I’m so tired of sordid Arkansas political drama. Two terms of Clintonian slime are enough. That’s why I’m glad that Quin Hillyer has gutted Mike Huckabee:
National media folks like David Brooks, dealing in surface appearances only, rave about what a nice guy Huckabee is, and a moral exemplar to boot. If they only did a little homework, they would discover a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak, and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics.
Once, Gov. Huckabee even had the gall to file suit against the state ethics commission. He lost.
Fourteen times, the ethics commission — a respected body, not a partisan witch-hunt group — investigated claims against Huckabee. Five of those times, it officially reprimanded him. And, as only MSNBC among the big national media has reported at any real length, there were lots of other mini-scandals and embarrassments along the way.
He used public money for family restaurant meals, boat expenses, and other personal uses. He tried to claim as his own some $70,000 of furniture donated to the governor’s mansion. He repeatedly, and obstinately, against the pleadings even from conservative columnists and editorials, refused to divulge the names of donors to a “charitable” organization he set up while lieutenant governor — an outfit whose main charitable purpose seemed to be to pay Huckabee to make speeches. Then, as a kicker, he misreported the income itself from the suspicious “charity.”
Huckabee has been criticized, reasonably so, for misusing the state airplane for personal reasons. And he and his wife, Janet, actually set up a “wedding gift registry” (they had already been married for years) to which people could donate as the Huckabees left the governorship, in order to furnish their new $525,000 home.
There’s plenty more in Hillyer’s piece. The Huckabee campaign sent a testy reply, to which Hillyer responds: “I find it interesting that the letter from the Huckabee campaign doesn’t actually accuse me of mis-stating facts, but instead finds ways to change the subject. The fact remains that the Ethics Committee did indeed reprimand Huckabee on five separate counts. And for all the other allegations, I provided links to original source material. As for his fiscal record, I think the conservative Club for Growth’s reports critical of Huckabee speak for themselves.”