Huckstering: Money sought for film about Mike Huckabee's rise to governorship | Arkansas Blog

Friday, November 24, 2017

Huckstering: Money sought for film about Mike Huckabee's rise to governorship

Posted By on Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 8:47 AM


Mike Huckabee went on Facebook this week to solicit money for a movie being made by his son, John Mark Huckabee, about the brief drama that marked his transition to the governor's office in 1996.

An account on right-wing Newsmax ties the project — as all successful right-wing projects must be tied — to the Clintons.

A new documentary being produced about the Clinton "Whitewater" scandal and how it sparked a Constitutional crisis has been blessed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

"Capitol Crisis" is a "story that should be told," Huckabee, a two-time presidential candidate whose political career was threatened by Whitewater, said Wednesday on his Facebook page.

The movie is being made by George Acirema Films, an independent movie group co-founded by Huckabee's son John Mark Huckabee, a writer and actor whose credits include the Dinesh D'Souza documentary, "America: Imagine the World Without Her" and the R-rated thriller "Backlash."

A promotional line from "Capitol Crisis," reads: "Who is the governor? For four hours, no one knew, not even the Arkansas Supreme Court. Chaos was erupting, and both Democrat and Republican parties had to decide how to resolve this nightmare, quickly and together."
It was exciting but it was, in the end, just a four-hour stretch of reality TV that Huckabee handled well.

Gov. Jim Guy Tucker had promised to resign that July day in 1996 on account of convictions seven weeks earlier in a financial fraud case that grew out of the Whitewater investigation. But he had second thoughts. Convinced he'd been wronged, he wanted to appeal first. He first said he would take a leave of absence, with Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee handling duties of the office. Later, he said he would not even leave temporarily given Huckabee's announced intention to call the legislature into session to impeach him (a months-long process, by the way). Meanwhile, Attorney General Winston Bryant had filed a court pleading calling for Tucker's removal from office. The scene was enlivened by a crowd of Huckabee supporters who'd assembled for his expected swearing-in as governor, an event canceled by Tucker's surprise decision not to resign. Some of them hurled insults at the governor and made a fearful din in the marbled halls of the Capitol. Huckabee proclaimed it a constitutional crisis. Such a state "crisis" certainly would have ensued had he claimed himself governor when Tucker had not resigned and attempted to call a legislative session he was powerless to call.

As we observed in a cover story on minute-by-minute events that day:

Tucker was hardly thinking about Huckabee. Instead, he was obsessed with the possibility that he might resign and then be exonerated. He gave too little thought to the public outcry that would follow a politician's breaking of a promise to resign. Never mind that, on Monday, no greater legal reason existed to compel him to resign than had existed for seven weeks. It was simply that the people were ready and, no small factor, the TV cameras were rolling.

Old friends like Jim Pledger and Hayes McClerkin, and presumably Sens. David Pryor and Dale Bumpers, whose counsel Tucker also sought, cautioned Tucker against clinging to power. But there were other friends who, if not supportive of a change of direction, minimized the outcry. They were no prophets.

After four hours of confusion, friends of Tucker persuaded him that the proper call politically would be to follow through with the resignation, which he did just in time to lead the 6 p.m. news. He would go on to fail in the appeal of his conviction, though subsequent study would show that Tucker had been a victim of injustice in Kenneth Starr's mad persecution of Arkansans to get Bill Clinton.  He'd been refused his request to withdraw a guilty plea to a charge of violating a bankruptcy law that did not exist.

But the winners write the history. And now, if enough people will contribute enough money, Mike Huckabee's moment in 1996, absent some of the extenuating circumstances, will be written on the big screen.

Care to contribute? You may go to the project's homepage and join the crowdfunding for this project. For $10,000, you can be an executive producer. Perhaps the Huckster should just write a check from his PAC — as he's done to help family members before. Huckabee himself said he had no financial interest in the movie, but would contribute.

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