Fun is fun. We're ready to move on. But there's still some mopup to be done on the Huckabees' rush for gifts as Gov. Mike Huckabee leaves office and his ire over being asked about same.
Stephens Media elicits a defense of the $7,500 worth of china and crystal being given by the nonprofit Governor's Mansion Association to Mrs. Huckabee. Also in that article, Ethics Commission director Graham Sloan answers a question we'd posed earlier about gifts to spouses of public officials.
However, the state statute that prohibits public servants from accepting gifts worth more than $100 - with several exceptions - does not apply to spouses, Sloan said.
Sloan said a gift that is given to a public servant's spouse but is clearly intended for the public servant, not the spouse, would be prohibited. He was not sure whether gifts that can be used by both the public servant and the spouse would be prohibited.
"I don't know that the commission has ever been called upon to answer that question," he said.
The Democrat-Gazette today has a frontpage followup to our reporting on the china and crystal. Get it by copying and pasting this:
The Democrat-Gazette editorially laughs off the stories as inconsequential. Guess why? Clinton did gift registries, too. (But they didn't take $7,500 worth of dishes from a nonprofit established for another purpose.) Note: We reported the Clinton registries in our very first story. Cheesy then. Cheesy now. Also, are we to presume that the Clinton clause would be the response if somebody found an intern under Bro. Huckabee's desk? Clinton did it, too? Finally, the Huckabee people have planted at the D-G something they mentioned to me: Jim Guy Tucker did it, too. Specifically that he got a free house to live in from friend and appointee Sam Winstead after he left office rather abruptly and soon embarked on long-term medical care He moved for a time into a house Winstead owned. Did he pay rent? I don't know. Sam?
Here's link to D-G editorial to copy and paste
But a better editorial to copy and paste is that from the Northwest Arkansas Times
Why? An excerpt after a mention that the governor has blamed us for current woes:
Brantley’s publication certainly has been no lapdog of the governor, but in this case, it happened upon something that was a legitimate story for Arkansans who have lent Huckabee their support for years, and upon whom he will no doubt continue to rely as he thinks about higher aspirations. What’s crazy is Huckabee’s reaction, which helped launch this into an even bigger story. The stories haven’t been inaccurate. Huckabee apparently just doesn’t like what some people may think of the registries and Arkansas’ first couple as a result. Why wouldn’t this be worth reporting ? Why else would the press cover his visits to New Hampshire and Iowa, or efforts in marathons across the country, unless he were a celebrity, a public figure of some magnitude ? Presidential candidate Huckabee is going to have to toughen up considerably. This story is nothing compared to what the national journalists will tackle if he decides to run.