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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 12/15/2007

Most Revealing Fibs: Mike Huckabee

By Michael Dobbs


Radio show, Des Moines, IA, Nov. 30

"[Wayne Dumond's] parole eligibility happened in 1992 during the time when Bill Clinton was still governor [of Arkansas.] Rather than me having an issue with that, if Hillary is the nominee, [the Dumond parole] will be as much an issue for her and for her husband as it ever will be for me."

--Mike Huckabee, Hannity & Colmes Show, Fox TV, Nov. 15, 2007.


The Clintons can no doubt be blamed for a lot of things that happened in Arkansas, but it is a huge stretch to blame them for the 1999 release of Wayne Dumond. A convicted rapist and alleged murderer, Wayne Dumond went on to rape and murder another woman in Missouri after he was freed from prison in Arkansas. While the decision to free him was taken by the parole board, Huckabee strongly supported it. The case has come back to haunt his suddenly strong presidential bid.


First let's look at Bill Clinton's role in the case, and then examine Huckabee's role. (Hillary Clinton played no role at all, except by association with her husband.)


The Dumond case became a cause celebre among some evangelical Christians in Arkansas after Dumond claimed to have undergone a religious conversion. Dumond's supporters argued that he was not being treated fairly because one of his alleged victims was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. They accused Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, of preventing Dumond's release from prison in defiance of the wishes of his own parole board.

In September 1990, Clinton overrode a 5-1 vote of the recommendation of the parole board to commute Dumond's sentence of life in prison plus 20 years to time already served, arguing that the issue should be left to an appeals court. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Sept. 26, 1990.)

Two years later, when was running for president, the issue came up again. On this occasion, Clinton recused himself and handed responsibility for a decision to his lieutenant governor, Jim Guy Tucker. Tucker reduced Dumond's sentence to 39 1/2 years, making him eligible for parole in 1995, after serving 10 years. According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Clinton's office "issued a statement saying that Clinton agreed with Tucker's decision."

Dumond had still not been freed in 1996, when Tucker was convicted of fraud and was succeeded by Huckabee, then lieutenant-governor. Dumond's wife, Mary Lou, told a reporter that Huckabee had assured her that her husband would soon be a "free man." "He is not one of the Clinton crowd," she explained. "He is a very fair man."

Huckabee announced his intention to commute Dumond's sentence to time served on September 20, 1996, two months after taking over as governor. But there was such an outcry from the families of Dumond's victims that he revised his decision. Instead of pardoning Dumond outright, he would support his release on parole. In a "Dear Wayne" letter to Dumond denying him his pardon application, he wrote: "My desire is that you be released from prison. I feel now that parole is the best way for your reintegration into society."

The parole board held a new hearing on January 16, 1997. Several parole board members now say that they felt "pressured" by the governor to parole Dumond, a charge that Huckabee denies. In any event, Huckabee issued a statement supporting the parole board's decision. He also expressed "grave doubt to the circumstances of this reported crime."

It seems clear enough from this chronology that responsibility for Dumond's early release from prison must be shared among many people, and particularly the Arkansas parole board, which voted to release him. But Huckabee's claim that the Dumond affair is "as much a problem" for the Clintons as it is for him is a distortion of the historical record.

A couple of other occasions where Huckabee has been factually challenged, connected in some way to his strong religious convictions:

  • The erroneous claim that most of the Founding Fathers were "clergymen."


  • The false suggestion that Mormons believe that "Jesus and the devil are brothers," a slur against fellow Republican candidate Mitt Romney for which he later apologized.


  • The Pinocchio Test

    It is still too early to rank the candidates in terms of their overall truthfulness. I am giving the candidates a pass this week from Pinocchios, but I would be interested in your views on Huckabee and the Dumond case.

    By Michael Dobbs  | December 15, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
    Categories:  Candidate Record, Candidate Watch, Social Issues  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Most Revealing Fibs: Barack Obama
    Next: Most Revealing Fibs: Rudy Giuliani

    Comments

    Republicans/Neocons/Christians of the right
    NEVER take responsibility for their actions.
    From Reagan to bush to bush to romney the dog beater to huckabee the liar, you can count on them to dodge, blame and whine.

    Posted by: B.williams | December 15, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

    Huckabee is a man consumed by religion. He prevented a mentally retarded teen, impregnated by her stepfather, from abortion because HIS religion opposes it. He released Drumond because of Druman's
    conversion to Christianity. He distorted his lobbying work paid for by Tobacco Industries (NYTimes,Dec.15);he's a man on the take for gifts and goodies. We need this religious nutcase in the White House like we need the black plague.

    Posted by: zaney | December 15, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

    I am a Christian. Ron Pual is a Christian.
    Ron Paul's acts and actions are far truer representations of the Christian Faith than Huckabee.
    I could NEVER trust a political candidate who runs for political office based on one of his primary qualification being that he is a evangelical Christian.
    That is disingenuous.
    Moreover, there should be an absolute distinction of the separation of evangelizing christianity to encourage faith in Jesus Christ and evangelizing Christianity to evangelize ones secular pursuit of governmental office.
    I could never trust one who implies his Christian evangelism is a valid qualification for pursuing secualr office. It screams out that that one's faith is self-centered rather than being God centered. Think about it.
    I am also offended by Huckabee's justification for allegedly accepting expensive gifts while governor as being, that is the way we do it in my world. His arrogance on issues like that clearly is the tip of the proverbial iceberg with this man.
    I believe he may be much less trustworthy than Hillary or Guilani.
    Pastors are scriptually held to a higher standard and Huckabee seems to be lowering the standard.

    Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

    You forgot to mention the special meeting in Executive Session,(off the record), just before the board meeting where Huckabee personally pressured the Board into paroling the killer. It was recounted by one of the participants.

    Posted by: GKAM | December 15, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

    As a person who lives in Arkansas, I like the fib from Huckabee about how much he decreased our taxes. One of the fibs about taxes that the national media hasn't uncovered yet is how he increased income taxes but in a way so no one could call it a tax increase. We had a 3% tax on our state income taxes we paid. Can you believe this? A tax on our taxes! This went on for about 3 years and just stopped a couple years ago! Just plain wrong. But he won't call it a tax increase!!!! But I sure do. Unbelieveable!

    Posted by: PM | December 15, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

    I find Huckabee's distortion and lie of the role he played to release the rapist, DuMond simply outrageous!

    Huckabee seems unable to say he was simply wrong about DuMond's innocence, and that he's sorry. He has to try and blame Clinton for it.

    I saw a similar story that Huckabee tried to hide the fact his early funding came from RJ Reynolds, the tobacco company--who liked the idea of supporting Huckabee's preaching how government assisted healthcare for the uninsured was really evil. It's better the uninsured just go untreated, right Holy Huckabee?

    Reject please,now!

    Posted by: Ouch | December 15, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

    Why is the suddenly politically correct media falling all over themselves to validate this idea that Mormon's don't believe Satan and Jesus were brothers? They DO believe that. I've known many Mormons, and whenever it came up, they shrugged and said that was doctrine.

    And actually, of all the other kooky things their sci-fi controlling community (borderline cult, depends on where you set the bar) believes, THAT one is not all that bizarre to me. There's a kind of poetic symmetry to it, after all. There is good and evil in all of us, and what better way to symbolize that than have the mythical embodiment of good (Jesus) be brothers with the embodiment of evil (Satan). Joseph Smith made it all up of course (just as the early Christians created their mythology out of whole cloth), but as far as creative authorship goes, that little element is kind of sensible.

    Posted by: B2O2 | December 15, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

    THE "LIKES" OF HUCKABEE DO NOT BELONG IN THE WHITE HOUSE. DEMENTED ATTITUDES OF A PRESIDENT DO NOT REFLECT THE MAJORITY OF THIS COUNTRY. PERSONAL RELIGEOUS BELIEFS HAVE NO PLACE IN THE ADMINISTERING OF WHAT IS BEST FOR THIS COUNTRY==THE CONSTITUTION SAYS SO==WE ARE A COUNTRY OF LAWS==LET'S KEEP IT THAT WAY.

    Posted by: ELI FREEDMAN | December 15, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

    Shortly before capture, Wayne Dumond mutilated his genitals, a not uncommon remorseful act by serial rapists. The right wing crazies, as usual without any evidence whatsoever, blamed this as an act of revenge by second cousin once removed Bill Clinton. Huckabee's pushing for Dumond's release was in response to the lunatic right wing charges against Clinton. Just helping the "fact checker" keep his facts straight.

    Posted by: bobzen | December 15, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

    Bill Clinton was a second cousin once removed of one of the victims. Sorry if there is any confusion.

    Posted by: bobzen | December 15, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

    You say "one of [Dumond's] alleged victims was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton." Wayne Dumond was in fact convicted of raping Ashley Stevens; she was not his "alleged" victim, but his actual victim. Of course, Dumond had other victims as well, and it would be a nice irony if Huckabee's presidential aspirations end up a victim of Dumond's crimes, or rather of Huckabee's own role in springing Dumond and then "fibbing" about it.

    Posted by: Bruce Hunt | December 15, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

    Currently linked on the home page of Salon.com is a shocking expose on Huckabee's feckless habit which was not limited to this one murderer/rapist.

    Posted by: jhbyer | December 15, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

    It's too bad the 'Fact Checker' didn't check the facts before he declared that Huckabee made a false statement in asking the question of whether Mormons believed that Jesus is the devil are brothers.

    The fact of the matter is that they do.

    Check out the following link but don't take the writers word for what he is saying. Check out the sources that he has referenced.

    http://www.irr.org/mit/Huckabee-Mormon-Jesus-Satan-brothers.html

    According to the Mormon religion it is clear they believe that God, Jesus, the devil, along with all human kind are one species and related as spirit brothers.

    Posted by: Daveg | December 15, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

    How do you score intentional ignorance??

    Most assuredly, in 1992 most people with any interest in current affairs knew the causes and means of transmission of HIV. And this was a WRITTEN questionnaire, so he would have had time to check with somebody who might actually know something before responding. The claim that isolation is different from quarantine is just absolutely absurd. And he's theoretically not a dummy, having graduated from Ouachita Baptist University at the age of 20.

    Since Huckabee claims not to believe in evolution (a fact which should disqualify anyone seeking to be President in the 20th century, as should a claimed disbelief in, say, the theory of electromagnetism), I assume that neither he nor any members of his family have had flu shots. Perhaps someone from the Post can ask him?

    It is very disappointing that no one in the "mainstream media" has touched on the Huckster's enthusiastic support for legally enforceable "Covenant marriages," which effectively eliminate most grounds for divorce.

    Separately, I think that the state of our economy, the state of our nation, and the state of our world document the undesirability of having a president who claims to have conversations with his heavenly father. Either W is not listening to the answers, or the person he's talking to has a grotesquely overrated reputation for omniscience, or it's not the same god that Christians and Moslems and Jews adhere to. If the Huckster is going to comment on Romney's faith, he should be asked about W's, especially since W claims to be of the same faith community.

    Posted by: Ed A | December 16, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

    I suppose that's the best that the WaPo and their resident NAFTASuperhighway-denier can offer, but let me suggest this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIbDAVQMKGM

    As well as the misleading statements the MSM makes about what Huck supported:

    lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007304.html

    And, for the sleazy underbelly, try this:

    lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007229.html

    And, it'd be nice if someone in the MSM would take him to task for comments like this:

    lonewacko.com/blog/archives/005609.html

    Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | December 16, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

    Why is the Fact Checker treating Huckabee's question about Mormon's believing Jesus and Lucifer are brothers as false? One can cite any number of Mormon sources for this doctrinal position. Milton R. Hunter, a 30-year member of the LDS church's First Council of the Seventy, a position of high ecclesiastical authority in the church, wrote in his book The Gospel Through the Ages:

    "The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind." (p. 15)

    Likewise, Bruce McConkie, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which is second in church authority only to the president's council, wrote in his book Mormon Doctrine that the devil is "a spirit son of God who was born in the morning of pre-existence" (p. 192).

    The accepted LDS church doctrine is that Jesus is the "firstborn" of Elohim, and that all other beings are spirit brothers and sisters born of Elohim's subsequent celestial relations. Even a look at the official LDS website confirms this:

    "Satan, also called the adversary or the devil, is the enemy of all righteousness and of those who seek to follow God. He is a spirit son of God who was once an angel "in authority in the presence of God" (D&C 76:25; see also Isaiah 14:12; D&C 76:26-27). But in the premortal Council in Heaven, Lucifer, as Satan was then called, rebelled against God."

    http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&index=19&sourceId=2bc9f73c28d98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____
    (Go to lds.org and look under "Satan" in the "Gospel Topics" of the "Gospel Library" if this link doesn't work.)

    Whenever this criticism of Mormonism is raised, the Mormon church often distances itself from the idea that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers with a sort of doublespeak, falling back on the statement that Jesus is "the Only Begotten Son of the Father in flesh," but the "in flesh" is crucial. Jesus and Lucifer and everyone else are spirit siblings, according to LDS doctrine, but only Jesus is the fleshly son of Elohim since Elohim came to earth and impregnated Mary, creating the fleshly body which the spirit Jesus inhabited.

    In short, is the devil Jesus' fleshly brother? No. Satan was denied the chance at a fleshly body when he rebelled in heaven. Is the devil Jesus' spirit brother? Yes. They and everyone else are the celestial offspring of Elohim (the Father).

    Huckabee was maybe out of line for making an inflammatory religious jab against Romney, but he was not factually incorrect. I'm amazed that the media, without actually researching the facts, treats Huckabee as if he told a fib. Indeed, the Mormon church's own website confirms that Huckabee, in a basic sense, is right.


    Posted by: blert | December 18, 2007 3:45 AM | Report abuse

    If you can't recognize the fact that the universe is over 5,000 years old, you don't have the intellectual abilities needed to be a fucntioning human being no less president of the USA.
    This guy is as phony as they come. The press sees him as a 'nice guy' and gives him a free pass.
    Hey buddy, just because you're from Arkansas doesn't mean you can blame the Clinton's for everything.

    Posted by: Jeff Stern | December 18, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

    Blert, this is an example of something that is "true but false." See my update here:

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/12/true_but_false_1.html

    Posted by: The Fact Checker | December 19, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

    I had posted the question in the chat today about the Huckabee dog story. I think the focus has been on the alleged quashing of a criminal investigation by the Governor. (The son was 17 at the time -- still a minor.) The Newsweek story -- http://www.newsweek.com/id/78241 --

    But John Bailey, then the director of Arkansas's state police, tells NEWSWEEK that Governor Huckabee's chief of staff and personal lawyer both leaned on him to write a letter officially denying the local prosecutor's request. Bailey, a career officer who had been appointed chief by Huckabee's Democratic predecessor, said he viewed the lawyer's intervention as improper and terminated the conversation. Seven months later, he was called into Huckabee's office and fired. "I've lost confidence in your ability to do your job," Bailey says Huckabee told him. One reason Huckabee cited was "I couldn't get you to help me with my son when I had that problem," according to Bailey. "Without question, [Huckabee] was making a conscious attempt to keep the state police from investigating his son," says I. C. Smith, the former FBI chief in Little Rock, who worked closely with Bailey and called him a "courageous" and "very solid" professional.

    Huckabee called Bailey's account "totally untrue" and described him as a "bitter" exemployee.

    Posted by: Centreville | December 19, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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