Friday, November 03, 2006

Huckabee: Beebe Supporter Trying to Revise History

In the bad old days of one-party rule in Arkanas, Democratic Senator Nick Wilson and pals passed a bill that would make Wilson cronies tons of cash by taking money that was meant to help disadvantaged children. New Governor Mike Huckabee looked at the way the bill was structured and smelled a rat. He vetoed the bill. His veto was over-ridden with the help of influential then-Senator Mike Beebe. Sure enough, the deal was dirty. The local Democrats would not prosecute Wilson and company, but the Feds would and did.

Fast forward about a decade. The issue in the Governor's race is "did Mike Beebe turn a blind eye to corruption in order to gain more power within the Senate?" His reputation was one of knowing everything going on at the Capitol. If then outsider Huckabee could smell a rat in the legislation, why couldn't Beebe? Recently, Beebe supporters have offered some new excuses for Beebe's old actions. Huckabee called them out on one story today:

Huckabee said, “I was shocked to read the comments supposedly attributed to the Director of DFA that the reason for vetoing the Nick Wilson bill in 1997 was its connection to the budget of the Governor’s Mansion. While I realize that Mr. Weiss is a contributor and supporter of the Democrat nominee and is free to support the candidate of his choice, he is not free to rewrite history.

That bill was vetoed because of the way it would have set up the program with a process that would lend itself to funneling money to a process not subject to normal procedures. The Wilson bill had stink written all over it, I vetoed it, and Mr. Beebe helped lead the effort to override the veto as a favor to his friends in the Senate and without regard to the reasons for which the bill was vetoed. Beebe was not implicated in any of the scandal of making money off this scam, but to say he didn't help his pals in the Senate get the bill passed including helping override a veto because "pals and politics" were more important than propriety is simply absurd."

Asa Hutchinson also has some questions for AG Beebe concerning the events surrounding the bill and the veto-override. Click FRIDAY below and scroll down for those, or if sent straight here, just scroll down.


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"So there's a very simple question for Mike Beebe: Why did he vote to override Gov. Huckabee's veto, and the warning signs surrounding Nick Wilson's scheme, if he was doing all he could to oppose Wilson?" Hutchinson asked. "The warning signs indicated that this legislation was corrupt from the beginning. Gov. Huckabee certainly recognized those signs, saying that the bill sent up 'red flags' for him. Why did Beebe, who was a leader of the Senate and an acknowledged master of legislative process, not pick up on those warning signals? Did he not know what he was voting for? Or was a willing participant in allowing Wilson to move forward with his scam?"

For a time-line of the scandal, but this in your browser window...

9:41 AM, November 03, 2006  

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