by Max Brantley
It has been widely reported that the strange evangelist K.A. Paul (pictured) had a sitdown with House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Now, in an interview with Mother Jones, Paul (real name Anand Kilari) claims he convinced Hastert to resign over the Foley affair. He hasn't -- yet.
Just in time for K.A. Paul's emergence in the Hastert scandal is some alternative press reporting on this strange man. And wouldn't you know it. Our own favorite globe-trotting evangelist figures in the story, the Bro. Gov himself.
The June article references what we've reported before -- that Gov. Mike Huckabee has cultivated the globetrotting evangelist Paul (he flies a 747 pictured here). Huckabee once hosted what was described as a "state dinner" for him. He went to Washington in behalf of the Global Peace Initiative, an organization founded by Paul, to call for a national day of fasting and prayer Nov. 3, 2001. Huckabee also in January 2002 flew to India with Paul, who spoke at a mass rally. Huckabee said he'd never seen such a crowd, not even at a Hog game.
Now from the Houston Press, a passage that might give you a hint at what The Huckster might see in K.A. Paul (what else? moolah):
In 2004, when Carl Lindner Jr. gave Kilari a few million bucks to fly medical supplies to tsunami victims, Lindner alerted the media and made sure his altruism was well documented. But when asked to describe his relationship with Kilari today, Lindner would not comment. A spokeswoman said Lindner's relationship with Kilari is "a private matter."
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is another curious figure. The Republican has made overtures of mounting a presidential campaign, and e-mails between Huckabee and [Global Peace Initiative Director Doug] Dodson show that Huckabee was extremely eager to meet Lindner, a major Republican backer.
Huckabee hosted a bash for Kilari's people at the governor's mansion the day before Lindner's party. But when asked if he's still friends with Kilari, Huckabee's response was vague: "It's been many months or maybe a year since we have talked," Huckabee replied in a written statement. "I have not had much contact, but it has always been cordial."