Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Arkansas Governorship Virus claims another victim

Caucus Cooler offers a new nickname for Mike Huckabee, officially labeling him Arkansas's "Governor Graft."*

The Cooler has obtained documents that show Mike Huckabee received $378,000 in consulting fees during 2006, while he was still governor of Arkansas.

[Most notably], $35,000 came from Novo Nordisk, one of the world's largest embryonic stem cell researchers. It seems that when money is at stake Huckabee may be able to look past his supposedly fervent opposition to this procedure...

...You can view a full list of Huckabee "donors" here.

Bob Krumm provides additional insight into Huckabee's startling stem-cell duplicity:

On April 13, 2007 Mike Huckabee was interviewed by the Des Moines Register. Among the questions was one about stem cells. In response Huckabee said that “I don’t think that the only avenue to curing cacer and heart disease and diabetes and some of the horrible things that inflict Americans is that we have to destroy life in order to create it.”

That’s not an absolute denunciation of embryonic stem cell research*, but the “destroy life” phraseology certainly gave the impression to social conservatives that he is against it.

Interestingly, just one month later Mike Huckabee produced his financial disclosure statement indicating that he had been paid a $17,500 consulting fee by a leading pharmaceutical company engaged in embryonic stem cell research to find a treatment for diabetes.

Obviously, this is a problem for some social conservatives. To others it is an example of the hypocrisy of Huckabee. And to all, that financial statement should raise other alarms.

In addition to the payments from Novo Nordisk, Mike Huckabee took a third of a million, much of it from organizations with governmental interests, even while he was Governor of Arkansas. Included in that is a salary from Flagship Global Health... There is quite obviously a conflict of interest [regarding healthcare]. Even worse, Flagship’s business model would seem to profit from an increase in government medical spending... [even worse,] as the quality of government care deteriorates, his company’s profits presumably grow. It would be like choosing the owner of a taxi company to regulate buses; the worse the buses perform, the more he profits.

After [Mike Huckabee’s] personal success at shedding 100-plus pounds, he has found a platform to share his secrets to creating better health habits in “Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork”. Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, today announced the availability of 35,000 Spanish-translated copies of this best-selling book, which can be ordered free of charge.

Glenn Reynolds wondered what Huckabee was paid for the 35,000 books. It’s a good question.

Piling on? The pundits aren't done yet.

BizzyBlog's Tom Blumer adds:

And to think I was tempted to give the guy a pass over the “wedding” registries used to collect gifts from “friends” last year when his time as governor had ended. You see, Poor Huck and his wife Janet were moving into a 7,000-foot house, and had to furnish it “somehow.” Gag me.

...I’m insulted that Huckabee — take your pick — thought he could get all of this past the nation indefinitely, or that we wouldn’t care if it became known.

What is it with these Arkansas governors? Is there some sort of virus circulating in the HVAC of the governor's mansion, similar to those gastrointestinal bugs people catch on cruise ships?

* Because there was simply nothing else to do in Little Rock, the Arkansas House passed legislation in March '07 ruling that "Arkansas's" is the correct possessive form of the state's name.

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