by Max Brantley
There's nothing to do but scoop ourselves.
This week's print edition of the Arkansas Times, now in distribution, has an Insider on rumors that Gov. and Janet Huckabee were preparing for post-gubernatorial days by buying a large home on Silverwood Trail in North Little Rock's Shady Valley. His terms ends in early January and he's said he'll take a job then as director of the Ouachita Baptist University's new Center for Education and Public Policy.
Multiple sources said they'd been told Huckabee was preparing to buy a house in Shady Valley in the $500,000 range. But no deed transfer had been filed as we went to press and we hadn't narrowed the home search.
Today, we completed the job. The governor closed this morning on the purchase of a house at 1134 Silverwood Trail, North Little Rock The sellers, Jerry and Billie Neal, who are in the business forms business, were to close their end of the deal this afternoon. It was a FSBO transaction. The Neals have bought a house in Maumelle.
The 6,400-square-foot house (4 BR, 5 BA, 2 1/2 BA, two kitchens, swimming pool, deck) sold for $525,000. We understand the quiet and upscale neighborhood's streets should provide a good training ground for the governor's jogging jones.
The house might seem a stretch for someone who's been making $75,000 or so a year. But the governor has been peddling books on the side and his overhead, thanks to taxpayers, has been virtually non-existent for 10 years. He also is completing the sale of a cottage at Lake Greeson for a price reportedly in the range of $380,000.
The gas mileage to drive an SUV from NLR down to Arkadelphia daily will eat The Huckster alive, however. Maybe Bro. Suhl -- he of the Lord's Ranch and of the $8.5 million in state Medicaid business -- can supply that need, as he's done with jet service for The Huckster's presidential travels.
P.S. TO GOV: Don't forget that the $70,000 worth of furniture supplied to you by Boe Adams stays at the Mansion. This is the stuff that you first said was yours. But then you agreed it was state property to get out of an early ethical pickle. We have an inventory, still, if you need a memory refresher when you pack the moving van.
P.P.S. Just for fun we looked back at 2002 election results. This precinct went 57 percent for The Huckster while the county as a whole was going almost 55 percent for Jimmie Lou Fisher. He'll be among friends. Had he moved to Arkadelphia, he'd also have been in a county that went for his opponent.