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Oct. 18, The Insider 

This week: The Candidate, The Hucksters, and Talk Radio.

Who's the home team?

The third quarter financial contribution reports show former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee still trailing badly in the money race. He raised $1.03 million, his best quarter ever, ranking him 13th for the quarter among the Democrats and Republicans seeking the office.

We also note this interesting angle: Huckabee raised about $112,000 in Arkansas during the third quarter. Former Arkansas Hillary Clinton more than quintupled that amount with a swing through Little Rock and Fayetteville one day. She raised $592,884 in Arkansas during the quarter, compared with Huckabee's $111,218, according to a Washington Post assessment.

According to opensecrets.org, Huckabee raised $545,000 and Clinton $139,000 through Juy 30 in Arkansas. The third quarter put Clinton in the lead for the year at roughly $731,000 to Huckabee's $656,000.

Huckabee's blood money

Also on the campaign front: When will the national media start treating Mike Huckabee like other candidates — that is, inspect his record rather than just talk about what a funny guy he is.

Case in point: Republican candidate Mitt Romney came under fire from religious conservatives when they discovered investments in his blind trust included shares in Novo Nordisk, a manufacturer of health products that engages in stem cell research. Romney promised to endeavor to get his investments in line with his philosophy — he's opposed embryonic stem cell research.

So what about Huckabee? He, too, is seeking the religious conservative base and he's not favored government support of embryonic stem cell research. Why has no one brought up the personal financial help he's knowingly received from Novo Nordisk? They paid him a $17,500 honorarium earlier in the year and bought 35,000 copies of a Spanish translation of his weight-loss book to encourage Hispanics to combat diabetes with healthier habits. The company also supplies products to diabetes patients.

No free rides

Scott Wallace, a Little Rock restaurant owner, had been moonlighting as host of KARN Radio's “Free Ride,” a morning talk show that had come to be dominated in recent months by Wallace's unhappiness with the black majority on the Little Rock School Board. No more.

In the week leading up to last week's School Board runoff, program director Dave Elswick said, Wallace at one point referred to incumbent Micheal Daugherty, who is black, as a “racist.” This prompted complaints from the community and, we understand, visiting station brass weren't happy about it either. The owner of KARN also owns a couple of urban stations that target black audiences. Wallace taped an apology that aired last Tuesday, election day, when Daugherty was re-elected.

Wednesday morning, Wallace was back at it, with school district gadfly Bob Powers, bemoaning the state of affairs in the Little Rock School District. By Thursday, Wallace's show was no more. Elswick confirmed the end of the program, but said he couldn't discuss personnel matters. Wallace didn't return our call.

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