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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

MIKE HUCKABEE - THE ARKANSAS RECORD

This post was picked up by CNN. Scan to the bottom of the page and click on From the Blogs

With the surge in popularity that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is experiencing, the possibility of his gaining the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination has increased greatly along with his popularity.

Much of that popularity seems based on his out going and at times comically friendly approach in the debates as well as campaign advertising, like the Chuck Norris ad where Huckabee appears along with Norris and calls Norris his border security policy. This along with Huckabee's conservative stance on moral issues like abortion , gay marriage and his faith, being a former Baptist minister, have played well to some of the GOP conservative base and elevated him in the polls in Iowa and other early primary states as well as nationally.

While much has been said about Huckabee's stand on moral issues, there has been little scrutiny in the one area where Huckabee's record would be an indicator as to what type of President he would make and that is his eight years as the elected Governor of Arkansas.

My father and two brothers live in Arkansas. Dad is a GOP moderate along with my youngest brother with my remaining brother who is four years younger than me being a conservative though not quite as conservative as I am. Each have expressed to me their dissatisfaction with Huckabee as Governor with little tid-bits about his record and their reasons for their dislike of him. This sparked my interest into looking a Huckabee's Arkansas record

When one looks at the former Arkansas Governors record in many respects it does not paint a pretty picture. Following are a few examples from his tenure in the Arkansas State House.

Fiscal record - State spending increased 65.3% from 1996-2004. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration states that taxes were cut ninety times for a savings of $378 million dollars, while taxes were raised twenty-one times for an increase of $883 million dollars. This is a net tax increase of $505 million dollars over eight years.

According to the Arkansas Democratic Gazette, ( a liberal newspaper), the, "average Arkansan’s tax burden, [increased] from $1,969 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 1997, to $2,902 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2005 ". The Cato Institute, a non-profit public policy research foundation gave Huckabee an , "F, " for spending and tax policy in 2006.

In 1999 Huckabee raised the fuel tax by four cents per gallon stating that , "the fuel tax was a vote of the people—eighty percent of the people voted to improve roads ." Yet the measure was signed into law a full two months BEFORE a bond issue was voted on which DID NOT include the fuel tax increase. Critics have called Huckabee, "the biggest tax and spender in Arkansas history."

Illegal immigration - In his 2005 State of the State address to the Arkansas Legislature Huckabee complained that illegal aliens could NOT get state funded financial support for college tuition. He supported a 2005 bill that would allow illegal aliens to be eligible for scholarships and in state tuition while opposing a bill that same year that would deny state benefits to illegal aliens.

Huckabee's argument was that illegals pay more taxes than the benefits they receive, "They pay fuel taxes. If they're using a FAKE SOCIAL SECURITY number, they're paying Social Security taxes and will never receive any benefit."

In 2006 a Mexican consultant opened an office in the State Capitol of Little Rock to assist illegals in finding jobs and receiving benefits. Huckabee strongly supported the office. with $10, 000 dollars from his own pocket and another $50, 000 from the Governors state emergency fund in more than 20 contributions before he left office.

In a move that brought tremendous criticism to Huckabee during his 2002 bid for re-election, his wife was on the ballot running for the office of Secretary of State. Had she been elected two of the most powerful state offices would have been run by Huckabees which would have given the Governor a consolidation of State power and a possibility of running rough shod over the State legislature.

There are also numerous accusations many with damaging evidence concerning Huckabee's receiving gifts in exchange for state office appointments and friends appointed to state offices. Huckabee was also Highly criticized for his release of a convicted rapist who claimed to have converted to Christianity. Beleiving the claim of Wayne Drumond, Huckabee released him from prison. Drumond later raped and murdered a women in Missouri.

Huckabee has a less than stellar record as Governor of Arkansas. His tax and spend habits as a State Executive are a major red flag for a Republican Presidential candidate especially since that candidate, if elected, may have a tax an spend Democrat Congress. A GOP President who believes in tax reduction and limited government and spending is the only buffer for the people with a liberal Congress. Huckabee's Arkansas record shows he would NOT be that man.

His stance on financial benefits for illegal aliens in Arkansas also indicates that as President he would not support any legislation that would crack down on illegals. In fact it would indicate that he would be in favor of amnesty programs as well as government benefits at tax payers expense for those who have violated our laws.

While portraying himself as a strong conservative, Huckabee does NOT have a public service record that supports such a claim. He may be a strong conservative on moral issues but on fiscal and immigration issues he is decidedly a liberal!

Ken Taylor

9 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

Yeah, but the evangelicals love him and they don't have any other choice. I know you think Thompson is the answer, but he has been a lethargic campaigner. He does not have any real base of support.

There is a major problem for the GOP - there is a large and growing divide between the fiscal conservatives and the social conservatives. Many of the Wall Street folks couldn't care less about abortion and gay marriage, and don't want to be sermonized to. They are aghast at the growth in government spending and the accumulation of debt under the President that threatens America's fiscal future. They are not going to go for Huckabee's populist attacks on free trade, but those attacks work well in the heartland of America.

All this is why rich Wall Street folks are giving to Dems in record amounts.

1:01 PM, December 05, 2007  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Great Post Ken,

I like the way you dissect the candidates on both sides.

I am still totally confused.

I have to agree with Rob on one thing, Thompson (Who I want desperately) has'nt been out there that much, I wish Fred would step into high gear!!

I was getting sorta excited about Huckabee till I heard the tax record and that commercial they ran on that YouTube debate from Thompson made me think.

So I am still a confused Republican lol

2:57 PM, December 05, 2007  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I just can't get excited about either Huckabee or Thompson.

3:27 PM, December 05, 2007  
Blogger Elmo said...

This is the worst bunch of Retardican candidates imaginable. I love the way you cheese-eaters sacrifice all for your party.

Standing on principle my ass...

8:46 PM, December 05, 2007  
Blogger Gayle said...

Elmo, cheese is not a bad thing. LOL!

It is an exellent post, Ken, and I'm like Marie... confused!

9:23 AM, December 06, 2007  
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