by Max Brantley
So today, in response to Jim Parsons' ethics complaint, Gov. Mike Huckabee's lawyer, Kevin Crass, told reporters the governor would reveal the people who paid for his official portrait if the Ethics Commission told him to do so. (Crass told me later that the governor has said for several weeks he'd be happy to release the list, but didn't want it to be seen as admission of wrongdoing.)
You may recall that Huckabee disclosed the portrait as a gift of the artist. It was not. It was a gift from the people who paid the artist almost $32,000 for the painting -- or at the very least from the committee that raised the money through a special fund. This is the customary practice for gubernatorial portraits.
Why, oh why, couldn't Huckabee simply disclose his patrons on the front end? It would be a refreshing change if, for once, he erred on the side of openness. It is not his way, though, and acts such as these tend to build his Hucksterish reputation.
UPDATE: I spoke a little too quickly. The former governor has now revealed the contributors, though the Ethics Commission has not yet ruled on whether his initial filing was improper. Crass said he sent an amended report to the Ethics Commission this week. It was entered in the public file today. Read on for full list of donors.Game and Fish Commission appointee Craig Campbell, the power company Entergy and Little Rock businessman Tom Schueck, a Pollution Control and Ecology Commission appointee, with $5,000 donations each, were top contributors.
Governor's portrait donors:
Bunny Adcock, $100; Mike Akin, $500; Cecil and Kathy Alexander, $100; Alltel, $1,500; John Ed Anthony, $1,000; Dick Barclay, $100; Bill Barnes, $100; Linda Beene, $25; Freddie Black, $500; John Brackin, $50; Marynell Branch, $20; Jay Bunyard, $50; Allen Bush, $100; Craig Campbell, $5,000; Ralph and Dixie Carlson, $100; Claude Carpenter, $100; Bill Clark, $500; Coca-Cola of Fort Smith, $250;
Sammie Cox (AEP), $1,000; Drew Crawford, $1,000; Jim Creech, $125; Niel Crowson, $1,000; Barbara Dodge, $25; Entergy, $5,000; Friday, Eldridge and Clark, $1,000; Ron Fuller, $1,000; Woody Futrell, $200; Robin Green, $50; Debbie and David Haak, $100; Bob Harrison, $25; Gary Heral, $100; Kaneaster Hodges, $100; Mrs. James Humphrey, $50;
Johnelle Hunt, $200; Jerry Jackson, $100; Bryan Jeffrey, $250; Gene Jines, $50; John Knight, $25; LGD LLC, $50; Lloyd Lindsey, $100; Darryl Little, $50; Benny Magness, $500; Karen McFarren, $25; Dwight McInturf, $500; Outpatient Radiology, $200; Quick Silver Timber, $500;
Stanley Reed, $500; Jane Rogers, $200; Carl Rosenbaum, $250; Charles Scharlau, $500; Tom Schueck, $5,000; John Selig, $50; John Shannon, $50; Alex Strawn, $200; Sandy Strooper, $100; Brenda Turner, $100; Sonny Varnell, $100; Jim von Gremp, $500; Doyle Webb, $100; Richard Weiss, $50; Chad White, $100.