November 18, 2006

Weekend Question 1: What Is It About Arkansas Governors?

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 1:05 pm

ANSWER: I don’t know for sure, but there must be something about the water in the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock that turns its occupants into cynical grifters.

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First it was the Clintons shipping White House furniture (WaPo story) to their home in Chappaqua, NY. Then it was Hillary Clinton’s stream of gifts received (NY Times original link not available; link is to a FreeRepublic post with the Maureen Dowd column contents) only days before she fell under the ethics rules of the US Senate.

Now departing Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and his wife appear to have outdone the Clintons (if not in dollars, certainly in chutzpah) by registering as newlyweds at two deparment stores so they can accept gifts for the home they are moving into as private citizens:

Monday, November 13, 2006 12:13 PM CST
Huckabees Registered For Gifts

LITTLE ROCK — “Wedding” registries in the names of Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, have been set up at two department store chains in advance of the Huckabees’ move out of the Governor’s Mansion into a private home.

The term-limited governor leaves office in January, and friends of Janet Huckabee created the registries at Dillard’s and Target stores to help facilitate their transition to private life, Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart said Friday.

The Huckabees purchased a 7,000-square-foot home in North Little Rock this year.

“Some ladies who are friends of Janet’s are giving her a housewarming party,” Stewart said.

Arkansas law prohibits public servants from accepting any gift worth more than $100, unless the gift is conferred “on account of a bona fide personal, professional or business relationship” independent of the recipient’s official status.

“Items costing more than $100 which are given to public servants to show appreciation for their efforts (i.e., to reward them for doing their job) or to reward them for past or future action are prohibited under this rule,” the law states.

Gifts from relatives are not prohibited, nor are wedding or engagement gifts.

The Huckabees married in 1974. They entered into a covenant marriage in February 2005.

Huckabee, a Republican, appears to have presidential aspirations. Zheesh.

I suppose we should be grateful the couple didn’t register at Nieman Marcus.

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