Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Huckabee's Vague Past

Journalist David Corn knows a good story when he smells one and recently he's been investigating Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's earlier life and has uncovered some intriguing information thus far, but I am sure that there is probably more to come...

"At Mother Jones, we discovered that that his presidential campaign and the churches where he served as a pastor for twelve years will not provide copies of the sermons he delivered. GIven that Huckabee campaigns as a self-proclaimed "Christian leader," his actions as "Christian leader" are certainly legitimate subjects of examination. Why is he sitting on them?


Yesterday, I posted piece on a 1998 book Huckabee wrote that was filled with inflammatory fundamentalist rhetoric. In that book, Huckabee equated environmentalism with pornography and associated homosexuality with necrophilia. He dismissed those who advocate workplace equality for women. He denounced those Christians who accept a "misguided version of 'tolerance.'" He decried unnamed "modern government-sponsored social engineers" and claimed that "virtually every dollar poured into" government social programs is wasted. He also declared that people who do not believe in God tend to be "immoral" and tend to engage in "destructive behavior."

The book's content was not shocking, coming from a Bible-thumping fundamentalist. But Huckabee is trying to pitch himself as a friendly fellow who, as he claimed in the last debate, can unite a "very polarized country." Huckabee is free to believe whatever he wants, but it's hard to see how a social conservative advocating such extreme views could bring together a divided society.

There's still plenty of digging to be done in the fields of Huckabee. Who knows what will be unearthed? Yesterday, my former co-author Michael Isikoff and a Newsweek colleague of his broke the story that Huckabee, when he was governor in 1998, allegedly blocked a criminal investigation of his then seventeen-year-old son. David Huckabee had been accused of killing a stray dog at a Boy Scout camp, where he was a counselor. The head of the state police at the time told Newsweek that Huckabee's office leaned on him to stop any inquiry. And the FBI chief in Little Rock back then also said Huckabee attempted to stop an investigation of his son. No charges were ever filed. Huckabee denied the accounts of these two men.

The Newsweek story didn't detail the grisly details of the dog-killing incident. But a letter sent to the head of the Boy Scouts in 1998 by the Animal Legal Defense Fund did include the specifics:

It has come to my attention that David Huckabee and Clayton Friday, two scout counselors, have admitted to the brutal killing of a stray dog at Camp Pioneer on July 11, 1998, and have been protected by the Caddo Area Council as well as Camp Pioneer authorities. The two boys allegedly hung a dog by his/her neck, throwing the body over a railing to a twenty foot drop. After realizing that this did not kill the dog, they slit his/her throat, and stoned the dog to death.

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