Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Huckabee Leads Nation Speaking Out Against Health Care Bill

On Saturday, December 20, after Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was bribed into switching his vote in favor of government takeover of health care there was an emergency rally planned for the next day in Omaha, Nebraska, with Governor Mike Huckabee being invited as the keynote speaker.  What is amazing is that there was less than 24 hours notice given for this rally and it was during the busiest season of the year (5 days before Christmas) but around 2,500 people still turned out for this protest against the health care bill and Sen. Nelson.

Huckabee delivered an arousing speech that included referring to Nelson as Judas, the fiscal horrors of the bill and the attack on the sanctity of life, and he reminded his audience to remember all of this when they go to the ballot box.  No teleprompter needed with Mike Huckabee!  It is well worth the watch.

During this time Huck PAC also started a petition that urges Sen. Nelson to switch his vote back to no.  The petition went live around 9:00 p.m. EST on the 20th and in less than 48 hours it has gathered 50,000 signatures.  It looks like people are fired up!  This is very evident in the video montage below of the Omaha rally.

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Huck PAC Candidates Looking Good

Governor Mike Huckabee has endorsed two conservative candidates in hotly contested Republican primaries against establishment-not-so-conservative-candidates in 2010. 

The first one is in the state of Iowa where he has endorsed Bob Vander Plaats for Governor.  The main challenger to Vander Plaats is a former four-term Governor of the state, Terry Branstad.  Only the establishment would do something as stupid as to resurrect a former office holder to attempt to run in the general in an anti-incumbent year.  This is an important race because Iowa’s first term Democratic Governor is very, very vulnerable and in a head to head poll Vander Plaats defeats him.  Since picking up Huckabee’s endorsement Bob VP has also locked in some key support from activist Chuck Norris, the president of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP, Michael Farris (a national leader in home-school education and the founder of Patrick Henry College), and David Barton of WallBuilders.  I believe Vander Plaats is well on his way to winning the primary in June.

The second candidate is Marco Rubio who is being challenged by Gov. Charlie Crist for the nomination for the US Senate seat in Florida.  Crist has been backed by the establishment and Huckabee endorsed Rubio in June when he was trailing Crist by 30% in the polls.  A new Rasmussen poll just out shows that Rubio has erased that lead and is now tied with Crist for the nomination and he is also the stronger candidate in the general election.  I believe that we will see Rubio gain even more traction as his name recognition increases and will come away the nominee in August against the better funded Crist.

There is a lot at stake in the 2010 elections and Huck PAC’s two main endorsements in the primaries are looking good right now.  I’m sure Team Huck will be behind these two candidates full force.

Question is, will any other 2012 hopefuls take a stand in these brutal primaries or will Mike Huckabee be the only one to put principle over political risk?

Huckabee in Dead Heat with Obama (Latest Poll)

Latest Public Policy Polling shows for the ninth month in a row that Governor Mike Huckabee is the strongest Republican to take on President Obama in 2012.  This poll is the closest match-up yet between Huckabee and Obama with Huckabee only trailing him by one percentage point while hold Obama to only 46% of the vote.

GOP12 has a good analysis:

The good news? They’re all doing well. The surprising news? Post-clemency, Huck continues to out-poll his rivals and effectively ties the POTUS.

1. Barack Obama 46% Mike Huckabee 45%

2. Barack Obama 47% Mitt Romney 42%

3. Barack Obama 50% Sarah Palin 44%

4. Barack Obama 48% Tim Pawlenty 35%

Key findings:

a. Obama job approval: 49%/47%, net of +2%.

b. Mike Huckabee favorables: 35%/35%, for even.

c. Mitt Romney favs: 32%/36%, net of -4%.

d. Sarah Palin favs: 41%/50%, net of -9%.

e. Tim Pawlenty favs: 12%/24%, net of -12%, with 64% expressing no opinion.

By Gender:

a. Among women, Palin’s favs are 37%/51%, among men 45%/50%.

b. Among women, Romney’s favs are 27%/35%, among men 37%/37%.

c. Among women, Huck’s favs are 32%/32%, among men 40%/38%.

d. Among women, Obama’s favs are 54%/49%, among men 42%/54%.

By Party ID:

a. Palin’s fav among Republican is highest, but that’s a bit deceptive since her name ID is also so high.

For example, 29% of Republicans aren’t sure about Huckabee and 34% aren’t sure of Romney. But only 9% aren’t sure of Palin. So naturally, name id is a confounding variable on this set of results.

By Race:

a. Obama beats Huck by 31% among Hispanics, 77% among blacks. Whites favor Huck by 18%.

b. Obama beats Palin by 42% among Hispanics, 82% among blacks. Whites favor Palin by 13%.

c. Obama beats Romney by 31% among Hispanics, 86% among blacks. Whites favor Romney by 14%.

By region:

Obama beats every Republican in the Northeast and West, but each Republican beats Obama in the South and Midwest. That Midwest result is very important. In fact, Huck routs Obama there by 18%.

Notes: Commutation?

Mike Huckabee might be leaning against a run for Prez, but it’s hard to see how he could turn down a bid if he continues to lead the pack.

The CW throughout much of the year is that a Palin bid would starve Huck of oxygen. But that’s based on the assumption Palin is a stronger contender.

The more likely phenomenon is that a Huck bid would starve Palin of oxygen, because throughout this year, we’ve learned that right now he’s the stronger candidate.

Huckabee Reacts to Palin’s Comments on Clemmon’s Case

A class act………..

Conservatives are Worse than Liberals on the FACTS

It is amazing how members of my own party use a tragic event involving four deaths to further their own political agenda by burying a guy they have hated all along using anything but the facts.

This is Governor Mike Huckabee’s Human Events article in which he lays out the facts:

Washington State Tragedy

by Mike Huckabee

12/01/2009

The senseless and savage slaying of 4 police officers in Lakewood, Washington has raised many questions as to why the alleged murderer was even on the streets. My name has figured prominently in many of the stories because I commuted his 108 year sentence to a term of 47 years back in 2000. I take full responsibility for my decision then. Unfortunately, many of my fellow conservatives don’t seem to want to take responsibility for the facts surrounding the case.

The Maurice Clemmons presented in a commutation request in the year 2000 was much different than the one who is being sought for the killings of the police officers.

The case before me was of a 16 year old who received a disproportionate sentence of 108 years for burglary and robbery charges. He had already served 11 years in Arkansas prison by that time, which is more time actually served than most similar cases would have netted in sentencing alone. Under Arkansas law, governors don’t parole anyone. The Post Prison Transfer Board does. That board can recommend clemency, and in this case recommended by a 5-0 vote that his sentence be reduced. This was one of 1000-1200 cases I reviewed each of the 10 and a half years as governor. Ninety-two percent of the time, any request for clemency was denied. Most of the ones granted were for clearing a person’s record for a minor offense from 20 years previous. The trial judge in the case supported the commutation. During the legally required 30 day public comment period before action on the case was complete, there were no objections registered by my office by any authorities, despite claims of the local prosecutor that he “was afraid something like this would happen.” Interestingly, if he was so afraid, then he has failed to explain why in 2004 when Clemmons was back in prison for a parole violation, his office failed to pursue charges and in fact dropped them, allowing Clemmons to go free, move to Washington, and for reasons beyond me, continue to avoid extradition back to Arkansas or be kept by Washington authorities as he displayed signs of psychotic behavior. I am responsible for the commutation in 2000. I would not have commuted his sentence in 2004 after the re-arrest or in any of the years following. I can explain my decision in 2000. I cannot explain the decision of the very vocal prosecutor in Little Rock who seems to avoid answering the questions as to why he didn’t keep Clemmons in prison in 2004 or get him brought back to Arkansas for his repeated parole violations.

There are some glaring facts that some conservative talkers seem to miss:

1. He was never pardoned. Amazingly, that word has been used to describe my actions 9 years ago. He was never even considered for a pardon.

2. The commutation didn’t release him. It made him parole eligible. He had to meet the conditions of parole for the parole board, who in fact paroled him. He had been in prison for 11 years at the time of his release.

3. Despite news reports, there are no records that the prosecutor, law enforcement, the Attorney General, or victims objected to the commutation. The only responses my office had record of during the public comment period were support letters from the trial judge, and members of the community.

4. He was back in prison by 2004 and would have remained there until 2015 due to his parole violations had the prosecutor chosen to properly file the paperwork.

5. The Clemmons of 2000 did not exhibit traits of psychosis and the kind of behavior that he would later express during several arrests in Washington state during the past year.

6. Religion had nothing to do with the commutation. It’s been erroneously expressed that my own personal faith or the claims of faith of the inmate factored into my decision. That is simply not true and nothing in the record even suggests it. The reasons were straightforward — a unanimous recommendation from the board, support from a trial judge and no objections from officials in a case that involved a 16 year old sentenced to a term that was exponentially longer than similar cases and certainly longer than had he been white, upper middle class, and represented by effective counsel who would have clearly objected to the sentencing. (His race, economic status, or education level are not excuses for his behavior because many people of color who are uneducated and living in abject poverty are civil, trustworthy, and honest to a fault and many well-educated, wealthy, white people are dirtbags — think Bernie Madoff). But sadly, Arkansas has had numerous instances of disproportionate sentencing in which a probation and fine would be meted out to white upper class kids whose parents were able to obtain the services of excellent defense attorneys, while young black males committing the same crimes and represented by public defenders would end up with inexplicably long prison terms. Blacks comprise 15% of the state’s population, but 50% of the inmate population, some of which is due to the fact that their sentences are often longer and they are less likely to be paroled.

The two professions I value most in our society are soldiers and police officers, with fireman and schoolteachers right behind. Soldiers and police officers are the line between us and anarchy. The death of the four officers in Lakewood should never have happened. I regret that I ever saw the name of Maurice Clemmons and that I commuted his sentence and made him eligible for parole. That is my responsibility and it was based on the evidence before me in 2000. If presented the same facts today, I would have acted in the same manner. But once he violated that parole and his second chance in 2004, he should not have received the treatment he appeared to have received from the Arkansas prosecutor or the officials in Washington, who failed to send him back to prison and who let him go free on bail even after repeated violent outbursts and a rape charge from this past year. I can take responsibility for my actions, but not for the actions of others nor the misinformed words of commentators.

Gov. Huckabee Takes Full Responsibility

From Huck PAC:

Mike Huckabee: I Take Full Responsibility

The nation was stunned by the senseless and savage cold-blooded murders of 4 young police officers in Lakewood, Washington. Whenever a police officer or soldier is killed, I feel the loss is even more profound for they are the ones who stand between our freedom and anarchy.

At the time I write these words, police are still searching for Maurice Clemmons who is believed to be the one committing these unspeakable acts. Nine years ago, that name crossed my desk. I commuted his sentence from 108 years to 47 years. Many news reports, talk show hosts, and bloggers have erroneously said that he was granted a “pardon.” Others speak of me “setting him free.” As one who now hosts a talk show and who does daily radio commentaries, I can attest to how easy commentary is compared to actually governing. I am not seeking to justify or defend my actions of nine years ago, but it’s important that I answer for my actions and give some explanation as to how and why his sentence was commuted.

I take full responsibility for my actions of nine years ago. I acted on the facts presented to me in 2000. If I could have possibly known what Clemmons would do nine years later, I obviously would have made a different decision. But if the same file was presented to me today, I would have likely made the same decision.

Each state is different, but in Arkansas, a governor doesn’t initiate a parole—the Post Prison Transfer Board does after it conducts a thorough review of an inmate’s file and request. The board then makes a recommendation to the governor, who decides to grant or deny.

If the decision is made to grant any form of clemency (the broad term for a commutation or a full pardon), the governor gives notice of intent and the file is sent to the prosecutor, judge, law enforcement officials, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State as well as to the news media. A period of 30 days is then started for there to be public input as well as response from the above named officials. At the end of the public response period, the final decision is rendered.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 requests for some form of clemency came to my desk each and every one of the 10 ½ years I was governor. Ninety-two percent of the time, I denied the requests. When I did grant them, it was usually based on the recommendation of at least five of the members of the PPTB, with consideration given to the input from public officials.

Maurice Clemmons was 16 years old when he was charged with burglary and robbery. He was sentenced to a total of 108 years based on the way in which the sentences were stacked. For the crimes he committed and the age at which he committed the crimes, it was dramatically outside the norm for sentencing. The PPTB recommended in 2000 by a 5-0 vote for his sentence to be commuted.

He had served 11 years of his sentence. A pardon would have set him free and cleared his record. A commutation to “time served” would have set him free and released him from any parole reporting. As per the recommendation, I commuted his sentence to the term of 47 years, still a long sentence for the type of crime he had committed, but it would make him parole eligible. It would not parole him, as governors do not have that power in Arkansas. He would have to separately apply for parole and meet the criteria for that.

Despite news reports to the contrary, the only record of public response to the notice to commute was from the trial judge, who recommended the commendation in concert with the board. There were letters of support, but no record of letters of opposition.

Following the commutation, he met the criteria for parole and was paroled to supervision in late 2000. When he violated terms of his parole by participating in additional crimes, he was returned to prison and should have stayed there. For reasons only the prosecutor can explain, charges were not brought forth in a timely way and the prosecutor ended up dropping the charges, allowing him to leave prison and return to supervised parole.

He moved to Washington state and had intermittent criminal activity that increased in violence and frequency. He was allowed to post bail in Washington state and while on bail from there committed the unspeakable acts of murdering four valiant police officers. I can’t explain why he wasn’t prosecuted properly for the parole violations or why he was allowed to make bail in Washington state and not incarcerated earlier for crimes committed there.

I wish his file had never crossed my desk, but it did. The decision I made is one that I now wish were different, but I could only look backwards at his case, not forward. None of this is of any comfort to the families of these police officers nor should it be. Their loss is senseless. No words or deeds by anyone will bring them back to their loved ones. Our system is not perfect and neither are those responsible for administering it.

The system and those of us who are supposed to make sure it works sometimes fail. In this case, we clearly did.