I have a friend in Canada who sent me a message on Twitter asking about Mike Huckabee 2012. He said Huckabee was coming to his province for a speaking engagement and that he was being talked up really aggressively to libertarians there.
I'm glad he asked me so I can share the following information with you because a lot of people are asking and wondering: "Is Mike Huckabee a conservative? Is Mike Huckabee a progressive? Or could Mike Huckabee even be a libertarian??"
After following up with him very briefly to say that Huckabee is no friend to liberty, I sent him the following list of criticisms of Mike Huckabee based on his record as governor in Arkansas:
Here's a little more about Huckabee's record that worries me:
One of his first moves as governor of Arkansas in the 90s was to campaign hard for ballot Amendment 2 to increase the state sales tax to improve its park system, in essence, the destruction of private, productive capital to fund state projects.
He then moved to expand state spending by millions of dollars for medical entitlement programs and public schools, meanwhile signing a "faith-based initiatives"-style act that allowed religious organizations to contract to do social work for the state on the taxpayer's bill. While it may not be unconstitutional in a strict sense, I think such a policy is contrary to the principles of religious freedom.
Huckabee then made a highly politicized commutation of a convicted rapist's sentence, who then moved to Missouri and raped/killed a woman who lived near his home.
After being re-elected, he endorsed Lamar Alexander's exploratory bid for President in 1999 (a Republican Senator from my state who is extremely anti-Fed audit and who campaigned for Rand Paul's establishment opponent Trey Grayson at a DC fundraiser). Huckabee then changed his mind and endorsed George W. Bush- which I can forgive him for because at the time Bush was talking a lot like Ron Paul before going back on his word entirely as President.
Then Huckabee signed another tax increase on gasoline and diesel in 1999. He concurrently issued state bonds, which is just an IOU from the taxpayer to be paid in future taxes. At this time he also worked to establish a system of standardized state testing for students in Arkansas, and would remark years later during the Bush Administration that he strongly supported Bush's unprecedented and unconstitutional Federal takeover of education, No Child Left Behind.
In 2001, Hucakabee signed the Covenant Marriage Act, continuing the state's intrusion into the private institution of marriage, rather than working to reverse it.
In 2003, Huckabee mandated annual body mass index measurements for all public school children and tax increases on cigarettes and tobacco.
Then in 2005 Huckabee made illegal immigration a central issue, campaigning to make illegal immigrants eligible for state benefits like financial scholarships, calling opposition to his policy "un-Christian." He also apparently considers public drinking in entertainment districts un-Christian, because he vetoed a bill that would allow private citizens and businesses to make that decision for themselves.
The Club for Growth has called Mike Huckabee a "liberal" for fixing labor prices in Arkansas, opposing a repeal of the state sales tax on basic necessities like groceries, and being a tax hiker. And the libertarian Cato Institute gave Huckabee an F in its 2006 Fiscal Report Card. Perhaps the most telling endorsement Huckabee's received is being named one of the 5 best governors in 2005 by Time Magazine.
Huckabee is no friend to liberty!