Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

FROM THE PUBLISHER >> DWI should end Huck’s presidential campaign

Gov. Huckabee’s presidential candidacy effectively ended last week when a habitual drunk driver whose prison sentence he had commuted to time served was arrested again on April 4, almost killing the policeman who arrested him.

Eugene Fields of Van Buren (Crawford County) was so drunk that he nearly crashed head-on into Barling Police Officer Kevin Dugan on Arkansas 59 in western Arkansas. Fields plead guilty and paid an $800 fine.

Huckabee had granted Fields clemency in April 2004 after the 68-year-old businessman served just six months of his seven-year sentence. He would have been eligible for parole in a few months anyway, but the governor thought Fields had suffered enough and the state parole board let him go early.

Law-enforcement officials, prosecutors and Mothers Against Drunk Driving were furious, and now they’ll try to send Fields back to prison for being an incorrigible drunk. He still has more than two years left on his parole, which the state could revoke at any time.

“We have increased supervision of this offender,” said Rhonda Sharp, a spokesperson for the Department of Community Punishment, which makes recommendations to the state parole board on parole revocations.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving thought Huckabee was setting a terrible example, especially since he had just honored state troopers for their fight against drunk drivers.

What’s Huckabee trying to do? Run a national campaign to go easy on drunk drivers? With his record on pardons for killers, rapists and drunks, can we trust him to manage the war in Iraq?

Hardly anyone takes his presidential candidacy seriously — Huckabee has raised just $129,000 in PAC money for his quixotic run for the White House, which is a pittance for a national campaign and is about what cranks raise for their presidential races — although the people he’s pardoned over the years, or their relatives, ought to consider making donations to his presidential campaign.

Have the pardon scandals embarrassed Huckabee? Not really. Remember the serial rapist and murderer Wayne DuMond?
Huckabee thought he was innocent and had the parole board exile him to Missouri, where DuMond killed a couple of women right after he arrived in the Show Me State. At least Missouri never considered him for parole, and he died in prison.
Did Huckabee apologize? Not a word out of him.

He did issue a statement through his spokesperson about Fields’ latest DWI arrest, saying he “has broken all trust and deserves the full penalty that the law allows. Not everyone does right, but when a person fails on a second chance, he forfeits a future one.”

Fields, of course, had four previous chances to straighten out, yet he kept drinking and driving.
Huckabee has the worst record on pardons and clemencies since Orval Faubus, who was known to pardon pals and campaign contributors.

You remember the orgy of pardons Huckabee issued over the past decade? How can we forget: Psychopaths, sadists, rapists, drunks, you name them, the governor saw their better side and let them go free — until the Legislature made him stop, and now he’s issuing just a fraction of the clemencies and pardons he did a year ago.

What a record to run on for president. Maybe the national media will start asking him some serious questions other than about his weight-loss program, but since his campaign has gone nowhere, they might not even care about his record anymore. If they did, they would realize Huckabee is Arkansas’ most ethically challenged governor in nearly half a century.