Gifts for the Huckabees 

Did it strike you as odd that the only china Mike and Janet Huckabee put on their Dillard’s wedding registry (see our Arkansas Reporter) is a Christmas pattern? Here’s why: The board of the tax-exempt, non-profit Governor’s Mansion Association, created to raise money for improvements to the Mansion and its grounds, has given 25 five-piece place settings of Lenox china and 20 three-piece place settings of Waterford crystal to the Huckabees for their new home in North Little Rock. The china was presented in October at the naming of the Grand Hall for the first lady and the crystal at an earlier meeting of the Association.

Sally Stevens, president of the Association, said the Association was ordering new china to replace broken pieces and just added on the order of Mansion china for the Huckabees. The china is decorated with the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas and was designed by the first lady.

Stevens said she estimated the cost of the gift at $7,500, though it could be considerably higher. She based the estimate on the 2004 cost of a seven-piece china setting ($225) and her own crystal. But three pieces of the Lismore pattern of Waterford would cost around $225, putting the total closer to $11,000 worth of gifts.

The Association, if it would take questions, could be expected to say using charitable donations to buy gifts for the Huckabees meets the group’s charitable purpose because it rewards Mrs. Huckabee’s work on Mansion expansion.

Odd couple

We’ve made an issue of Gov. Mike Huckabee’s use of the State Police plane, rather than commercial airlines, and so it’s only fair that we note that Mike Beebe, not yet governor, is already taking the big-shot route in the sky, too.

This Friday, Beebe will board the state plane with a female companion — First Lady Janet Huckabee — to fly to White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., for a weekend National Governors Association retreat on gubernatorial transition at The Greenbrier, a swanky resort.

The Beebe staff justifies use of the plane because it’s for an official function and, besides, Mrs. Huckabee had already scheduled the flight to participate in a program to aid new first spouses.

Rumor mill

Rumors are flying that Supreme Court Justice Tom Glaze, who has had some health problems, may retire after the change of administration in January, when Mike Beebe, rather than Gov. Mike Huckabee, would name someone to serve an interim period before the next election.

We asked. “I have no such plans at this time,” Glaze said. He added that he didn’t make any plans past today and tomorrow.




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