Revolution 2010 recently informed us of an article written by Mother Jones that discusses the hard drives from Governor Huckabee's office that were destroyed at the end of his term.
Huckabee rebutted in an article in US News and World Report.
"What I don't understand is how the supposed 'legitimate' press is used for pawns by Mother Jones, Media Matters, and other partisan organizations and how they could use material from sources like that without doing their own fact checking," says Huckabee of outlets that linked to Mother Jones's story on his missing records and computer hard drives.
Huckabee, who tops several Republican presidential preference polls, says that charge is a lie. He tells our Suzi Parker: "The absurd insinuation that my office 'destroyed' state records or that records are 'missing' is the same old political canard that was attempted years ago and failed then for the same reason it will fail now—it's factually challenged." He adds, "This would be a laughable smear campaign except that it appears that few journalists are doing the legwork to get the real story from objective sources."
At issue are gubernatorial hard drives that were wiped clean. The magazine suggests a sinister motive. But Huckabee says everything was done on the up-and-up. "Those hard drives were removed and replaced at a cost of just over $13,000 which our office paid for out of our transition budget so there would be no cost incurred by the incoming administration. Reports that the state spent over $350,000 on new computers were solely because the new governor wanted all new equipment, even though the existing hardware was operable and modern. That decision had nothing to do with my administration and amazingly was never questioned or investigated by the 'in the tank' Capitol press corps," he says.
What's more, he adds, "Even a frivolous lawsuit filed over this was dismissed with a thud because we carefully and meticulously followed state law and practices with the official records (which were properly filed with the Secretary of State or left for the incoming governor) and my personal papers and articles donated to the archives of my alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University."
Notice that he doesn't even address the issue that he is hiding something by destroying those hard drives. He just says that he followed state law in doing so. Why did those hard drives need to be scrubbed then crushed? What was he hiding? US News points out that Clinton did the same thing. Oh, so that makes a good defense huh? Weren't they hiding their Whitewater and Paula Jones scandals when they destroyed their hard drives? Great precedent there Huckster. Again, what were you hiding Huckabee?
Mother Jones rebutted the US News article with this
As we reported, these are not "absurd insinuations." What happened to Huckabee's gubernatorial records was documented in this memo from the Arkansas Department of Information Systems. It confirms that the hard drives containing the records were erased and then destroyed. Copies of the records were placed in the hands of former Huckabee staffer Brenda Turner, who is now the communications director for a Christian greeting card company. Turner has not said what she did with the backups. She refused to talk to us. Here's the relevant part of the 2007 document, which was addressed to the outgoing Gov. Huckabee:
We also reported that the state of Arkansas had to shell out $335,000 to replace the hardware that the Huckabee administration had destroyed. Huckabee doesn’t deny this. But he blames the decision to spend that money on his Democratic successor, Gov. Mike Beebe, who "wanted all new equipment, even though the existing hardware was operable and modern." Again, Huckabee is contradicted by the above mentioned memo, which notes that "the drives have been subsequently crushed under the supervison of a designee of your office." That is, the drives were destroyed on Huckabee's watch, not Beebe's.
It is becoming so predictable that Huckabee doubles down and blames others when confronted with his failings and sleaze.