by Max Brantley
We turn your attention to the Insider column in this week's Times, now on the web.
It includes second quarter financial numbers from The Huckster's presidential exploratory vehicle, the Hope for America PAC. Anybody heard of FEQ Investments or Ernest Bartlett, who has the same address in Little Rock as that listed for FEQ? They really like the Huck apparently. Another $25,000 gift this quarter, on top of a similar gift first quarter from the apparently related FEQ Gas. Tommy Robinson, a former Huckabee appointee and lobbyist and sometime restaurant brawler, in a court filing once said he lobbied for an FEQ, by the way.
The most interesting contribution is the $10,000 that the Cella family of Oaklawn fame forked over to the putatively anti-gambling Huckster. He, of course, enraged his friends in the religious community during the 2005 legislative session by greasing the Oaklawn video poker bill to the quickest possible enactment. "Thank you, governor." "You're welcome, Mr. Cella and thank YOU."
But about the headline. Remember when the Huckster said -- implausibly we thought -- that a free jet flight from the Medicaid-rich Lord's Ranch operator Ted Suhl was not a gift to him but an "in-kind donation" to his PAC? (Did the PAC fly in the plane? Or did he, Sugar Button, daughter Sarah and staffer fly in the plane?) Anyway, there is one reported free flight, from Stardust Aviation of Las Vegas. That's not the name of the company listed on FAA records as owning Suhl's plane. See our cover story on the Lord's Ranch while you're at it.
Perhaps a reporter whose calls are returned by The Huckster can get him to clear up the matter of in-kind donations.