Well, it took a while, but the Huckabee campaign finally responded to the swirling disaster that is the Wayne Dumond fiasco. In effect, Team Dukakabee is hoping we miss the forest for the trees.
The campaignhas a statement from “Butch” Reeves, who was reported saying Huckabee was pressuring the parole board to release Dumond early. No, no, no, says Reeves:
“They are saying that the Governor was trying to persuade them to grant parole,” said Reeves, “it was the other way around, they were trying to persuade him not to grant clemency.”
Now, I love the fact that the initial source (Huffington Post) got their facts wrong, but take a close look at what Team Dukakabee is saying: Our guy wasn’t telling the parole board to set him free; he was going to do it himself, and the parole board had to talk him out of it.
A ringing endorsement of Dukakabee’s actions this ain’t, and it’s more important than any of the nonsense about the what the parole board decided to do and who talked to whom (and for the record, parole board member Charles Chastain still insists Huckabee tried to strong-arm him into granting parole). The main point is this, as Huckabee himself revealed in his Dear Wayneletter, he believe Wayne Dumond belonged on the streets and out of jail. This is why Lois Davidson (mother of Dumond’s Missouri murder victim) will “absolutely campaign against” Dukakabee (CNN).
More importantly, the Dumont case reveals a disturbing pattern Huckabee had, namely equating forgiveness in the next world with lack of punishment in this one. Riley at Virginia Virtucon has the chilling details:
Mike Huckabee issued more commutations and pardons than all of the six states neighboring to Arkansas combined.
He has set loose more convicts than all of his recent predecessors combined. More than 10 times the number that Bill Clinton did during a 10-year period from 1983 to 1992.
When prosecutors in Arkansas put forth vocal opposition to Huckabee’s pattern of granting clemency to violent criminals and making “murderers, armed robbers and rapists, who often return to a life of crime after they’re freed” eligible for parole, Huckabee attacked the prosecutors.
Furthermore, Huckabee has a record of pardoning criminals without letting law-enforcement officials or victims’ families know why he’s doing it as is required by law.
While the effect this had on Arkansans’ safety is obviously Issue No. 1, this has a salient impact on foreign policy as well. The world is a very dangerous place, filled with people who will feign remorse for foul deeds against American and her allies. Mike Dukakabee’s history reveals a man who could easily be the kind of sucker we haven’t seen in the White House since Jimmy Carter.
That’s the last thing we need these days.