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Two Hits On Huck

Saturday, December 8, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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From the AP: “Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients”

From the Los Angeles Times“Parole Officials: Huckabee pushed rapist’s release.”

Even if the Newsweek poll noted below is close to accurate (and Dan Riehl among others has big questions), both of these stories are significant momentum killers as they display a general election vulnerability that makes it almost impossible to imagine an already improbable victory by Huckabee over either Senator Clinton or Obama.  I expect Huckabee will have to address both stories asap and in detail.

Key graphs from the AP story:

As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.

“If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague,” Huckabee wrote.

“It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.”

The AP submitted the questionnaire to both candidates; only Huckabee responded. Incumbent Sen. Dale Bumpers won his four term; Huckabee was elected lieutenant governor the next year and became governor in 1996.

When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee complained that AIDS research received an unfair share of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Key graphs from the Times story on the release of Wayne DuMond:

Three board members recalled it differently. They said Huckabee raised the issue of DuMond’s release, asking to discuss the matter with them in a closed session. They said his religious beliefs, and the influence of the evangelical community from which he came, drove him.

“We felt pressured by him,” said board member Ermer Pondexter. “I felt compelled to do it. . . . It was a favor for the governor.”

Looking back, she added, “I regret it.”

Parole board member Deborah Springer Suttlar said Huckabee did not mince his feelings about DuMond: “He wanted him out.”

A committee of board members voted to parole DuMond. It took the action just before the deadline by which Huckabee would have had to decide what assistance, if any, he would grant to an inmate whom he had already said he wanted to help.

“He thought DuMond just grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, that he may have gotten a raw deal and a longer sentence than others under similar circumstances,” recalled board member Charles Chastain, who said he was the lone dissenter in a 4-1 committee vote to grant parole.

 

The transcript of my conversation with Governor Huckabee about Wayne DuMond is here.

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