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home : blogs_old : off the cuff February 26, 2015

Off the Cuff
By Chris A. Porter
cporter@prescottaz.com
WNI Web Developer and PVtrib.com webmaster shares his perspective on technology, local and national politics, and life in the Quad-city area.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Spotlight on '08 Presidential Candidates - Part 2: Mike Huckabee

 Chris A. Porter

Mike Huckabee/Courtesy Photo

NOTE: This is Part 2 of a multi-part series of blogs spotlighting the candidates for President of the United States that I will be posting throughout the year up to the elections.

Mike Huckabee is a Republican party frontrunner in the current Presidential race. He was Arkansas' 44th Governor (1996-2007), and is running on a platform spotlighting the need for a "reawakening" of leadership to address America's infrastructure, education system, environment and health care. His key issues are as follows:

The Secure America Plan: This is Huckabee's 9-point plan for enforcing immigration issues and securing our nation's borders.

  • He is in favor of building a fence along our southern border utilizing a sophisticated surveillance camera network due for completion by 2010.

  • He wants to increase the number of border patrol agents.

  • He proposes a 120-day window for illegal immigrants to register with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration before returning to their home country. These registrants will face no penalty should they later apply for citizenship or visitation into this country. Non-registered immigrants who are found to be here illegally will be barred from reentry for 10 years. No special conditions in the citizenship process will be offered to those who leave and apply for return. Huckabee rejects any policies promoting amnesty.

  • He supports imposing steep fines and penalties to businesses employing illegal immigrants, and wants to revoke any tax status or benefits to illegal immigrants caught using fabricated social security numbers.

  • He wants to invoke the passage of FairTax to add an extra layer of security - thereby creating a disincentive for illegals to immigrate to the United States.

  • He aims to solidify the relationship between local and federal law enforcement agencies to counteract surges of illegal immigration by encouraging federal level immigration-law training, tools and funding for local law enforcement agencies.

  • He wants to end exemptions to the US-VISIT program, and reject Mexico's "matricula consular" card as a valid form of identification.

  • He supports the notification of foreign governments when one of their former citizens becomes a citizen of the United States. He advocates civil and criminal penalties for dual citizenship when used illigitimately (I.E. voting in both foreign and domestic elections).

  • He wishes to eliminate the visa lottery system, and abolish special admission circumstances given to any category of immigrants who are siblings of U.S. citizens. He encourages an increase in visas to highly skilled and educated applicants, an expedition of processing immigrants serving in our armed forces and general overall improvements to the current immigration system.

    Huckabee's Faith and Politics. He is a very faithful man, and he feels it defines him. However, he feels faith should be neither prohibited nor preferred. He feels that faith shouldn't be banished from the public square, and said venues should guarantee all voices and viewpoints are heard.

    Mike Huckabee is pro-life, and opposes embryonic cell research.

    He wants to adequately address concerns regarding the Veterans' Bill of Rights, and make health care for veterans mandatory, as well as make sure they receive the benefits, retirement and compensation they deserve.

    His education stance exhibits creativity. He is a strong advocate of the arts. He doesn't feel music and the arts are "extra-curricular, or expendable", but essential. He supports public schools, as well as home and charter schooling. Though be believes the goals of "No Child Left Behind" are admirable, he thinks individual states should be open to develop benchmarks on their own.

    Mike Huckabee believes our health care system is "irrevocably broken", and he wishes to overhaul to entire system. He thinks the health care system in our country is too expensive, and makes businesses "non-competitive" in the global economy due to a consumer lack of control regarding options in health care. He wants to make health care more consumer based than job based. He also supports giving states more leniency in being pioneers for new market-based approaches in medicine.

    His take on marriage: Mike Huckabee consistently defines marriage as "a union between one man and one woman". His role in passing legislation regarding marriage supports his viewpoint.

    He is a strong advocate for energy independence. Huckabee plans to achieve this by his second term of office if elected President. He actively wishes to explore conservation as an avenue to combat the War on Terror and avoid globalization. He plans to pursue research into alternative sources of energy, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass.

    Mike Huckabee is focused on winning the War in Iraq. He believes setting a time table for a troop withdrawal would be a mistake. Pulling out our troops would bring "serious strategic consequences for us and horrific humanitarian consequences for the Iraqis". Therefore, he favors that we utilize a strategic summit with Iraq's neighbors to try and militarily and financially stabilize the country.

    He wishes to expand our military, logistically and monetarily. Huckabee believes the long term goal for victory over terrorism is to empower moderates in the area to stamp out conditions that breed terror, such as Islamic extremism.

    Foreign Policy: Israel - Huckabee is a staunch supporter of Israel and believes they are our one true ally in the Middle East conflict. He will continue to maintain that the country always has shared access to the state-of-the-art technology and weaponry we possess in order to defend itself from common enemies as President. In Cuba, Mike Huckabee favors the installation of a democratic government over the current communist Castro regime, which he defines as an "outlaw" regime. Until these conditions are met, any legislation attempting to lift the current trade and travel embargoes will be rejected by him as President.

    He wants to focus on improving our nation's agricultural output by helping farmers achieve energy independence, encouraging young farmers to stay in farming by offering subsidies and making payments based on low yields as well as low prices in order to stay competitive with the highly subsidized Asian and European markets.

    Mike Huckabee is steadfast in reevaluating our crisis management strategies. He wants to "remove FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security and restore it to Cabinet status", so that the Director reports directly to him as President. He maintains that the Director he chooses will have sterling credentials and hands-on experience in dealing with major crisis situations. He believes the current inception of the Dept. of Homeland Security is "unwieldy and inefficient", and wishes to completely reassess its mission.

    He is a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment. He is the first Governor to possess a concealed handgun license, opposes gun control, assault weapon bans, the Brady Bill and frivolous lawsuits leveled upon gun manufacturers.

    Since Mike Huckabee has no Congressional voting record, here's a partial list of his record as Governor of Arkansas. More here

    Huckabee Supported:

  • Creating ARKids First program to provide health care to children of working poor.

  • A bill allowing children of illegal immigrants access to state scholarships.

  • Arkansas college bill that accepted illegal immigrants after 3 years.

  • Resolution adopted by Southern Governors Association to implement farm labor system bringing in farm workers from Canada and Mexico.

  • Points to $100 million tax cut in 1997, but taxes also went up $40 million months before the tax cut.

  • Fuel tax increase in 1997.

  • 1/8th cent sales tax increase for outdoor programs.

  • Free trade agreement between South Korea trade group and Arkansas.

  • Signing into law Arkansas Renewable Energy Development Act of 2001 requiring electric utilities to offer net metering for alternative energies.

  • Adopting the National Governors Association policy on global climate change which recommends research and development of emissions-reducing technology.

  • The Southern Governors Association 2001 report on energy policy.

    Huckabee Opposed:

  • Efforts to require proof of legal status when applying for state services.

  • Efforts to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

  • Effort to ban state-funded services to illegal immigrants.

    Off the Cuff - My Take:

    I like Huckabee's detailed 9-point stance on illegal immigration. The plan looks crafted as a result of legitimate concerns these real-world problems are bringing to our nation. I also like the fact that as a man of faith, Huckabee can see 'outside of the box', so to speak, and understand that all religious viewpoints should be considered - even among our precious public arenas. His goal to inhibit creativity in learning institutions is an admirable one - even though fiscally it's lofty in our current financial climate. Don't get me wrong - my career leverages a LOT of my creativity, and encouraging this in students is something I can get behind in a heartbeat, but I have to stay grounded in my knowledge that budgets and curriculums don't favor these programs as much as they used to.

    I appreciate Huckabee's passion for preserving our 2nd amendment rights. I'm a registered Democrat, a party which I will admit has attempted to restrict said right - this is something I don't totally support, and am not particularly proud of. Personally, I hunt and shoot firearms - two things I don't ever want to see go away. However, as a citizen of this country, I also respect the lethal force firearms possess, and support the processes currently in place to legally obtain them. I also ascent that there are unforeseen circumstances when these devices can fall into the wrong hands. As much I cherish my 2nd amendment right, there are always extraneous circumstances, such as crime riddled neighborhoods where firearms are illegally obtained every day. For this, I support background checks necessary to legally purchase a firearm via the Brady Bill - something the former Governor voted against in his home state.

    Huckabee is a pro-lifer. I'm pro choice. He sees the sanctity of marriage as a union between a woman and a man. Well, I'm not anti-gay, and this stance seems like a pointless discrimination against the gay community based solely on faith. I'm not a religious man, so we differ here as well.

    Would I vote for him?

    I'm patently undecided on Huckabee. He seems a likable guy, who has seemingly achieved some great things in his tenor as Governor of Arkansas. He's a man who is difficult to stereotype and seems to speak from the heart, but it's going to take more than that for this Republican candidate to convince me to jump across party lines to support him at the moment.

    We'll see as this race heats up. It should be interesting.

    FOLLOWUP EDIT: Mike Huckabee dropped his Presidential bid on March 4th. The 2008 Republican nomination went to John McCain, who lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election.

    Related Links:
    • Mike Huckabee's Web Site




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