Leader Blues

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

FROM THE PUBLISHER >> A bad week for Huckster, but he lives

BY GARRICK FELDMAN
Leader publisher

Gov. Huckabee had a near-death experience last week while flying to a political convention in North Carolina. One of the engines on a small jet he was flying on for that state’s Republican Party convention — freeloading, as usual — malfunctioned, and only one of the engines was working, when, by a miracle, the pilot managed to land the plane and had the engine fixed before the night was over.

Perhaps someone high in the chain of command is trying to tell the governor to drop out of the presidential race.
Huckabee didn’t tell the Little Rock media about the incident because he didn’t want them to know he and his family were thumbing a ride on a corporate jet, which is his custom when he doesn’t hijack the State Police crime-fighting jet for his errands.

He’s still peeved at the Arkan-sas Democrat-Gazette, which had successfully sued him under the state’s Freedom of Information Act for refusing to release documents about one of his appointees to the parole board who left the board under a cloud.

Former parole board member Larry Zeno had stepped down following wild allegations that he had solicited a bribe in return for a parole – specifically, a deep discount on a diamond ring from the jewelry business owned by the convict’s family — but Huckabee didn’t want you to know that one of his appointees may have had an ethical problem. Zeno has denied the allegations.

Huckabee’s natural instinct was to hush up the case, claiming special privileges under the “working paper” exemption in the Freedom of Information Act, but Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza didn’t buy that argument.

“The exemption in this case is outweighed by the need for public scrutiny,” Judge Piazza ruled.

Huckabee might as well declare his administration a work in progress, with all decisions in every department and board off limits to the rest of us. That’s absurd, and he knows it.

He has shed more light on his dieting than on how he runs the state.

Huckabee must wake up in the morning and think of ways to violate the Freedom of Information Act.

He hates sharing information with the public, especially when it comes to paroling criminals. He seems very protective of them, for some reason.


It seems Huckabee’s always in trouble with the parole board and the convicts who win their freedom, often under suspicious circumstances.



Remember Wayne DuMond, whose release he championed? After his exile to Missouri, the rapist killed two women there, for which the Huckster has never apologized.

Recent legislation has forced him to explain his paroles and pardons, and now Judge Piazza has handed him another defeat.
Is this a record for a presidential candidate to run on? The national media can’t get enough of his aw-shucks personality, but once they look closely at his record, Huck’s campaign will stall, like that jet engine that blew out last week.