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Huckabee Campaign Press Release - Huckabee Campaign Refutes New Romney Ad

December 19, 2007

Little Rock, AR - The Huckabee for President Campaign today issued the following "Truth Squad" response to a new TV ad by the Romney campaign:

Response to Romney December 17 Attack Ad

TRUTH: Governor Huckabee was tougher on methamphetamine manufacturers than Governor Romney

In a new attack ad released today, Governor Romney attempts to contrast his position on drugs with that of Governor Huckabee. The ad says that Romney got "Tough on Drugs Like Meth," while Governor Huckabee "Reduced Penalties for Manufacturing Meth." What Romney fails to mention is that -- even with the reductions -- Governor Huckabee was tougher on methamphetamine manufacturers than Governor Romney was.

¢ The "reduced penalty" in Arkansas was a requirement that meth manufacturers serve 50 percent of their sentence rather than 70 percent before being eligible for parole. In Arkansas, the average meth dealer spends an average of 10 years in prison.

¢ In contrast, the source quoted in the Romney ad that claimed Romney "got tough" on drugs notes, "The punishment would be either 2 1/2 years in jail or five years in prison."

Let's compare: Under Huckabee, 10 years; Under Romney, 5 years

The ad also states that Romney "never pardoned a single criminal." But this begs the question: how many clemency cases did he actually review while he was governor of Massachusetts? Or did he simply avoid his responsibility as chief executive of the state to review clemency cases and give petitioners a fair hearing?

The ad also points out that Governor Huckabee granted more clemencies than the "previous three governors…combined." It doesn't mention that two of the previous three governors were Bill Clinton and convicted felon Jim Guy Tucker. Governor Huckabee's clemency rate, however, was in line with other governors who have served the state.

Romney also fails to acknowledge that in Arkansas, every person who is convicted of a crime and every person in prison is eligible for clemency. Because of this, the number of clemency applications is extraordinarily high. Governor Huckabee had 8,698 applications during his 10 ½ years in office.

Some Governors are content to simply deny the vast majority of clemency applications without bothering to consider their merit.

Governor Huckabee, however, believed that respect for the legal process required that he give them the consideration for which they were entitled.

During his tenure, Governor Huckabee denied over 80 percent of the applications.

Before granting clemency, the Governor issues a notice of intent and opens a 30-day public comment period in which people can protest the decision. Very rarely does the public oppose a clemency because almost all are granted for minor offenses, involve reductions in fines, or reduced prison sentences that were longer than the average for a particular crime.

During the 10 ½ years Mike Huckabee was governor the number of government agencies and businesses that conducted background checks increased at an incredible rate. The terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, have resulted in increased concerns regarding security. Potential job candidates and long-time employees considered for promotion are under increased scrutiny.

Before the mainstream use of background checks, most people could have some youthful arrest, change their lives and become good, tax-paying citizens without that earlier arrest coming back to haunt them.

Governor Huckabee found during his time in office that each year the number of people needing clemency to clear their record increased. Denying their request prevented them from continuing to earn a good living and pay taxes. The majority of the clemency requests he granted were for this reason.

Nevertheless, on behalf of the Mike Huckabee for President campaign, we want to wish Governor Romney, his family and his staff, a very merry Christmas.

Additional Notes:

What is Clemency?

Clemency is the process through which the Governor considers requests for granting reprieves, commutations of sentence, and pardons after conviction.

What is a Pardon?

A pardon is the exemption of a convicted person from the penalties of an offense or crime. A pardon can be requested by someone who is no longer incarcerated.

Who May Apply for Clemency?

Any person serving a term of any number of years, life, life without parole, or a sentence of death may apply for executive clemency. A person who is not presently incarcerated may also apply.

What are the Steps in the Clemency Application Process?

1. Any person making a request for clemency must first have their application processed by the Board of Parole in what is called a screening. This will determine if there is any merit to the application. A victim can only make written recommendations to the Board of Parole during this step of the process.

2. If the application is found to have merit, it will most likely be scheduled for a hearing before the Board of Parole. A victim will be notified (if they have requested these notifications) when a hearing is scheduled and can contact the Board of Parole about providing written or oral recommendations. Once the hearing is complete the Board will vote on a recommendation to send to the Governor for final action.

3. The Governor will review the application, the recommendation of the Board of Parole, and all other pertinent materials before making his decision. If the Governor intends to grant the application for clemency, he will announce his intent and allow a 30 day period for public comment. If the Governor decides to deny the application it will be announced and no further action will be taken.


Mike Huckabee, Huckabee Campaign Press Release - Huckabee Campaign Refutes New Romney Ad Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/292964

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