Monday, April 4, 2011

Huckabee's transparency problem

When Mother Jones magazine asked the Arkansas governor's office for records generated during Mike Huckabee's tenure, the response they got was, well, not encouraging ...
[New governor Mike] Beebe's chief legal counsel, Tim Gauger, replied in a letter that "former Governor Huckabee did not leave behind any hard-copies of the types of documents you seek. Moreover, at that time, all of the computers used by former Governor Huckabee and his staff had already been removed from the office and, as we understand it, the hard-drives in those computers had already been 'cleaned' and physically destroyed."

He added, "In short, our office does not possess, does not have access to, and is not the custodian of any of the records you seek."
Thankfully, the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives harvests a great deal of data from the governor's office before he/she leaves office, so Kentuckians needn't worry too much about this kind of thing happening. But it's an object lesson in what can happen when one branch of government is able to effectively hide its own performance record from citizens.


Anonymous said...

Why are you calling out Mike Huckabee? There are no scandals that I know of from his administration. And certainly none that effect Kentucky.

I think there needs to be some discrimination involved in "transparency" after all, even George Washington used secret spies to defeat the British during the Revolution. I don't think Kentuckians need to be wasting their time looking for some "gotcha" that Mike Huckabee once used his governor email to check in with his wife or other such nonsense. We've got $4 a gallon gas to worry about.

Transparency should be used to lead to real policy reform, not just for the sake of publicizing every heated meeting, every personal email, every whatever... We've got bigger fish to fry.

Joshua Koch said...

Mike Huckabee is an absolute disgrace as a person, a person of faith, and an elected official.

He has made a career of playing Christians against other groups, as well as masquerading as a phony fiscal conservative. Cloaked in the trappings of the FairTax foolishness, he has openly begged for tax hikes in Arkansas.

I find it ironic that such a fraud should be tripped up over destroying records that should be public record. After all, if Huckabee did all of these things while on the taxpayers' dime, destroying records of what he did is criminal. That standard of transparency exists whether you like him or not.