Huckabee’s Record: Freed a Rapist Who Became a Killer, Destroyed Gov’t Hard Drives, Misappropriated Funds, Raised Taxes

Recent polls show that Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and Baptist preacher, is rising in popularity in Iowa, where he is cutting into Mitt Romney’s lead. (Romney has 28 percent, Huckabee has 24 percent in the ABC news survey; Romney is at 27 percent and Huckabee’s at 18 percent in the local KCCI-TV poll.) He’s also moving up in in Florida, where he’s running second to Rudolph Giuliani, 26 percent to 17 percent — leaving good ol’ boy actor Fred Thompson in fifth place with 9 percent.

With Thompson’s campaign fading, Huckabee becomes the last best hope for the GOP’s Christian nationalist base. Unlike Thompson, Huckabee is authentically one of them. He believes in the inerrancy of the Bible and says he does not believe in evolution. He wants to amend the Constitution to outlaw abortion, and he is the only candidate who has smeared a gay person in the debates, so far.

But Mike Huckabee comes with some serious baggage, and with his rise in the polls comes new scrutiny of his record as governor Arkansas, both in the media and by his opponents, who are quickly finding his record in Little Rock to be what opposition researchers might call a “target-rich environment.”

The scandals associated with the Huckabee administration in Arkansas include:

  • A rapist released at Huckabee’s behest who went on to murder his next victim
  • Accusations that Huckabee and his family misappropriated tax-payer funds for personal use
  • The charge that at the end of his term, Huckabee ordered the destruction of government computers worth over $300,000, apparently to obstruct possible future investigations
  • While he was governor, the state of Arkansas raised taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars

Details follow:

Released Rapist Who Murdered His Next Victim

In 1996, Huckabee
made it his cause
to release a convicted rapist, Wayne Dumond. Huckabee’s motivation in helping Dumond reveals a serious questions about his judgment. He allowed himself to be deluded by Clinton-haters in the national media into believing that Dumond was innocent but had been railroaded because his victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton.

Within six months after Huckabee gave him his freedom, Dumond raped and then murdered a woman in Missouri. And then, as the scandal unfolded, Huckabee lied about his role in Dumond’s release, only to have parole board members and even former staffers came forward to attest to the fact that Dumond would not have been freed without the governor’s intervention.

Misappropriation of Tax-Payer Funds

Huckabee and his family improperly used money from the taxpayers’ $60,000 per-year Governor’s Mansion fund for personal expenses like dog food, pantyhose and meals at Taco Bell.

Destroyed Government Property Possibly to Obstruct Justice

As he was leaving office in January, Huckabee ordered all the computers and hard drives used by his staff to be wiped clean and then crushed, a wanton act of destruction of public property that cost taxpayers $335,000 bill to replace and prompted the question: What was he hiding?

Raised Taxes by Hundreds of Millions

Known in Arkansas as “Tax Hike Mike,” during his term in office the state “raised taxes more $505 million per year, a figure adjusted for inflation and economic growth, according to the state’s department of finance and administration. The average Arkansan’s tax burden grew from $1,969 in the fiscal year ended June 30, 1997 to $2,902 in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005. Meanwhile, during Mr Huckabee’s tenure the state added about 8,000 new fulltime workers to its payroll.”

According to the Republican anti-tax group, the Club for Growth, “By the end of his 10-year tenure, Gov. Huckabee was responsible for a 37 percent higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16 percent higher motor fuel taxes, and 103 percent higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute.”


In the unlikely event that Huckabee should become the GOP nominee — or in the more likely event that he’s added to a Romney or Giuliani ticket to make them more palatable to the GOP’s Christian nationalist base — Huckabee’s extremist religious beliefs could prove fatal to the ticket in the general election.

Here’s what Matt Taibbi wrote about Huckabee’s religious beliefs in the latest issue of Rolling Stone:

[Huckabee is] full-blown nuts, a Christian goofball of the highest order. He believes the earth may be only 6,000 years old, angrily rejects the evidence that human beings evolved from “primates”…

[He] recently scored a rare offend trifecta, simultaneously pissing off immigrants, Jews and the pro-choice crowd when he ludicrously claimed that a “holocaust” of abortions had artificially created a demand for Mexican labor.


As president, Huck would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion and would give science a back seat to religion. “Science changes with every generation and with new discoveries, and God doesn’t,” he says. “So I’ll stick with God if the two are in conflict.” Huckabee’s well-documented disdain for science was reflected in the performance of the Arkansas school system when he was governor; one independent survey gave the state an F for its science standards in schools, a grade that among other things reflected Huckabee’s hostility toward the teaching of evolution.”>

With a record like Huckabee’s, Republicans would be fools to put him on the ticket next year — and Democrats should pray that they do.


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  • November 28, 2007 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    Huckabee apparently is scaring the poo out of the true conservatives. Robert Novak calls him a “false conservative” in this piece:

    Here’s my favorite part of Novak’s paranoid rant:

    “The rise of evangelical Christians as the force that blasted the GOP out of minority status during the past generation always contained an inherent danger: What if these new Republican acolytes supported not merely a conventional conservative but one of their own? That has happened with Huckabee, a former Baptist minister educated at Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The danger is a serious contender for the nomination who passes the litmus test of social conservatives on abortion, gay marriage and gun control but is far removed from the conservative-libertarian model of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.”

  • GarryInNola
    November 28, 2007 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    While I have no use for Huckabee, the fact that he doesn’t believe in evolution nor that humankind evolved from apes doesn’t make him crazy. Just look at the beliefs of Christian Scientists for example. While many influential and high profile people are Christian Scientists the truth is that their religion adheres to a belief system that denies the existence of the material world. Yes, according to them the whole world is actually “spirit” and matter is just a delusion of the mortal mind. Therefore sin, sickness and yes, even death are delusions. Ah, ha, Ok……..

    When it comes to religion, all bets are off. The most intelligent, educated and creative people are likely to state their belief in just about any ludicrous fairy-tale-sounding thing.

  • Dee Loralei
    November 28, 2007 - 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Above in your listing of the wrongs committed in AR by the Huckster it says” Tucker misappropriated $60,000″. Unless that was a typo on your part, Tucker is probably Jim Guy Tucker, another ex- gov.

    The only thing that scares me, if he wins the Rep nomination, his populism will draw in many independants. And depending on who the Dem candidate is, he might even draw in some Dems. John Edwards is the only major Dem candidate who can beat him in the populism front.

    And no one should ever forget that the entire Dumond thing was predicated on the far right-wings beleif that Clinton railroaded the poor rapist because his victim was a distant relative. And they know Dumond killed at least one woman and they think he murdered a 2nd one, after Huckabee released him.

  • Dee Loralei
    November 28, 2007 - 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and can someone please explain to me how and why Huckabee hasn’ been investigated for the destruction of state property? I mean, in a poor state like Ar $330,000,000 is a hell of a lot of money. The new Gov is a Dem, so what’s the hold-up?

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  • Patriot
    December 18, 2007 - 5:41 am | Permalink

    Sounds Like a Bush Clone

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