by Max Brantley
Mike Huckabee's advocacy of rapist/killer Wayne Dumond's release has hit YouTube in a piece Talking Points Memo terms brutal in the course of looking into its provenance. The mother of Dumond's Missouri murder victim is featured.
An Arkansas Republican, Keith Emis, takes responsibility. (And there wasn't a deep secret. He's encouraged the mother to tell reporters who did the piece and his phone number appears on the registration for the website set up to carry the video.) Here's his e-mail to me:
Hello. This is Keith Emis. I organized the production of the attached video. Below is a statement regarding Mike Huckabee, Lois Davidson and Carol Sue Shields.
I saw Mrs. Davidson on CBS News last week talking about how Wayne Dumond murdered her daughter Carol Sue Shields. Shields was murdered because Mike Huckabee began pushing for Dumond's freedom when he became governor. Dumond was eventually released.
There is no doubt Mrs. Davidson has a powerful story to tell, but I wasn't sure she had an outlet to share it. I agreed with her that Mike Huckabee has no business being president.
I have always been a behind the scenes guy in Arkansas politics, working for Fay Boozman in 1998 and Senator Tim Hutchinson in 2002, so being out front on
anything political is highly unusual for me, but this is different.
I contacted Mrs. Davidson and asked her if she would be willing to speak on camera about her daughter, her daughter's murderer, and the man who helped win his freedom. I got a camera crew to go with me to Missouri to Mrs. Davidson's home. We filmed a very kind lady who shouldn't have lost her daughter.
Mrs. Davidson's story is important. It's one that anyone voting in the Republican primaries should hear.
Keith W. Emis
Emis, 29, grew up in Fayetteville and works in his family's Data Forms business in Greenland. He said he incurred no expenses, save gas and video tapes, and used friends as volunteer help, including one with video production experience. His uncle Donn Emis, a Fayetteville DJ, did the voiceover.
Emis said the stories about the Missouri victims' families moved him. He called Mrs. Davidson and asked if he could visit. She talked to him Sunday and he returned Tuesday and Wednesday to do the video. He declines to talk about politics, such as other disagreements he might have, if any, with Mike Huckabee. Emis comes from a part of the state where Huckabee has left many disaffected Republicans, however, on account of issues ranging from taxes to immigration. Emis wants to stick to Dumond.
"I am not supporting anyone in the presidential race," he said.
"It really made me sad. She's just a simple, nice woman [and a retired Wal-Mart employee]. Her daughter was murdered and it didn't have to happen. And it did happen because Mike Huckabee worked to get Wayne Dumond out of prison."