Mike Huckabee's pattern | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mike Huckabee's pattern

Posted By on Sun, Dec 6, 2009 at 7:50 AM

A precious few defenders (here are two, courtesy of The Huckster) are repeating Mike Huckabee's line that the parole board was somehow to blame for Maurice Clemmons' freedom to kill four Washington cops. It was the board that recommended a commutation. It was the board that paroled him after somebody else -- think his name was The Huckster -- issued the commutation.

We've been down this path before, most notoriously in the case of rapist/future murderer Wayne Dumond. Huckabee protested he was merely a pass-through for the responsibility of others. Forget, if you will, his extraordinary intervention, backed by written testimony, in the parole process.

This defense also overlooks that the governor is NOT mandated to follow parole board recommendations. Indeed, in hundreds and hundreds of cases, the governor does not.

The simple fact -- as illustrated by voluminous reporting by the Arkansas Times, the Arkansas Leader and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -- is that Huckabee's influence was critical in a use of clemency powers greater than any governor before or since. You can defend his compassion, but not absolve him of responsibility or, sadly, of his many misjudgments. His was a faith-based, not fact-based, exercise. The unfortunate outcomes inevitably recall the outcomes of George Bush's faith-based leadership.

All of this is a long runup to David Sanders column today, which recounts yet another episode in which Huckabee tried to blame the parole board for his political fiddling in the clemency process. Here, it was in behalf of a political ally and multiple DWI offender. It's easy to follow the dots from political contributions to freedom for a repeat offender who erred again.

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