One-to-go update: skeletons in Mike Huckabee’s closet

Paroling a rapist who did it again, shredding hard drives on his way out the door, using state police aircraft for out-of-state trips, giving what were supposed to be “emergency funds” to the Red Cross, where his wife works: more than enough to get started on. The parole story really smells bad.

Assuming I’m wrong about Mike Huckabee’s potential as a Presidential candidate (usually a safe assumption when I start making political predictions, especially when I disagree with Jonathan Zasloff), it’s good to know that he has several serious vulnerabilities. Steve Anderson of SteveAudio has some of the details:

* The Wayne Dumond story. Huckabee pressed for the parole of an imprisoned rapist, who promptly on release committed at least one rape and murder (maybe two).

The rapist, Wayne Dumond, was quite a piece of work. He had escaped a murder charge by testifying against the two other people who helped him beat a man to death with a claw hammer. He had escaped conviction for a rape to which he had confessed when he recanted his confession and his accuser refused to testify (she said out of fear). He’d been given probation for molesting a teen-age girl.

This isn’t just a Willy-Horton-style story where a governor made a general policy choice that led to disaster in a specific case; Huckabee and his staff seem to have been actively involved in releasing Dumond specifically, after the parole board had turned him down..

Why would Huckabee go to bat for a persistent violent sex criminal? Apparently, because the victim in the case for which Dumond was in prison had some sort of connection to Bill Clinton, and a local preacher/right-wing talk show host and the unspeakable Steve Dunleavy of the New York Post had worked up a theory under which Dumond was the innocent victim of a Clintonite conspiracy.

That’s the big Christmas present for those doing oppo on Huckabee. But there are also some nice stocking-stuffers:

* The hard drives. The Arkansas Governor’s office has an emergency fund appropriated by the legislature. After the election of a Democrat, Mike Beebe, as his successor, Huckabee ordered most of the money in that fund spent on shredding the hard drives on the computers in his office.

* The Red Cross Another last-minute use of those “emergency” funds: a grant to the Red Cross, which happens to be the employer of Huckabee’s wife.

* The airplane. Lots of out-of-state travel on a State Police airplane.

Oh, and he’s also anti-Darwinian, though that may be a feature rather than a bug politically.

That ought to be enough to get started with. The Arkansas legislature remains solidly Democratic. Howsabout some hearings, fellas?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: