Huckabee attacks Beebe | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Huckabee attacks Beebe

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 4:15 PM

Gov. Mike Huckabee in a Republican Party press release joins Asa Hutchinson in bashing Mike Beebe over his role in the Nick Wilson corruption scandal.

(Not the most sensitive timing, considering the previous blog item.)

"Beebe was nowhere to be seen when his colleagues were ripping off the children's fund," Huckabee said in the release. "And after the scam was discovered, Beebe did re-surface – but only to block action against Wilson, Mike Todd, and the rest of his fellow senators. ...

"Mike Beebe helped ensure that this scam became law. Today he claims he didn't know what he was voting for. I don't know what that says about his leadership, but even Nick Wilson says everyone knew. How could somebody who is campaigning on his record as a leader of the Senate also claim he was utterly oblivious to one of the worst political scandals in the history of the Legislature taking place right under his nose?" asked Huckabee.

Full release after the jump.

Gov. Huckabee Disputes Beebe's Claims to Have Opposed Nick Wilson's Grabfest

El  Dorado, Ark. – Governor Mike Huckabee today disputed claims by Attorney General Mike Beebe that he was Nick Wilson's "biggest opponent" when Wilson was bilking the state of millions, a corruption conspiracy that resulted in felony convictions for Wilson and his accomplices in 1999.  

Huckabee pointed out that Beebe helped to override the Governor's veto of the legislation setting up the scam; opposed efforts to censure Wilson and other colleagues in the Senate; and opposed efforts to evict Wilson and the others after they were convicted.  

"Mike Beebe was Nick Wilson's biggest opponent only in the sense that those two guys were fighting for control of the Senate. It was a power struggle, not a moral one," said Huckabee. "Beebe was nowhere to be seen when his colleagues were ripping off the children's fund. And after the scam was discovered, Beebe did re-surface – but only to block action against Wilson, Mike Todd, and the rest of his fellow senators."  

Huckabee was particularly disturbed that Beebe is now trying to claim he was actively involved in trying to stop Wilson when, as a state senator, Beebe joined Wilson, Todd and other senators in voting to override the Governor's veto of the legislation setting up the scam.  

"Mike Beebe helped ensure that this scam became law. Today he claims he didn't know what he was voting for. I don't know what that says about his leadership, but even Nick Wilson says everyone knew. How could somebody who is campaigning on his record as a leader of the Senate also claim he was utterly oblivious to one of the worst political scandals in the history of the Legislature taking place right under his nose?" asked Huckabee.  

Huckabee said he was also surprised by Beebe's latest claims, issued yesterday, to have led the effort to evict Wilson and the other guilty senators from the Senate. He noted that Beebe opposed calls to censure Wilson and the other senators, and, after their felony convictions were handed down two years later, opposed calls to evict the senators from the Legislature immediately.  

"Back then, Beebe said it was 'un-American' to censure Wilson and his gang," Huckabee said. "Back then, Beebe said that evicting Wilson from the Senate after he was convicted would be like running up the score in the football game. Today he says he was Wilson's biggest opponent. This is revisionist history at its best – or worst."  

Huckabee also noted that while Nick Wilson emerged as the most notorious of the senators who actively engaged in the fraud, he wasn't the only one. Other senators included friends and colleagues of Beebe's when he was in the Senate.  
 

"It's well-known that Beebe fought with Nick Wilson for power, and he's now trying to use that as cover to suggest he fought Nick Wilson as he was abusing power. But what actions did Beebe take to discipline the other senators, all colleagues of his? What action did he take against Mike Todd? What action did he take against … There was a powerful political machine that dominated the Senate, and Beebe wanted to control that machine. He ruffled as few feathers as he could."   

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