Huckathon | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2006 at 7:32 PM

Gov. Mike Huckabee was on Arkansans Asks on AETN tonight. You've heard and read most of what he said before. Unnamed, bitter people are intent on making life hard for him, unfairly. But he said it in a calm tone of voice. He says newspapers that described him as angry were incorrect.

Is there a link to this AETN show after the fact? It's a remarkable filibuster, his defense of recent news reports taking up more than half of the hour-long show. Watch it. Decide for yourself. At a minimum, I think you'd conclude he protesteth too much.

This one point: Huckabee said something that, if not a direct lie, was wildly misleading. He suggested that, in a decade of multiple ethical and legal complaints, he never had been found guilty of an illegality or anything resulting in a civil or legal action. In fact, the Ethics Commission has reprimanded him for several ethical miscues, typically minor -- failures in reporting, acceptance of gifts and such. He has lost an FOI suit over refusing to release information about the tawdry actions of one of his appointees. He has changed his initial (on-the-record) statements to avoid adverse findings on a couple of ethical issues, such as control and spending of his inaugural fund. Needless to say, he wouldn't have been in so much ethical hot water if he had acted in ways that didn't beg suspicion.

Find the show. Watch it. Ask AETN to replay it. It's a worthwhile valedictory on one of the biggest whiners in Arkansas history. (But a Miller County caller asked him why didn't he stop whining and he responded that he wasn't aware that's what he was doing.)

One more thing. Steve Barnes asked him about the $7,500 gift in china and crystal we reported today. He knows nothing about how this came to pass, he said.The Huckabees haven't received the dishes yet. He even seemed to hold open the possibility that they might not ultimately accept the gifts. Did his wife deserve such a gratuity from the nonprofit that works to improve the Mansion? Barnes asked. Huckabee didn't answer that question directly. But in a roundabout way, with an extended and ringing defense of his wife, you'd have to conclude that the answer was yes.

Finally: Huckabee closed with remarks on education and defense of the eventual strong support he gave to school district consolidation and higher standards. He's eloquent on this topic. He's deserving of praise on it, as well. 

But governor: give those dishes back.


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