governors keep electing him to top positions in their little club, he has alienated Arkansans of both parties. They're shocked at not only the amazing number of clemencies but also at the way he ignores the suffering of the victims' families, who are always the last to know when their loved one's killer is up for parole.

Bilenda Harris-Ritter, an attorney who now lives in California, is one of those people who worry all the time that Huckabee might free the man who killed their relatives. Harris-Ritter's parents were murdered in north Arkansas, and she has had to deal with heartless state bureaucrats as she fights to keep the killer locked up.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently named Harris-Ritter chairman of the Public Employees Board, which oversees collective-bargaining agreements among 7,000 employers and 2 million employees.

She is upset that our governor has not been more forthright about his clemencies.
"Huckabee is required by law to make certain notifications. When he does not, the pardon should be voidable," she told us. She continued, "The people of the good state of Arkansas (and I really mean that) need to think seriously about impeachment."

When told that many people consider Huckabee our worst governor in recent memory, Harris-Ritter replied, "No argument from me, and I am a Republican!"

http://www.arkansasleader.com/frontstories/st_07_21_04/huckabee5.html

Huckabee has shown that all he needs to be persuaded is to have one of his minister friends ask him for a favor, and he will ignore victims and prosecutors who request that he follow the law. His judgment is questionable, yet he justified his decision to pardon Green and over 1,000 other felons because his faith is resolute and it drives his decisions.

(4) HUCKABEE BEGAN THE PAPERWORK TO FREE A MAN'S 4TH DWI CONVICTION IN 5 YEARS, AFTER THE MAN DEPOSITED $10,000 INTO THE ARKANSAS REPUBLICAN PARTY ACCOUNTS. HE DENIED ANY CONNECTION BETWEEN THE $10,000 DONATION AND THE PARDON, BUT HE DID NOT EXPLAIN WHY HE DIDN"T PARDON OTHERS WITH 4 OR 3 CONVICTIONS FOR D.W.I.

NBC's Amna Nawaz, an Investigative Producer, reported:

"Questions are being raised about then-Gov. Huckabee's 2004 decision to grant clemency to a repeat Driving While Intoxicated offender in Arkansas named Eugene Fields, despite the objections of a law enforcement official at the time. Documents obtained by NBC News reveal Fields' case was handled differently from any other DWI clemency or pardon granted by Huckabee, and some Republicans are now suggesting significant political contributions may have influenced the governor's decision.

In August 2001, Fields, of Van Buren, Ark., was convicted of his fourth DWI charge, a felony in the state of Arkansas, was sentenced to six years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Fields reported to prison in August of 2003.

But prison records obtained by NBC News show that six weeks into that six-year sentence, Fields' application for clemency, a commutation of his sentence the governor could issue to grant Fields an early release from prison, was unanimously supported by the parole board. Within months, Huckabee issued his intent to grant executive clemency to Fields, who was released from prison soon thereafter.

On Fields' application for a commutation of his sentence, four options are listed as possible reasons as to why the application was being made, including, "I wish to correct an injustice which may have occurred during trial," and, "I want to adjust what may be considered an excessive sentence." No boxes are checked on Fields' application; instead "N/A" is written across the top of the sheet, for "Not Applicable."

Rhonda Sharp, a spokeswoman for the Post Prison Transfer Board, was quoted at the time of Fields' release saying, "I've never seen anything like this before," and called the handling of the case "very unusual." This week, Sharp told NBC News that even though there is no set time period within which an inmate's clemency application must be considered, the process typically takes at least a few months to a year, before being sent to the governor's office. NBC News has no indication that Huckabee had any influence over the parole board's 2003 vote, which recommended Fields' sentence be commuted.

But the governor's ultimate decision to grant Fields an early release from prison was met with scrutiny from the media and others at the time. The Arkansas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in a letter to Huckabee noted Fields had a history of re-offending, and "a track record of non-rehabilitation and of ignoring second chances."

When questioned by reporters about his decision to commute Fields' sentence, Huckabee said his decision was based on the parole board's vote. Today, in a statement to NBC News, the Huckabee campaign said Fields "deserved time in jail and received it." The statement went on to point out that Fields completed alcohol rehabilitation treatment, and that his prison sentence was reduced with "strong support from the community," and "to make room in an overcrowded system for violent offenders."

Supplementing Fields' application for clemency were tax receipts for donations totaling $1,120 made to the Salvation Army, one letter of thanks from the Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation for a $2,500 pledge, and two more for donations made to a scholarship foundation and a Baptist Church charity.

But questions about the handling of Fields' case surfaced again in 2006 when he was convicted on another DWI charge, just two years after his release from prison. According to the police report, Fields drove into oncoming traffic on an Arkansas road and into the path of a police officer's car before crossing back into the correct lane.

Teresa Belew, executive director of MADD Arkansas, says that proves Fields should never have been granted clemency in the first place.

"Early release of an offender who has such a history only exposes the public to the likelihood of reoffending," Belew said, "which, in fact, happened in this case."

At that time, Huckabee was quoted as saying he was disappointed in Fields' actions. Today, his campaign said that after his relapse, Fields "received the maximum penalties." According to court documents, Fields paid an $800 fine and was released.

Documents recently obtained by NBC News now suggest that Fields' clemency case was handled differently from others with similar felony DWI convictions.

An examination of clemency records available in the Arkansas Secretary of State's office, provided to NBC News by MADD Arkansas, shows that in Huckabee's decade in office, only seven clemencies or pardons were ever granted for DWI convictions. NBC News independently examined those records.

Fields' case was the only one in which any objection was made by law enforcement, and disregarded by the governor.

Prosecutor Marc McCune filed an official objection at the time, "strongly" objecting to Fields being granted clemency, as did the sheriff from Fields' county, who suggested in his objection that Fields "should do his minimum" sentence. Not one of the other seven DWI convictions listed an objection of any kind, noting in each case that judicial and law enforcement officials "have raised no objections to applicant's request."

Fields' case was also the only one of those seven in which significant time had not passed between the time of the conviction, and the granting of the clemency or pardon by Huckabee.

One offender was 47 years old at the time of his conviction and was granted clemency "specifically for the restoration of firearms rights," at the age of 62. Another, who was convicted at age 41, was not pardoned until he reached the age of 58, at which point "all rights, privileges and immunities he enjoyed prior to conviction" were restored to him.

Fields was 62 years old at the time of his conviction; he was 65 when Huckabee commuted his sentence. That executive clemency made him immediately eligible for parole.

Some Arkansas Republicans are also questioning whether Fields' clemency was tied to sizeable political contributions.

According to Federal Election Commission records, a month after Fields' appeal was denied, his wife made a $5,000 donation to the State Republican Party in June of 2003. A month later, she made an additional $5,000 donation, again to the Republican Party of Arkansas. The following month, Fields reported to prison and began his clemency application process. He was a free man in less than a year.

A former elected official in Arkansas with fundraising experience for the State Republican Party says the timing of Mrs. Fields' donations raises serious questions about their intended purpose. He spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity and says he is not supporting any Republican presidential candidate at the moment.

"In the summer of 2003 there's no real political activity," said the former official. "It's always a tough time to raise money in those periods, and all of sudden $10,000 comes walking through the door when there's no campaign going on? There's no reason to give that kind of money then."

Prior to his wife's donations, Fields had made a $10,000 donation to the Republican Party of Arkansas in October of 2000 under "Fields Investment Company," the name of his business. Both Mrs. Fields' 2003 donations and Mr. Fields' 2000 donation placed them among the largest, individual donors to the Republican Party of Arkansas in those years, on par with donations from members of the Walton family, of the Wal-Mart department store chain. The only other donation made by either Fields to the State Republican Party was in the amount of $500 in August of 2004.

The Huckabee campaign today responded to questions on the matter, saying only, "There was no connection between the handling of any clemency application and any political donation…"

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/12/15/519110.aspx

Victims' rights go out the window, when Huckabee decides to arbitrarily dole out his "second chances in life." As noted by MSNBC news, he set the wheels in motion to pardon a man convicted 4 times for DWI, but only after the man's wife paid two $5,000 checks to the Arkansas Republic Party. Naturally, Huckabee denies that there was any connection to the $10,000 and the pardon that followed.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/12/15/519110.aspx

Nor did he explain why he didn't pardon others convicted of 3 or 4 D.W.I. convictions in a similar time span.

(3) IF HUCKABEE NOW ASSERTS THAT AS PRESIDENT HE WOULD NOT FREE OVER 1,000 FEDERAL PRISONERS AND 267 CRIMINALS CONVICTED OF MURDER, THEN HE WILL HAVE ABANDONED THE IMMOVABLE CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES THAT 'DRIVE' HIS DECISIONS EACH DAY AND WILL HAVE ENGAGED IN YET ANOTHER FLIP-FLOP OF STRONGLY HELD POSITIONS.

His complete reversal of positions include

- once proposing that AIDS victims be quarantined, and taking years after medical science revealed that casual contact could not spread AIDS to change positions
- once opposing the embargo on Cuba, now favoring it
- once supporting college tuition for illegal immigrants because "we don't want to punish children for crimes committed by their parents," but now favoring an immigration policy that would deport parents and children
- attacking the Bush administration for having an "arrogant bunker mentality," then saying that he didn't mean President George Bush
- once called for a universal Federal ban on abortion, then changed his position to a state's rights position

http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/000854.htm#seven

- Hispanic leaders in Arkansas are shocked at his changes on immigration now that he is a candidate for President, starting with his original effort to set up a Mexican consulate in Little Rock.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8TPLTAG2&show_article=1

(2) WHY WAS THERE NO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF HIS SON DAVID FOR SLITTING THE THROAT OF A DOG AT A BOY SCOUT CAMP? NO ONE AUTHORIZED THESE BOYS TO "PUT A DOG DOWN." FOR HUCKABEE TO SAY "IT WASN"T HANDLED WELL" SHOULD NOT ELIMINATE THE DUTY OF STATE OFFICIALS TO INVESTIGATE CRUELTY TO ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY IF THE PERSON WHO ADMITTED KILLING THE DOG WAS THE SON OF THE GOVERNOR.

In the Bible, it counsels "avoid the very appearance of evil." (1 Thes. 5:22)

As the Governor of one of the 50 States, Huckabee had the duty to have high ethical standards. When the Boy Scouts of America published the letter where David Huckabee and the other boy were fired from their jobs, after they killed the dog, their firing didn't end the question of whether criminal laws were violated.

Or does Arkansas have 2 sets of criminal law? One for average citizens, and the other for Huckabee, his family and cronies?

Washington has had enough scandal, without having a new President who employs a double standard for those in his own family or who will contribute to his Party or his campaign, and then claim that the Bible directs all his decisions.

The people of Arkansas will never know, for sure, what happened when David Huckabee killed the dog. That's why State and Local police and prosecutors are paid, to independently investigate matters when family members of high government officials are implicated.

The Governor should not be allowed to intercede, short circuit the criminal investigation process, and give his own explanation. He wasn't there. Detectives are trained to investigate crime, and if no crime was committed, say so.

When Huckabee's pheasant hunting trip was recorded by TV cameras and published on the internet, he joked that the dead pheasant at his feet should be a warning to anyone who opposed him in his campaign for President. His joke showed a lack of respect for a harmless animal whom he killed for sport. Is his lack of respect for innocent animals behind David's slicing the throat of the dog?

If there were mitigating circumstances, an independent investigation would have revealed them. Why did Huckabee block the investigation?

Saying that "they didn't handle it well" or "they were just boys" doesn't suffice. We've seen what Michael Vick has done with brutality to animals, and know that Jeff Dahmer and other serial killers began their life of crime with brutality to innocent animals. Why was there no independent investigation?

(1) WHEN HUCKABEE DECIDED TO FREE A CONVICTED MURDERER, NOT EVEN A MINISTER'S WIFE IS SAFE FROM HUCKABEE'S DISDAIN FOR VICTIM'S RIGHTS.

Published records in Arkansas document the fact that Huckabee has his favored circle, where patronage was doled out. If you were within his approved circle, you could escape a murder conviction, a D.W.I. conviction, or slit a dog's throat and not be investigated.

However, not even a minister's wife is immune from Huckabee's warped system of dispensing pardons to 22% of all applications for pardon.

Angela McCoy, one of the victim's daughters, said Huckabee repeatedly referred to Maxwell as "Jim" during a meeting. "It was obvious there was a personal relationship between the two of them," she said. "That hurt us to the bone." Maxwell told police he pulled out a stolen .22- caliber pistol and ordered Reverend Billy Price Bennett to get out of the car. When Bennett resisted, police said Maxwell shot him three times and stole the car.

The agony of Reverend Bennett's widow and daughter are heartfelt, and would be cannon fodder for Democrat campaigns that document Huckabee's insensitivity as a leader.


-- HUCKABEE USED ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS CRITERIA TO SET CRIMINALS FREE --


Andrew DeMillo of the Miami Herald reported on a number of the convicts pardoned by Huckabee, and how he relied upon personal contact of some sort to pass out his "get out of jail" cards:

"-James Maxwell, who killed a pastor of the Church of God in Arkansas. Maxwell worked at the Governor's Mansion when Huckabee announced his intent to reduce his prison sentence.

-Samuel W. Taylor, convicted on a drug charge. A prosecutor said the man had told him Taylor's sister had gone to school with Huckabee. Huckabee said the sister didn't influence the decision. Taylor subsequently was arrested on another drug charge.

-Donald W. Clark, convicted of theft. Huckabee's pastor recommended leniency for Clark, whose stepmother worked on Huckabee's gubernatorial staff.

-Robert A. Arnold Jr., who was convicted of killing his father-in-law. Arnold's father, a former mayor of Hope, Huckabee's hometown, said he was a casual friend of the governor.

-A pastor who promoted Huckabee among blacks urged the governor to grant clemency to John Henry Claiborne, who was sentenced to 100 years for a 1994 armed robbery, according to a 2004 report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Huckabee made Claiborne eligible for parole after receiving a letter from the Rev. Charles Williams, who told the newspaper he had helped win ''many, many'' clemencies from Huckabee.

-Denver Witham, convicted of beating a man to death with a lead pipe at bar, had his sentence commuted by Huckabee. The action drew the ire of prosecutors who speculated that Huckabee's act of clemency was related to Witham, who was lead singer in a prison band, being a fellow musician…

http://www.miamiherald.com/campaign08/story/339161.html

In summary, Huckabee has two problems related to his 1,033 pardons and commutations. First, is that he approved them. Second, is that he claims that all of his decisions are DRIVEN by his faith and that his faith does not change.

Thus, when anyone attacks Huckabee's pardon decisions that no reasonable person could defend - but he defends those 1,033 pardons as if they were scripture and ordained of God - he makes clear that he would continue to misuse executive clemency as President.

Instead of 12 convicted murders pardoned in Arkansas, pardons at the same Bible-guided 22% rate would yield 267 murders turned free - unless he flip flops and issues no pardons. This would raise still another question - is his flavor of religious faith another word for political expediency?

It's one thing to claim that he is the only Christian leader in the race and expect to be given political points for it. Did he walk the talk?



http://prolifestance.com/

A website that I found helpful on where the candidates are on life related issues.




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