THE HUCKABEE RECORD
Re: Quin Hillyer's A Tale of Two Candidates:
The October 24, 2007 article by Quin Hillyer, "A Tale of Two Candidates," is a biased and complete distortion of the record of Governor Mike Huckabee that needs to be addressed.
It is indeed disappointing -- but perhaps telling -- that Mr. Hillyer contacted neither the Governor nor the Huckabee for President Campaign for this article. The resurfacing of these old allegations, which have previously been addressed, and the Governor's surge in recent polling, is also suspect.
Clearly, the facts show that Mr. Hillyer needs to do his homework. The overwhelming majority of ethics complaints filed against Governor Huckabee in the state of Arkansas were regularly dismissed and / or proven to be frivolous.
It is also important to note that many of these complaints were filed by a member of the Arkansas "media." There was no mention in Mr. Hillyer's work that these complaints were later dismissed by that same news outlet.
The REAL story is that, despite the many attempts, there has never been a finding that Governor Huckabee ever received an illegal gift. Period.
To attack Governor Huckabee's wife, Janet, is the worst kind of journalism. As First Lady of Arkansas, Mrs. Huckabee served with dignity for many years. She was a leader behind the scenes during natural disasters within the state -- and her support of education and children is second to none.
With regards to attacking his fiscal record as Governor, what "think-tanks" such as CATO or Club for Growth consistently fail to recognize is that, regardless of party or politics, governors are responsible for delivering better government and balanced budgets to the people they represent. What mattered most to the people of Arkansas is results -- not rhetoric -- which is why Mike Huckabee was elected and re-elected as Governor.
A fair appraisal of Governor Huckabee's record reveals that he is an authentic, consistent conservative whose goal is to reduce both taxes and spending when he is President. Here are the facts.
* Regarding his record, Arkansas voters overwhelmingly approved of Mike Huckabee's performance in office. He was elected to a four-year term as governor in 1998, after succeeding to office in 1996, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas. In 2002, he was re-elected to another four-year term. When he left office earlier this year, his job approval rating was in the high 60s.
* Without doubt, Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative who cut taxes almost 100 times in the state of Arkansas and returned almost $400 million to Arkansas taxpayers, including the first broad-based tax cut in the history of the state.
* He also doubled the standard deduction and the child care tax credit and eliminated the marriage penalty and the capital gains tax on the sale of a home. He reduced the capital gains tax for businesses and individuals. He indexed the income tax to protect people from paying higher taxes because of "bracket creep."
* Governor Huckabee left the state with almost $1 billion in surplus, setting the stage for further tax reductions. He cut welfare rolls by almost 50 percent, while balancing the state budget every year of his terms.
* With respect to the tax and spending that he had under his control, spending rose about six-tenths of one percent a year during his ten-and-a-half year tenure. In Arkansas, over 90% of the state general revenue budget is spent on three things: education, Medicaid, and prisons. If the state entirely eliminated everything else but those three, it would save less than 10% of the budget. Despite those limitations, Huckabee managed to enact budget cuts.
Regarding Wayne DuMond, here are the facts:
* Governor Jim Guy Tucker gave executive clemency to Wayne DuMond, and commuted his sentence to 39.5 years. This action made it possible for Wayne DuMond to receive parole.
* The parole board was made up entirely of Governor Bill Clinton and Governor Jim Guy Tucker appointees. Governor Huckabee didn't have one member on the board that he had appointed.
* Governor Huckabee never took action in the DuMond case that made him parole eligible.
* Governor Huckabee either denied the commutation and pardon request, or took no action (which is the same as a denial) on 4 separate occasions.
* This wasn't Governor Huckabee's decision to parole Wayne Dumond. Governor Huckabee had no authority to do that, as governors don't have that authority in the parole process.
* The fact remains that Governor Huckabee didn't commutate, pardon, parole or grant any form of clemency to Wayne DuMond.
* Governor Huckabee denied 2/3 of all pardon requests while Governor of Arkansas from July 15, 1996-December 31, 2006.
* Governor Huckabee denied 86% of all commutation requests during the same period.
* Governor Huckabee signed off on, and carried out 16 executions while he was governor, which were more than 20 other states that currently had the death penalty in place.
It's interesting that this wasn't an issue for 6 years (1996-2002) until the election year of 2002, when Governor Huckabee's Democratic opponent, in the midst of a heated general election, made a political issue out of the case.
Finally, one more note: Calling him "The Huckster" in a hatchet job like this shows disrespect, not only to the Governor himself, but to the office he held for 10 1/2 years.
Governor Mike Huckabee has shown leadership, compassion and strength in tough times. In this important presidential election cycle, the facts are what matter to the American people.
-- John "Chip" Saltsman
National Campaign Manager
Huckabee for President