Mike Huckabee has found that along with press love comes press scrutiny.
Touted with headlines such as the “surging” Huckabee, the “Huckabee support strong” and “Surprising Huckabee”, Huckabee’s campaign has to now deal with the “A Son’s Past Deeds Come Back to Bite Huckabee” headline and story at Newsweek.
Under the mug shot from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department of son, David, is a story detailing Jr. Huckabee’s past run-ins with the law: allegations of torturing and hanging a stray dog, being arrested with a pistol at the Arkansas Airport and allegations that dad Mike leaned on some people to keep the dog story from escalating.
One issue likely to get attention is his handling of a sensitive family matter: allegations that one of his sons was involved in the hanging of a stray dog at a Boy Scout camp in 1998. The incident led to the dismissal of David Huckabee, then 17, from his job as a counselor at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, Ark.
It also prompted the local prosecuting attorney— bombarded with complaints generated by a national animal-rights group—to write a letter to the Arkansas state police seeking help investigating whether David and another teenager had violated state animal-cruelty laws. The state police never granted the request, and no charges were ever filed.
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.
There have been whispers that Huckabee advocates have dropped phone messages to voters questioning candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. Huckabee himself made a sly remark that implied that Romney believed Jesus and Satan were brothers.
Questions cut both ways: now questions are popping up about Huckabee’s son and Huckabee’s involvement in quashing an investigation.
Perhaps the allegations are nothing more than rumors or sly remarks from rival campaigns. Either way, the national press is now paying attention to them.
As we earlier stated in articles, Huckabee is just the latest in a long line of ‘media darlings’. When the press ends its fickle love affair, often times the break-up is acrimonious.
Newsday’s article on David Huckabee’s past troubles may be the latest proof.