Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Pinocchio Factor: Huckabee and the Arkansas DREAMERS

Huckabee is denying that he endorsed scholarships for DREAMERS as governor of Arkansas. He had been looking like a more humane human being than most of his rivals, but unfortunately, he has decided to join the pack. His nose is growing by the minute.

Even so, at the moment, there is no way he can beat Giuliani or Romney, whose noses are so long they could be used as bridges from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

The GOP in general must think that the American voter is either blind or totally stupid. This type of attitude will bring drastic consequences at the end of the campaign season.


A Tuition Deal For Immigrants?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007; A04
Washington Post

Now that he has become a front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee is feeling the heat from other Republican candidates, who are scrutinizing his record as governor of Arkansas for evidence of "liberal" or "Democratic" inclinations. One leading rival, Fred D. Thompson, has accused Huckabee of having "championed" an effort to permit illegal immigrants to benefit from in-state tuition rates at state universities. Huckabee has denied the charge, saying that his support was limited to a much more restrictive scholarship program.

Huckabee's denials fly in the face of the record.

During his annual State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature in January 2005, Huckabee proposed making "any student graduating from a high school in Arkansas" eligible for state financial aid. He said it was "terribly unjust" to deny such aid solely on the basis of a student's immigration status, "a status that he had no decision in and no control over."

"Huckabee plan would aid illegal aliens," the state's leading newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, reported the following day.

The wording of the governor's proposal was a little vague. A Democratic state legislator, Joyce Elliott, had already proposed legislation granting in-state tuition status to undocumented immigrants. During talks with the governor's staff, Elliott agreed to include a scholarship provision in her bill, which became known as House Bill 1525. She says both parts of the bill were fully supported by Huckabee. "I never had the slightest indication that he wanted any changes," Elliott, who no longer serves in the legislature, said. "He clearly supported the entire bill, and I never heard anything different from them."

Huckabee defended the bill in conversations with reporters and expressed disappointment when the measure failed to pass the Arkansas Senate by two votes. "I don't understand the opposition to it, I just honestly don't," he said, according to an April 14, 2005, Associated Press report. "It hurts me on a personal as well as a policy level to think that we are still debating issues that I kind of hoped we had put aside in the 1960s."

Asked about the measure during the Nov. 28 CNN-YouTube debate, Huckabee said his proposal applied to students who had been in Arkansas schools from the time they were "5 or 6 years old" and were "A-plus" students, "drug and alcohol free," and in the process of "applying for citizenship." He implied that his support was limited to these students, a point reiterated by his spokeswoman Kirsten Fedewa.

"He did not support in-state tuition," Fedewa said in an e-mail. "He supported scholarships for students who qualified."

The distinction that Huckabee is attempting to draw is an artificial one. His original State of the State address talked about making all Arkansas high school graduates eligible for state financial aid, not just A-plus students applying for citizenship. Huckabee was particularly interested in the scholarship part of the bill. But it is untrue to claim that he did not support in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Three Pinocchios.

ONE PINOCCHIO: Some shading of the facts.
TWO PINOCCHIOS: Significant omissions or exaggerations.
THREE PINOCCHIOS: Significant factual errors.
FOUR PINOCCHIOS: Real whoppers.
THE GEPPETTO CHECK MARK: Statements and claims contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

article and small pinocchios: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121702098.html

photo of large pinocchio: http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/3517105/2/istockphoto_3517105_pinocchio_superliar.jpg

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