by Max Brantley
The Republican Party is distributing this invite to the after-party following Gov. Mike Huckabee's Dec. 16 presidential exploratory effort fund-raiser. It's only $50 and features the governor's band. If you give $100,000 at the gala, you get as many tickets as you want to the after-party.
We heard today from our original source on the gala fund-raising letter. He says Chad Rockett, who handles board and commission appointments on the governor's staff, is working the gala solicitation phone now that deputy chief of staff Kelly Boyd has taken a vacation break to Las Vegas. Rockett is reportedly searching for someone willing to plunk down $15,000 for "naming rights" to the after-party. Hey, Chad, have you tried Oaklawn or Southland Park? With the slots up and running at Southland and soon to be jangling at Oaklawn, it's the least they could do for the governor. And, hey, we just reported the guy the governor recently appointed to Game and Fish just bought a $2 million condo, maybe he'd like to help out.
On a more serious note: When will John McCain fire back at Huckabee for claiming McCain had an unfair advantage in fund-raising with senatorial campaign money to call on? Huckabee is presidential exploring, which, if you follow presidential exploratory committee rules, is more restrictive than the PAC under which Huckabee is operating. It allows corporate contributions in unlimited amounts. We'd ask the governor to explain, but, well, you know.
And is it really true, as rumor has it, that the governor was rebuffed in a fund-raising call to Ted Suhl, he who rakes in millions in state Medicaid money at the secretive Lord's Ranch in northern Arkansas and is sometimes a provider of private jet service to the governor? He owes the governor plenty. We'll be checking the contribution list at the appropriate time.