Wednesday, January 23, 2008

An Arkansas legislator defends Huckabee

I'm technically taking a blogging break because I thought things had settled down a big here on the ol' blog, but I had an unexpected conversation with Mark Martin, an Arkansas legislator, in the comment box that I feel needs to be bumped up to its own post. Here's how it's gone so far,

Mark Martin: As a homeschooling father and an Arkansas State Representative, I cannot believe the vitrolic lies and slander that gets spread in the political arena. Huckabee has never been anything but extremely supportive of homeschooling in Arkansas and has gone out of his way to protect us from a very very powerful teachers union in this state.

You can believe twisted facts by bitter political rivals (including the interparty rivalries) if you wish. But the fact remains that with the exception of one legislator who was also a homeschooler, the rest of us know what Huckabee did for homeschooling in the state of Arkansas.Please don't believe bitter political rhetoric. If it were not for Huckabee, we homeschoolers would be in severe shape in this state.

Spunky: Thank you for your comment Mr. Martin, You said, "Please don't believe bitter political rhetoric. If it were not for Huckabee, we homeschoolers would be in severe shape in this state."

I have not believed the political rhetoric of anyone. I have done my own research and worked through the information available to arrive at my own conclusions. If you would like to read my posts and discuss the substance of what is written and clear up any misconceptions that is most welcome. However, asserting that I have believed the the "bitter rhetoric" of others is not helpful to the discussion or your own credibility. It is simply not true.

The article I recently posted by Jim Holt was secondary support for my own research. I do not know Mr. Holt, nor have I obtained any of my information from him or any of Huckabee's bitter rivals in Arkansas. If you would like to believe that a Governor who increases regulation, imposes a waiting period, and who pays for testing instead of ending it is "supportive" of homeschooling, who am I to argue? But I do not consider it a postive event.

Huckabee could have at least NOT signed the legislation signallng that he at least understood that this is a violation of a parents rights and such restrictions go beyond the jurisdiction of the state. After all, it was Governor Huckabee who opposed school vouchers because of the "control" it would give the state over private faith based schools. But for some reason, when the state funding is given to homeschoolers for tests, there is no protest that this gives the state "control?" What could be more private or faith based than a Christian homeschool? Sorry, that just doesn't make sense to me.

Instead of fighting to eliminate testing and by offering to pay for it, Huckabee, by his own admission, imposed further state control. And for this Arkansas homeschoolers applaud him? Governor Huckabee was bold enough not to sign legislation that referred to "acts of God" and yet we see no such boldness and at least going on record objecting to this legislation.

If homeschoolers in Arkansas see that as a positive, again who am I to argue? But that doesn't mean I have to accept it in my presidential candidate or call him a "friend to homeschoolers."

Our nation is built on the free exchange of ideas, it's a remarkable and humbling experience when a homeschool mom in Michigan gains the attention of a legislator in another state. Thanks for checking in and offering your thoughts. I welcome your thoughts on my articles but assertions that I chose to believe the "rhetoric" of others without some evidence to support your claim will likely be ignored in the future. Nothing personal, I just don't have the time or inclination to defend baseless assertions. Thanks!

Mark Martin: Spunky, Anybody can twist a situation to appear other than what it actually is by ripping it out of context.Take for example a very dear friend of mine, Jim Bob Duggar, who is no longer in the state legislature. At the time there was going to be a fuel tax, there were two proposals the first for 7% and a compromise alternative for 3% was proposed. One of them was going to pass. Mr Duggar is opposed to anytax increase, but if he failed to vote for the 3%, then the 7% would be passed. What should he do? He could count, he knew that if the 3% passed, that would strip off enough votes to cause the 7% to fail. But he also knew that if the 3% failed, the 7% would pass with a veto proof majority. What did he do? He voted for the 3%. What would you do? Don't be so sure unless you have been there. Regardless, Mr. Duggar didn't support a tax and infact adamently opposed them. To accuse him of "voting for a tax" is a half truth, which we know is not the truth at all. But you see how things become twisted?

The same situation goes for Mr. Huckabee and all the half truths the uninformed and haters drag out against him. Very often Mr. Huckabee was faced with 75%+ of the legislature being Democrats. The could override his veto at will, and almost always did with few exception. And when they failed to override one of his vetos, the made him pay dearly by either passing an even more aggressive version of the bill after making back room deals to fund pork projects for the few Democrat dissenters, or worse. They would viciously kill pro-life legislation the Governor was pushing as "payback" for the veto.

Politics is not as cut and dried as we would like it to be. Hard decisions have to be made.I suppose that you could counter that a politician should vote against the tax, even though it means an even higher tax would be the result. I suppose that you could say that a governor should veto a bill knowing that it will be overridden and result in a partisan backlash that kills pro-life legislation and perhaps costs countless babies lives for NOTHING. You could advocate those things. But I won't. A person can make value judgments about people and situations that they only have the slightest of detail. And they make judgements that are counter to the majority of those on the battlelines like Jerry Cox. You can do that. But I won't. I've been there. I KNOW where Mike Huckabee stands. He is absolutely a defender of homeschooling.

Spunky: The Arkansas Constitution provides for men and women of Arkansas to pursue their own happiness. Article 2 says,

“Freedom and independence. All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; amongst which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and reputation; and of pursuing their own happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ”
I understand what you're saying regarding Mr. Duggar, but equating compromises over the differences in a fuel tax to a compromise of the freedom of parents to pursue their own happiness and restricting their freedom doesn't cut it for me. I can handle a compromise over a gas tax, but a governor's job is to defend his state's Constitution which is there to protect the people of his state.

By Huckabee's own admission he only used the veto a few times. In a 2006 interview he said,

"I've only vetoed a few pieces of legislation in 10 years, most of which were because of they were unconstitutional and I had a clear reason to withhold them."
His own reason for employing the veto is interesting. Clearly there were times he was willing to risk a political backlash to stand on Constitutional principles and in the legislation referring to "acts of God" theological reasons as well. However, in this case given that the parents' rights were clearly being violated Huckabee compromised instead. It wasn't just their state constitutional rights and freedom but, according to HSLDA, their 14th Amendment rights were potentially also violated.

"Arkansas is now one of only 12 states to impose a deadline for beginning home schooling or requiring parents to provide advance notice to public school
officials of their decision to do so. Because of this restriction, parents who encounter intolerable conditions at the public school, such as imminent danger to the safety or welfare of their child, will have to wait at least 14 days before withdrawing the child to begin home schooling or else face truancy charges for unexcused absences during the 14-day waiting period. No such restriction exists for parents who decide to immediately remove their children to attend a private or parochial school in Arkansas. This raises serious issues regarding the right of parents to direct the education of their children and equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."
HSLDA opposed this bill. If Huckabee lacked the political will to stand with HSLDA and veto this legislation on Constitutional grounds as he said he did with other bills or the leadership ability to convince the Democrats in the legislator that this was a violation of the citizens' Constitutional rights, he did have at least one other option available. He could have let the bill go without his signature signaling that he recognized this fact and that these added restrictions violated their fundamental rights and exceeded the jurisdiction of the state. The Arkansas Constitution says in Article 6,

"If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in
like manner as if he had signed it; unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall become a law, "
The bill would have become law in five days and Huckabee would have been on record standing up for the Constitution. So there was a third option available which he used in a 2004 tax bill, yet he didn't use it regarding the fundamental rights and freedoms of Arkansas homeschooling parents. We don't even see Huckabee acting on principle and offering even "token" opposition. That's what a "defender" of homeschooling does. What good is a governor who says he believes in a parents rights but then signs legislation violating those rights without at least some sort of stand against the state's imposition.

Again, he was strongly against vouchers because of the control it gives the state, but yet when it comes to parents in homeschools he compromises? This just doens't make sense? As a candidate, Huckabee, is asking people to make a value judgment and elect him President based on a "faith that defines Him." He said his faith wouldn't let him pass vouchers, but yet it let's him pass this legislation against homeschoolers? This is especially troubling, when one considers that it was ONLY homeschoolers that had the waiting period. Parents who opted for a private school did not have this restriction placed upon them.

Mr. Martin, Governor Huckabee is asking for our vote. An examination of Huckabee's record on key issues is part of determining if he is an acceptable candidate. I am sure Huckabee would like us to just take the word of Jerry Cox and ignore the solid evidence that refutes his homeschool record. But some of us are not that easily swayed. If Arkansas homeschoolers think it's acceptable to have a leader that compromises their contitutional rights and imposes restrictions upon them, that's fine by me. But when this leader then moves onto the national stage it's a whole new ball game. And here in Michigan we like our homeschool freedoms and don't want a President who compromises them just because democrats threaten to impose legislation. No thanks! That may be how Arkansas politics works, but we northerners are a bit stubborn and we like to fight for our rights and want leaders who do so as well.

We don't applaud when a governor offers to pay for a test that they shouldn't even require homeschoolers to take. We don't applaud when a governor requires parents to take the test or face truancy charges. We don't applaud when the state requires parents to wait to take THEIR children out of state schools. We don't applaud and we don't work to elect them to higher office.

Huckabee's record speaks louder than Jerry Cox and the others. The only spin is coming from Huckabee's homeschool video that promotes his record as positive and ignores facts that tell us the whole truth, not just about his homeschool record but an education agenda that advances federal and international control in education. As your rightly pointed out a half-truth is no truth at all.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Few Announcements

The Madison Youth Project online government classes are starting this week. One class is included in the price of a membership ($25). Get the details here. The syllabus for the Elements of Freedom class dovetails very nicely with the Tapestry of Grace Government course at the rhetoric level. That's the one my son will be taking.

On another note, I'm taking a blogging break to decide where to go from here. I never planned on blogging past the four posts on Huckabee and Homeschooling, but as new information about HSLDA and Huckabee became available I didn't feel I could ignore it. So I went a bit longer than I originally thought.

If I don't come back before February 2, you can hear me in a live (via phone) radio interview with Phyllis Shlafley at 10AM (EST). She has invited me to talk about homeschooling and education reform. I've admired Phyllis Schlafly and her work at Eagle Forum for many years, it is truly an honor to get to talk with her on her show. Here's the link.

I'd like to thank to Robin Sampson at Heart of Wisdom for awarding me an Excellent Blogger Award for my recent blogging. Since I'm taking a blogging break, here are a few excellent blogs that deserve an Excellent Blogger Award and have contributed information and insight on education and/or the election that are definitely worth a read.

Principled Discovery
Home Where They Belong
Ned Ryun at Madison Project
Corn and Oil
Home Education Magazine Editors Blog and their News blog.
Ned Ryun at Madison Project
Consent of the Governed
God-O-Meter (Watch for a Ron Paul interview this week)
I Heart Huckabee (Founders of Huck's Army)
The Brody File

There's a saying my pastor often repeats,
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always be what you always were."
Change is obviously a part of life. I'm trying to figure out how I apply this to blogging. A part of me thoroughly enjoys sharing information and challenging myself and others and wants to keep doing what I always did. But that doesn't mean I should keep doing it! If only God made more hours in the day, then I'd have time to be both an excellent mom and an excellent blogger!

Speaking of change, that's one thing all the candidates seem to agree on, "It's time for a change."

I have to say, I think You Tube videos have been the best change to Presidential politics, feel free to share your personal favorite.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

From Hope to Betrayal

I wrote my posts on Huckabee based on my own research. But this editorial from from Arkansas homeschooler and former legislator Jim Holt supports what I have written. Huckabee betrayed homeschooolers in Arkansas,

Is Huckabee pro-home-school, as home-schoolers claim ?

The media has reported the reason Huckabee does so well, with so little money, is because home-schoolers empower him.

Surely not.

I'm a home-schooler, and I know Huckabee actually signed Act 1117 in 1999. This law made Arkansas the first state in the nation to strengthen homeschool laws, empowering the state over the parents. After all, children DO belong to the state. Don't they ? Huckabee claims that it was a welcomed compromise. Not true. He could've vetoed it. But he caved to institutional pressure.

Jim Holt is a former state senator from Springdale, Arkansas. He began his first term in the 2000. His article also talks about his disagreement with Huckabee over tuition scholarships for illegals. It's definitely worth a read.

His sentiments are supported by a note I received from an Arkansas school teacher,

I just got on your blog tonight and was very pleased. I'm a teacher from Arkansas (an evangelical, conservative Christian) who wants desperately to warn homeschoolers (as well as everybody else) about Huckabee. However, your article "Huckabee and Homeschoolers" contained much of the info I would have shared.

Another teacher friend and I originally strongly supported Huck when he first ran for Lt. Gov. She and I had already spent years educating legislators about the problems with Outcome Based Education and some of the disastrous laws they were enacting in Arkansas. Before Huck was elected, he said all the right things to the conservatives who were concerned about education. However, when he assumed the governorship, his vows to the conservatives were tossed in the trash. He's enacted every socialist, government-controlled, stifling law and regulation possible.

I have friends who homeschool, and Huck, with his focus on testing, caused them a lot of stress. Believe me, Huck is not a friend of homeschoolers, and many of my friends and I have wondered why the national homeschool organization did not do more research about his positions and history in Arkansas.

I read many of the comments to your article, and it's unfortunate that so many take Huck at his word. He is one of the most gifted speakers I've ever heard, and that's why so many of us first supported him. Unfortunately, he disappoints on many, many levels. I worked to help get him elected and even served on his transition team. Within six months I ( and most of my conservative friends and the teachers with whom I worked) was devastated at what I saw of his policies and appointments.

Probably the most outrageous action he attempted as governor was that he actually tried to pass a regulation/law that would allow him to appoint all the school superintendents in the state. He tried to consolidate schools up to approximately 1600 students, even small schools that had excellent standardized test scores, and this action caused many students to have to ride buses as much as four hours a day.

I know much of this does not specifically concern homeschoolers, but I believe that his actions in other areas of education should warn homeschoolers that he could be very dangerous if elected.

Iris Stevens
Jonesboro, Arkansas

Parent and local control were both undermined by Governor Huckabee in favor of state oversight and control. Are we going to let him do the same thing at the federal level? If my posts on Huckabee seem like "over kill" it's simply because I've been consistently getting emails telling me that I don't understand Arkansas politics and that I've misrepresented Huckabee. Apparently, the one who is misrepresenting his record is Mike Huckabee.

Here's a complete index of posts on Homeschooling and Huckabee.

Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenship
Huckabee responds
From HSLDA-PAC director Ned Ryun's statement on homeschoolers and the election.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.
Freedom or Compromise

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Freedom or Compromise

Homeschooler's support of Huckabee is weakening as voters find out how he compromised in Arkansas. I received another email today,

First of all, I want to thank you for the information regarding Mike Huckabee. I had just about decided to vote for him, when someone on a homeschool mailing list I belong to posted the URL to your blog. What a revelation!
I didn't set out to necessarily change votes when I wrote my posts, I wanted to inform others about what I had discovered and and learn more myself. That's why I was more excited to learn that other homeschoolers are doing exactly what I had done and checking out my facts to make sure that that we all get the best information. Jim O'Donnell did exactly that and spoke directly with JoNell Caldwell, the homeschool mom that Huckabee appointed to the Arkansas school board.

"While at the meeting I asked Mrs. Caldwell about House Bill 1724. She explained that while this Bill WAS a compromise, Huckabee signed the law because the alternative was the greater of two evils..."
I understand this bill was a compromise measure and said that in my first post, however if all liberal Democrats have to do is intoduce threatening legislation to get concessions from Huckabee, then what’s going to happen when he gets before hostile Democrats in Congress?

Already the New York Times is setting the stage for exactly that type of show down. Here's their headline from a few days ago, Lack of Supervision Noted in Deaths of Home-Schooled

The lack of supervision of the home-schooling process, some experts say, may have made it easier last year for Ms. Jacks to withdraw her children from school and the prying eyes of teachers, social workers and other professionals who otherwise might have detected signs of abuse and neglect of the girls.
Do we want a candidate who compromises at the federal level? Remember this law was passed even though though HSLDA opposed it. (And when you consider he was also endorsed by the NEA, how much help will HSLDA be if he gets elected?)

Putting that aside for the moment; didn’t the first positive piece of lhomeschool egislation get passed by many of the same Democrats in 1997? How is it that in less than two years into office all of that apparent goodwill was lost? Was it just a backlash from an angry mother who pulled her son out of school to homeschool as some of my emails and forums are suggesting? Not according to Huckabee, he cited his 1998 legislation as the cause,
With the implementation and success of the Smart Start program some legislators wanted to reverse what we had done for homeschoolers in 1997 and put in place very severe restrictions.
Why would successful legislation, seemingly unrelated to homeschooling, cause a reversal of the previous year's homeschool law? I address part of the reason in this post. But could it be that there were deals made and promises to keep with other consituencies which required Huckabee to compromise? It is something to consider given the nature of politics and Huckabee's reason.

It is also worth considering given the concern Dr. Ray Simon, then head of the Arkansas Dept. of Education (a Governor Huckabee appointee) expressed with the growing homeschool movement. Dr. Simon has a school finance background and openly worried to Time Magazine that homeschoolers were a threat to public education funding.

"A third of our support for schools comes from property taxes," says Ray Simon, director of the Arkansas department of education. "If a large number of a community's parents do not fully believe in the school system, it gets more
difficult to pass those property taxes. And that directly impacts the schools' ability to operate."
The article also quotes another Arkansas adminstrator, Kellar Noggle, who expressed concern that the 12,000 homeschoolers were "eroding support" for public education. Any legislation to stem the flow of money would obviously viewed as a positive. So would imposing a waiting period help? It certainly couldn't hurt.

I am fully aware that there were hostile politicians in Arkansas who would like to deny the fundamental rights of the parents if it helps public education, but Huckabee has the Arkansas Constitution on his side. Article 2 says,

“Freedom and independence. All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; amongst which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and reputation; and of pursuing their own happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ”
Are the citizens of Arkansas free or not? Freedom and independent means that a parent who believes that the family’s best interest is no longer served by having the child in a state school is FREE to pursue another arrangement. They DO NOT need the state’s permission to educate their child in a manner they see best nor must they wait 14 days to do so.

If Huckabee lacks the leadership, political skills, or courage to explain to the Arkansas legislature and those he represents why the bill they introduced denies the freedom and independence of parents, then he should have let it go without his signature and at least he would have expressed some measure of principled opposition. But he didn’t even do that. Refusing to sign it would have at least shown that he recognized that the state has no jurisdicition making such a demands upon parents. Or he could have vetoed this as well and forced the legislature to overcome one more hurdle even if all it took was 51%, but he didn’t. He signed it.

Some like JoNelle Caldwell may consider this good political strategy, but I don’t think denying the natural rights of parents or our fundamental freedoms is ever a good political strategy; at least not without explaining his fundamental opposition to such legislation based on the fact that the parent should not have to wait before taking their child out of a situation they believe is harmful to the child.

Huckabee may have been forced into a compromise, however he still had options available to demonstrate that he believed the fundamental rights of the parent had been violated. We don’t see any such recognition. Nor do we see any further attempts to remove such requirements in Huckabees time in office.

The natural rights of the parents to educate their children is a fundamental right. There are those within our government who would like to deny that right through increased regulation. Huckabee’s compromise in the area of homeschooling was a short term solution to prevent a more strigent bill from passing. However, Huckabee’s signature makes him complicit in a compromise that cemented in the minds of the Democrats and the people of Arkansas that the state has the compelling interest and the authority to deny parents their natural right to direct the education of their children. This was passed inspite of a state Constitution which says that men are free and independent to pursue their own happiness.

If Huckabee had not signed it and stood up to the Democrats and fought it with the power of the Constitution and his persuasive, articulate speech, I believe he could have defeated it or at least been on record as strongly opposing it, but he didn't.

Instead, Huckabee compromised and protected his political power and the expense of homeschoolers' rights.

But this is not just a homeschool issue. It is a philosophical discussion of how Huckabee will govern if elected President. When I hear him say he wants to employ "vertical" politics that is neither left or right and evangelical Christians cheer him, I want to cry. There is no lukewarm in the fight for our freedom. The "left" wants to bring our country down and destroy our fundamental freedoms including the right to direct the education of our children. If homeschoolers in Arkansas accept a Governor who compromises their freedom, who am I to argue? But that doesn't mean I have to accept him as the Republican nomineee for president.

(JoNelle Caldwell also talked about the IBO, I answered her assertion of "local control" in a comment here.)

Spunky Meets Mitt

From the front page of our local paper, my daughter Elaina and I shake hands with Mitt Romney and his lovely wife, Ann. It was fun to meet Romney, but he didn't convince me to vote for him. He did manage to win the votes of 3,832 of my neighbors. I was one of the 319 who voted for Thompson, but I'm still considering Paul for the general election. For more about the event you can read my post here.

I'm getting a few emails from readers who are having trouble finding all my articles on Huckabee, they are linked below. A few others have wondered if I contacted HSLDA before I wrote these. Yes, I did. It was a very pleasant conversation with a gentleman who enjoys a good political discussion as much as I do. Interestingly, he praised Huckabee's position on the UN, but had little knowledge of the IBO and Huckabee's legislation that allowed the UN backed program into Arkansas schools. (See Part 4) I have not talked to them since publishing my articles. If you're interested in the HSLDA aspect, the posts about Ned Ryun's may be of particular interest to you.

Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenship
Huckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Random Thoughts On....

The Michigan Primary
I'm not surprised that Michigan went for Mitt Romney, but I was surprised that evangelical Chrsitians went for Mitt Romney by such a wide margin.
"About four in 10 in Michigan's GOP contest called themselves born again or evangelical Christians, but unlike Iowa — where they carried Mike Huckabee to
victory — Romney did best. Thirty-four percent of them backed him, five percentage points better than Huckabee.
That can't be good news for Team Huckabee especially on the west side of the state which is more conservative and where he vigorously campaigned.

Huckabee's Problem
Joe Carter served as Team Huckabee's rapid response guy for a couple of months and still blogs at Evangelical Outpost. He posted a sobering (negative?) article on Huckabee
"A large section of the GOP has made it quite clear that they will do whatever it takes to ensure that the hillbilly preacher doesn't win the nomination. Many of them--and we all know who they are--will lie about his record and his positions in order to put an end to his campaign."
It can't be good for Huckabee when members of his team are making him out to be the victim of his own party! If nothing else it makes him appear weak and not very presidential. But the fact of the matter is, Huckabee is the one who is prone to lying about about his own record. He lied to Fox News about the reason he begged for new taxes in Arkansas . Huckabee also lied about having a theology degree, and he lied about "always" being in support of a life amendment to the Consitutiton. Oh, and then there's the non-partisan group, Judicial Watch calling him one of the Ten Most Corrupt Politicians of 2007 along with Hillary and Rudy! And Joe Carter is worried about his political enemies lying about his record?

The HSLDA-PAC endorsement
Is HSLDA feeling the heat for their endorsment? Maybe so. For some reason, they felt the need to need to reaffirm their endorsement of Huckabee. I've received quite a few emails suggesting that I'm being unfair to Huckabee and that he "did the best he could with a Democrat legislature." I am preparing to respond to those emails in a post soon. Stay tuned. (If you haven't read my posts on Huckabee and Homeschooling/Education. You can find them all here.)

Does this bother anyone else?
Huckabee said in a speech here in Michigan,
"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards,"
Just because I might agree with some of Huckabee's theology doesn't meant that I want it to become Constitutional law. That's just not a precedent I want to set. What if Mitt Romeny or a Muslim had said this? (You Tube here.) Contrast Huckabee with Thompson's approach to governing,
"Christ didn’t tell us to go to the government and pass a bill to get some of these social problems dealt with. He told us to do it, The government has its role, but we need to keep firmly in mind the role of the government, and the role of us as individuals and as Christians on the other."
Does anyone else think it's time for Huckabee to do a "Baptist" speech like Romney did?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Defending the Dream

I haven't had much time to put all my thoughts together, but here's a quick write-up about the Defending the Dream Summit on Saturday. I hope to have pictures posted soon. We had front row seats which gave us a great view of all the candidates that attended.

John McCain: Watch this You Tube and you'll learn all you need to know about how most people at this rally felt about him. I sat next to a jovial older fellow who booed so loud he attracted McCain's attention, giving me a real up-close view of McCain. Thankfully, the fellow was 6 feet 5 and about 300 lbs. and I looked incredibly insignifcant at that point. The two of them engaged in a lively dialog during the Q&A that ended in McCain's people getting his number so that they could talk while he went to his next campaign stop. Overall, my girls said McCain came across as stiff and disconnected. I agree. McCain must have thought so too, he didn't even come to the rope to shake hands. In Detroit, that's probably a safe thing to do.

Mitt Romney: Romney is a "favorite son" of many in Michigan because his dad was Governor and he has strong ties to the auto industry. His speech was well delivered and well received. I sat in the first row with my daughters and within inches of Romney's wife, Ann. I liked him, but not enough to vote for him. He's smart and polished. He comes across very Presidential and much better in person than on television. My good friends and publishers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine were with us and they thought the same thing. Romney was clearly liked by many in the audience and he stayed after to shake hands with many supporters. I'm not a supporter but I did shake his hand. (After all, he could still be the next President even if I didn't help get him there!)

Duncan Hunter: Hunter also gave a great speech. But the it was cut short because McCain went so long. Although I liked much of what he said, the fact that the press (and most in the crowd) didn't stay around to hear it, tells me this isn't his year.

By the far the crowd favorite was a guy who isn't even on the ballot, ABC's John Stossel. He was engaging, funny, and spot on when it came to the role of government. I don't know where he stands on many of the issues, but if he ever decides to leave TV, he just might have a future in politics. The big guy next to me who booed McCain was absolutely gushing when Stossel spoke.

The Ron Paul people were there, but Ron Paul wasn't. Overall I didn't think they handled themselves or represented Ron Paul very well. I talked to a few of them and asked some questions, but they seemed to view anyone who would consider voting for anyone other than Paul as a traitor to the Constitution. I don't think that's what Ron Paul believes, but he does seem to attract a rather different sort of supporter at these rallies. That's too bad. Paul has great things to say and needs to be able to attract people who can effectively communicate his message.

Huckabee had a campaign bus there that looked like it was from the 1980's, but it worked and got his supporters to where they needed to be. Good stewardship even if he's not my candidate.

The media pass wasn't a great as I thought it would be, I was told it would get me into the "green room", but it didn't. I was only able to get into the media room which had a bunch of reporters around a few monitors or in front of their laptops. But it did save me the $60 cost of admission and a decent lunch, so I'm not complaining.

I did attend one break-out session on "Values Voters" that was informative especially when the head of the Michigan GOP Chairman talked about coming together even thought we disagree. I was unexpectedly able to address the group of about 150 or so people on the education issue. Yes, I talked about Huckabee's education record leading to quite a few cheers in the audience and a few nasty emails afterwards.

Did attending the Summit help me decide? Not really. I was thinking Thompson or Paul when I went in and came out still undecided between the two. But it did solidify my daughter's support for...Romney of all people! Yes, I raised an independent-minded, stubborn daughter! She's gone against her own parents and her good friends the Harris's! (Note to Brett and Alex: She actually did consider Huckabee!)

So who did I vote for in Michigan's primary? Fred Thompson. Not that I don't like Ron Paul but I had to choose somebody. They had an equal number of pluses and minuses. But Thompson won because that's who my husband was voting for. That old submission thing saves the day and keeps me from having to make up my own mind! Actually, we reasoned that Ron Paul has enough cash to be in this for the long haul and hopefully a decent showing in Michigan for Thompson might give him a little boost going into South Carolina.

Does this mean I'm going to start stumping for Thompson? Not necessarily. I had to make a choice today based on the facts I have up until now. But my support is far from solid and if Ron Paul decides to go third party, he still might get my vote in the general election unless the nominee is Fred Thompson. Then I'm back to undecided.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Am I A One Issue Voter?

I've received quite a few emails from readers who want to remind me that there is more to a choosing a President than his homeschool/education record and for many that issue is the pro-life issue. Here's one note I received today,

As Important as the Education Issue is on the ballot, LIFE, is STILL by far, the most important one, and will remain the most important one. These homeschoolers are doing what everybody else in the country is doing, nitpicking. There is NO perfect candidate. Do we vote for the candidate who fully supports the homeschooler and rejects the one world education through the UN, and who is also not totally protective of LIFE; or do we vote for the one who doesn't support the homeschooler, allows the one world education, yet He vows to protect Life from conception to natural death. I'm NOT confused. I KNOW who to vote for. YOU SHOULD TO.

Pray harder, stay away from your friends and your blogs and let your God speak to

God Bless YOU!

And this was one of the nicer emails! I'm not a one issue voter, but this is a one issue blog. Just because I blog about education and homeschooling doesn't mean I don't take other issues into account or less seriously. I'm just not as knowledgable on those issues and so rather than make a complete fool of myself by offering an opinion on something I know little to nothing about I stick to topics I know best.

National Right to Life has put together a comparison chart of all the candidates and where they stand on the life issue. Based on this list, and the candidates websites, there appear to be several candidates whose stand for the life of the unborn is strong, not just one. Hunter, Thompson, Paul, and Huckabee all strongly support protecting the life of the unborn child, Romney appears to be pro-life but he has come to that conclusion more recently and that's why he is lower on my list. So while I can appreciate that this reader and others have made up their mind based on this issue alone, I see several candidates whose position on the sanctity of life is one I could support. And for those who think that Huckabee has distinguished himself from the others by his support of a human life amendment, I addressed that issue specifically in an earlier post, How does Huckabee Define Always? Until recently, Huckabee believed the sanctity of life was a state's rights issue very similar to the position of Thompson and Paul. Read the post if you would like more details.

(For those who are curious, I will be writing about the Defending the Dream Summit and the progress I've made towards a decision in tomorrow's primary in another post, but I've wanted to address this topic for a while and today's email prompted me to finally write about it. But for those that are thinking McCain is doing well with conservative Republicans, here's a taste of his reception at the summit)

Friday, January 11, 2008

If not Huck then who?

The Washington Times had an interesting editorial about how US history is no longer being taught in our nation's schools. This wasn't news to me and this editorial reminded me once again why the next election is so important. International standards are invading our schools, global citizenship is replacing national citizenship and common morality is replacing absolute Truth. Our next president will either stop this trend in education or continue our march toward globalization. Huckabee has already demonstrated where he'd take us - global not local. That's not the way for me.

Speaking of Huckabee, I listened to a live interview this morning on a local radio and if his homeschool compromise and the IBO, had not already decided it for me, his insistance that the 30% Fair Tax is only a 23% tax grated on my mathematical ears. I also want to know if my children get a prebate too? They all purchase many of their own items from their own income (not allowance) and a national sales tax adds significant costs to their purchases. My son purchased a violin last year that was over $1000 dollars with the fair tax that would have added another $300 to his costs! Don't tell me this tax is fair to him if he doesn't get a prebate too!

Add to that Huckabee's economic populist rhetoric (government doesn't create jobs, Governor Huckabee) further established why Democrat Governor Strickland of Ohio lavished praise upon Huckabee and called him "almost liberal." Huckabee does sound liberal when he talks about how government must help because people are not helping their neighbor on their own. He said at one campaign stop in New Hampshire,

"I dream of the day when we are doing such an efficient and effective job of taking care of our families and our neighbors that the government can do what it does best -- and that's protect us, not have to provide for us,"
For a man of faith who believes God can turn "5 loaves and 2 fish" into a winning campaign, he certainly demonstrates little faith in the good Lord's ability to feed our nation without government assistance! Ironically, how does Governor Huckabee want to show his thanks to homeschoolers who are some of the most efficient and effective at taking care of their families? By offering "assistance" to homeschoolers! Does Huckabee really want us taking care of our own or not?

So Huck's out, but who's in? That's the question many are asking in Michigan today.

I've never met so many people, so undecided, so close to a primary.

Tomorrow's Defending the Dream Summit should be exciting and informative and may help me decide. I'm still researching the other candidates and already know Guiliani is definitely not the guy for me. That leaves McCain, Romney, Paul, and Thompson. I like Duncan Hunter but I'm also a realist. Hunter's got a future in politics, just not in the next election. Paul and Thompson have my attention at the moment because they appeal to my strong conservative side. Michigan state homeschool director, Dennis Smith, made an interesting case for Romney and Mary Pride has come out for Ron Paul, but I'm still not sure. Dana at Principled Discovery, hasn't decided which camp she's in either, but had this to say in my comment box,

Phooey on all of them...I like Thompson even better now.

I couldn't watch the debates, not actually having television, but Thompson has Huckabee's programs pegged. Finally! (I haven't decided whom I am voting for, but I've always like Fred, despite some disagreements on some things. And I'm not giving up hope that he might possibly still be in the race when it finally comes to NE.) (In the comment Dana, links to this You Tube)

There's homeschoolers for every candidate out there. I've heard from Huckabee, Romney, and Paul fans quite a bit. But Dana's comment has me wondering if there are Thompson fans who are just waiting to see if he sticks out until their state's primary? Similar to Dana, the pundit class is buzzing about his strong debate performance in South Carolina and makes them wonder if he's not the sleeper in this race.

I don't know!

But what I do know, is that I have to decide by Tuesday! Any thoughts you can share to put me in someone's camp by Tuesday will be strongly considered and appreciated.

As a side note, a Michigan pollster Steve Mitchell, just said on the radio news that the current polls are showing McCain with a strong lead over Romney, with Huckabee, Guiliani, and Paul fighting for third place. More details will be out later today.

UPDATE: My first blogging buddy, Anne in Hawaii, has decided and put her ballot in the mail. Last night's debate seemed to seal the deal for her.

My posts on Huckabee and why he's not my candidate are here.

Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenshipHuckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What does it all mean?

Now that Huckabee has won Iowa, McCain has won New Hampshire, and Romney has earned the most delegates, and Hillary beat Obama, the pundit class is buzzing about what it all means and what the candidates have to do to win? Obviously I don't know and won't pretend that I do. I don't think anybody knows. (But that won't stop others from pretending that they do.)

But one thing that is certain is that the Michigan primary is next week, which means they've all turned their attention to my home state. And for me, and others, that means we're going to get an up-close look at the candidates and a chance to make our voice heard in the political process. For me it could be REAL close.

As a blogger, I've been given a press pass to a summit this weekend that is going to feature most of the major Republican contenders. (This blogging stuff sure can make life interesting!)

To help conservative Republicans decide the Americans For Prosperity has put together a one-day Michigan summit with the Republican candidates. The good news is they're encouraging families to come. They have made it very affordable and included lunch in the admission price.

We’re bringing together some of the nation and state’s leading free-market voices just three short days before the Michigan primary – some of the confirmed speakers include presidential candidates U.S. Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney, ABC 20/20's John Stossel, The Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore, the Mackinac Center’s Michael LaFaive, State Representative Jack Hoogendyk, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's Richard Studley.

All the Republican candidates have been invited. Duncan Hunter will also be there. Ron Paul will be speaking via satellite. Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee are still uncertain. This is a family event. So if you're in the Detroit area, this is your chance to hear the candidates and let your voice be heard as well. The cost is $29 for general admission, students are $15, family admission is $59. Details here.

There's also a possibility that I might be a panelist on two of the break-out sessions, Value Voters and Grass Roots Activism. If you live near the metro Detroit area or can get here, Saturday should be a very interesting day.

And if you can't make it to Michigan but are looking for a way to get your children educated in the political process and conservative ideas, check out the Madison Youth Project. Their online academy is starting this month and for the cost of a membership ($25) you can sign up for one online class. They are currently offering, “The Elements of Freedom,” and “Founding Fathers and Founding Documents.” You can get all the details here.

If you came here looking for my articles on Huckabee they are here....

Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenship
Huckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.
Huckabee and federal assistance for homeschoolers

Monday, January 07, 2008

Huck speaks on homeschooling in NH

Huckabee spoke at a gathering in New Hampshire on homeschooling and said there ought to be tax credits and "assistance" to parents who homeschool.

This is a curious position given that Huckabee is on record in Arkansas as opposing school vouchers to private faith schools because of the control it gives the state.
"Governor Mike Huckabee, on a recent radio program in Arkansas, said he does not support the idea of a school voucher system that would allow parents to use state-funded vouchers to pay tuition at private, faith-based schools. "If the state were to give you a voucher, then in essence the state would be funding a faith school and would have some control over that faith school," the governor told a caller from Conway. "That's problematic for me as a person of faith."
Huckabee clearly and rightly understands that with the money comes control that's why he opposed vouchers for private or faith schools. I have to wonder if Homeschool Legal Defense founder Michael Farris, was in the crowd and if he squirmed just a little when Huckabee talked about offering "tax-credits "and "assistance" to homeschoolers without qualifying it. Just what sort of "assistance does Huckabee want to provide? Huckabee doesn't say.

This is the sort of thing that HSLDA typically opposes unless it comes without increased regulation. Huckabee didn't offer any qualifiers that this would be without increased regulation. That's how "vertical" politics works, you take a little from the left and the right. Huckabee calls it "vertical, I call it compromise. And given Huckabee's Arkansas record which added regulation to homeschoolers, I doubt I he would stand up against the Democrats in Congress who would likely want to increase regulation in return for any tax credit or assistance. With this video I think we're watching the beginning of the federal intrustion into homeschooling if Huckabee gets elected. (Just giving a tax credit allows the IRS to define who is and is not a homeschooler and qualifies for the credit.)

Huckabee's promise of tax credits is also curious because when he's elected tax credits won't be necessary anyway because he's going to wave his magic wand and eliminate the IRS! Or maybe he knows that this won't actually happen and he's got a great campaign gimmick with no substance.

Update: In a related news item, wonders if Huckabee is a new breed of Republican making the party more like Europe's Christian Democrats. Huckabee calls his philosophy vertical, they call him a Christian Democrat. Call it whatever you want just don't call it conservative! Just remember when you vote on "electability" you get what you vote for.

HT: No left Turns

My previous posts on Huckabee and homeschooling
Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenship
Huckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.

Rush on HSLDA endorsement

My site is getting hit with Google inquiries on Huckabee and homeschoolers most likely because Rush Limbaugh said today that HSLDA did not endorse Huckabee but that Farris did. Ned Ryun has the transcipt.
In another thing, we had a guy, Eric from North Carolina, who called and said and that the Home School Legal Defense Association endorsed Huckabee. That’s not true. One of their top dogs did, a guy named Michael Farris, but the association did not. You can go through their website and you will find a lot of critical articles on Huckabee, re: home schooling. They had a press release saying that Farris’ endorsement is not an endorsement from them.
That's only partly correct, but his confusion is somewhat understandable. Rush, like many others, is confused about Farris, HSDLA, HSLDA-PAC and why Farris made this endorsement.

HSDLA-PAC did endorse Huckabee, here's the link. HSLDA-PAC is the connected PAC of HSLDA. HSLDA cannot endorse candidates outside its membership. According the HSLDA-PAC website, the PAC was formed to "allow HSLDA to engage directly in the political arena." But as I previously posted, Ned Ryun the former director of the PAC alleges that this endorsement was done unilaterally and for all intents and purposes was a Farris endorsement. He was not told of the endorsement until after the fact.

So Rush was incorrect, HSLDA-PAC did endorse Huckabee. But if Ned Ryun is to be believed this endorsement was in reality a Farris endorsement acting alone but done through the PAC. So Rush may have been wrong and right at the same time. Wrong in that the HSDLA-PAC did endorse Huckabee, but right that it was really Farris who actually made the endorsement.

The HSLDA-PAC endorsement was done despite Huckabee's Arkanasas record which added restrictions to homeschoolers along with allowing UN involvement in Arkansas schools. Huckabee also encourages increasing federal involvement in education. I sure wish Farris would clear this up and be upfront on why he endorsed a candidate who supports the very things HSLDA opposes.

Steiger's Law says,
"People involved in a structure spend more time and energy maintaining that structure than in working toward its goals."
Is this what's happening to Farris and HSLDA? It has been reported that Farris is a senior unpaid advisor to Huckabee and has been since the early days of his campaign. The fact that this has caught Rush's attention means that this story is far from over. Stay tuned.

I emailed Ned Ryun about the Rush show today and he offered a few more thoughts on the HSLDA endorsement.
"As PAC Director at the time, and having been PAC Director from the very beginning of HSLDA-PAC, we had standards by which we operated. One was that we did not endorse in fields in which there was not a clear cut conservative vs. moderate/liberal; I find it highly ironic that we endorsed in such a crowded field, and endorsed someone who I knew, even then, was a big government Republican. "
You can read complete statement here. Ryun has sinced moved on from HSLDA-PAC and has started the Madison Youth Project to "promote conservative ideals, to raise up a generation prepared and positioned to lead tomorrow, and to elect candidates today who share this vision. We are pro-family, pro-life and pro-growth." Online classes are now forming.

My previous posts on Huckabee and homeschooling
Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenshipHuckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.

(This post has been editted and updated and I'll continue to update if new information becomes available.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Whom should we vote for?

I wrote a series of posts on Huckabee and homeschooling. (You can read the first one here.) The response has been interesting. Quiverdaddy said,

"Spunky has not read any of Huckabee's positions or consulted his record.... Personally, I think the real story about Spunky is that she is probably a Ron Paul supporter who has put her tin foil hat in the closet long enough to pose as a Romney apologist."

An anonymous commenter said:

"You've made it clear that you do not like Huckabee- too clear for some of us. Can you please tell us a better answer then? Say you've convinced some of the readers here to NOT vote for Huckabee- okay- than who SHOULD they vote for? Hillary? Maybe Gulliani? "
Jess @ Making Home said:

OK, this is getting absurd. Are you just an anti-Huckabee site now? I assume you have a candidate you support (I'm betting I know who it is), so why aren't you writing tons of pro-pieces for your guy? This just seems really base and negative to keep going off about one guy.
That's just a small sampling of the email and comments I've received since I wrote my series on Huckabee and Homeschooling, so it's time to address a few things. I'll start by clearing up Quiverdaddy's most important point first. It's time to be perfectly honest, I only use tin foil for baking and in a pinch to wrap a small gift, but I never wear hats (I have a small head) and certainly not one made out of tin foil! And as far as not having read Huckabee's positions or record, I only have to wonder if Quiverdaddy, actually read my posts?

As for the anonymous comment, I do not dislike Mike Huckabee. I strongly disagree with his policies especially in education and his compromise on homeschool legislation. That's all. I'll come back to the second part of the comment in a bit.

I've heard from quite a few people like Jess, who thought that my series was too negative. Fair enough. So let me be try to be a bit more positive.

I'm positive Huckabee is bad news for homeschoolers.

Seriously, the information I've presented is positive. The truth is always positive but not always pleasant.

If this series seems negative it's because Huckabee's record IS negative. I actually started out this research looking for a reason to like Huckbee based on a conversation with a few friends. I went to HSDLA's website looking at their reasons for supporting him, thinking that they would offer the most compelling case given their endorsement, but I didn't just accept what they said as the truth. That's tempting, but it's too easy.

So I checked out HSDLA's archives to learn about the history of homeschooling in Arkansas. I read Arkansas Department of Education websites, comments from the National Governors Association, and the Education Commission of the States. I read news articles and pro-Huckabee sites. I tried to like him, but the truth pointed in a vastly different direction than the conclusion drawn by HSDLA-PAC. I talked to an HSLDA representative for nearly an hour. After all the research, I then published my findings to challenge myself and my facts. I believed I was right in my asessment, but until I'm willing to submit my findings to the scrutiny of others, I would never really know if I was right. Blogging my thoughts here and in comments elsewhere provided the perfect vehicle to find out, especially since I'd received a fair number of inquiries about Huckabee and homeschooling. No one provided an substantive rebuttal to what I wrote. Then in a pleasant twist of events I learned that Ned Ryun, the former director of HSDLA-PAC, agreed with my assessment and provided some insight into what was going on at HSDLA. But let me clear up another rumor, no one wrote these posts or gave me the information. Rombots have not taken over SpunkyHomeschool. The work was time consuming, trust me. But the research is necessary to make an informed choice so I did it. Not just for me but for my kids.

Huckabee's a likeable guy, but education reform is trending toward universal standards, global citizenship, and common morality at the expense of national citizenship and absolute Truth. That's not a trend I want to continue into the next decade. Likable isn't enough anymore. We need someone who doesn't believe politics or education is "vertical." That's the rhetoric of a compromiser. Huckabee has the unique quality (well, Clinton had it too) of making you think he's got deep rooted convictions only to find out he's manipulated you without even realizing it. That's how he got the NEA and the HSLDA-PAC endorsment.

If a man will compromise to get elected, he'll compromise when he gets into office . Huckabee compromised in Arkansas, he'll do it again if he's elected President. "Vertical" politics just doesn't work for me.

So that leads to the obvious question, "Who should we vote for?"

If I've cast doubt upon Huckabee I hope it's because my information is factual and readers have checked out what I've said just like I checked out HSDLA. The stuff I've written about Huckabee can be done on any of the candidates, by anyone. I'm nothing special, just a homeschool mom like you with a keen interest in learning.

Take what I've written and build on it. Call the campaigns, read their websites, google their name and the key phrases in education. Read their statements and what they've said over the years. I know it's grueling and time consuming, but the alternative is to be similar to the woman in my original post who just said, "He's a Baptist minister, so I don't have to ask what he stands for." And then vote based on assumption of agreement and nothing else only to find out after the vote that that he's not quite "one of us" after all.

So, use the primary season to do the research and don't rely on me or anyone else to tell you who to vote for or not to vote for. There's something strangely satisfying about knowing who you're going to vote for. No one likes indecision. But indecision is better than a wrong decision. Let your indecision during this primary season drive you to educate yourself and you won't need me to tell you who to support. You'll be wise enough to know all on your own. If more people took that approach the better off this country will be. That's what a primary season is for. Make the candidates work for your vote, don't just give it away because they talk like "one of us" or someone you know endorses them. Their motivation may not be in your best interest.

That's not a cop-out because I don't want to tell you who I might support. It's actually the same thing I often tell my kids when they don't know something. Don't rely on me, I'm not always going to be here (and I might be wrong!). Get out a book and get online and begin to learn about the issues. Read. Ask questions. Then go back and read some more. Don't accept something just because someone says it's true. Make sure it is true. The good news is that for everyone but those who live in Iowa, you still have some time left before you have to make a decision.

And by the way, if you do take that approach and find out I've missed it somewhere in my facts please let me know. I welcome the opportunity to fix any errors and learn more myself.

My previous posts on Huckabee and homeschooling
Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenship
Huckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

How does Huckabee define "always?"

Mike Huckabee is now out stumping for votes using various versions of the question, "If you can't be honest before the election, can we trust you to be honest after the election?"

It's a good question and standard, so let's apply it to Huckabee.

From Mike Huckabee's official website we read,
"I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering." (emphasis added)
Sounds strong and convincing. But there's one problem, it's not true. Huckabee has not always supported a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. In the spirit of "federalism" Huckabee once lobbied to bridge the divide between pro-choice and pro-life Republicans by revising the party platform on abortion.

In 1995 Huckabee said,
"The issue divides strongly committed pro-life and pro-choice Republicans but is not a central issue to most other Republicans. A possible platform revision long under discussion would say the Republican Party, 'unlike the Democratic Party, does not stand for abortion on demand and is basically a pro-life party.' In the spirit of federalism, the proposed GOP revision also would replace the abortion amendment with a statement saying the issue should be left up to the individual state legislatures to deal with as each sees fit. 'That's exactly what we have looked for, and if it's left up to the states, more of them are going to put some restrictions on abortion,' Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee said in an interview after appearing on a conference panel yesterday." (Ralph Z. Hallow, "Conservatives Hold Fire On Abortion," Washington Times, 2/12/95)"
More recently in 2006, Huckabee was interviewed by John Hawkins and said,

"[I] think Roe v. Wade is based on a real stretch of Constitutional application -- that somehow there is a greater privacy issue in the abortion concern -- than there is a human life issue -- and that the federal government should be making that decision as opposed to states making that decision. So, I've never felt that it was a legitimate manner in which to address this and, first of all, it should be left to the states, the 10th Amendment, but secondly, to somehow believe that the taking of an innocent, unborn human life is about privacy and not about that unborn life is ludicrous."
So up until 2006, Huckabee saw abortion as an issue that should be left up to the states not a federal issue. Now watch as Huckabee talks to Chris Wallace about his position as opposed to other candidates on Fox News Sunday, November 18, 2007.

So one year later, in an attempt to distinguish himself from the other candidates, he said he's never changed his position, that a federalist position was "not good enough" and on moral issues you can't have 50 versions of right and wrong. He is openly critical and amazed that Thompson does not support a human life amendment because it had been part of the Republican platform since 1980. He never mentions that up until last year, he held the same position or that he once sought to change the party platform in to reflect a state's rights position.

Clearly, Huckabee has switched his position on a constitutional amemdment despite what he said to Chris Wallace or his website now claims.

"If you can't be honest before the election, can we trust you to be honest after the election?"

Can we trust Huckabee to be honest after the election? I suppose the answer hinges upon your definition of the word "always."