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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Huckabee’

CPAC 2010 Straw Poll RESULTS: Ron Paul Wins Big

Huff Po– Sam Stein

First Posted: 02-20-10 05:40 PM   |   Updated: 02-20-10 06:00 PM

In a strong reflection of just how strong his standing remains within the die-hard conservative community, Texas Republican and 2008 presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning nearly one-third (31 percent) of the entire vote. The crowd, however, booed heavily when the results were announced.

Paul was far and away the most widely anticipated speaker at the three-day conference, with his base of “Paulites” streaming into the main auditorium to hear him rail against government overreach and neoconservativism on Friday afternoon. In many respects, his win in the CPAC poll seemed pre-ordained — his band of followers having a well-earned reputation for flooding polls and forums like these.

What it portends for a possible 2012 presidential run is anyone’s guess. Paul had a similar cult-like following during the 2008 election, only to garner a relatively small chunk of the actual vote.

The other potential candidates who scored well and are more “mainstream” picks for the Republican nomination include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who earned 22 percent of the vote, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who came in third with seven percent. Romney had won the last three CPAC polls. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, another talked about 2012 aspirant, tied “undecided” for fourth place at six percent.

The results provide an interesting reflection as to where conservative hearts lie nearly three years before the next presidential elections take place. But with so much time before formal campaigning begins – and with no White House aspirant even officially announcing a bid- its best to resist the temptation to read too deeply into the numbers. For example, last year, disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford polled at four percent, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — no longer even on the straw poll — came in second at 14 percent.

Nevertheless, the CPAC poll can provide a nice boost (or, at the very least, attention) to prospective candidates. In 2007, Romney etched out a win over former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani by a margin of 21 percent to 17 percent. Sen. John McCain, who wound up winning the nomination, came in fifth with 12 percent of the vote.

Several of the candidates polled attended CPAC in the days, and even hours, ahead of the results being released. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a keynote speaker on Saturday, preceded by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (Penn.). Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke on Friday followed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Paul. Romney addressed the audience on Thursday. All others were not in attendance during the three-day affair.

Here are the official results:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul – 31 percent
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — 22 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — 7 percent
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty – 6 percent
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – 4 percent
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — 4 percent
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence – 5 percent
South Dakota Sen. John Thune — 2 percent
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — 2 percent
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — 2 percent
Mississippi Gov. Hailey Barbour – 1 percent
Other – 5 percent
Undecided – 6 percent

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Seattle Police search for Maurice Clemmons 11/29/09; Clemmons and Mike Huckabee (inset).

How Clemmons Went From Prisoner To Alleged Cop Killer — And Why It Matters For Mike Huckabee

TPM Muckraker

Justin Elliott | November 30, 2009, 5:17PM

How did Maurice Clemmons, once sentenced to 100 years in prison in Arkansas, end up a free man and the prime suspect in the grisly killing of four Seattle area police officers Sunday?

Clemmons’ story begins with a teenage crime spree, winds through his years as a young man spent behind bars and the commutation of his life sentence by Mike Huckabee, continues with more years in and out of prison and the degeneration of his mental state, and finally leaves off today with a massive search for a man police describe as armed and dangerous.

The story carries potentially big political ramifications for possible presidential contender Huckabee, who is now trying to deflect criticism of the commutation to the state parole board. That’s in part because Huckabee’s effort to downplay his role in the Clemmons commutation echoes his response in the case of another Arkansas parolee who went on to commit a gruesome crime.

A May 1989 incident in which Clemmons, then 17, was caught with a gun at a Little Rock school appears to have been his first run in with the police. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette quoted him telling police that he had the gun because he had “been chased and beaten by dopers, and if they got after him again he had something for them” (via Nexis).

Starting almost immediately after his expulsion from school for the gun incident, Clemmons took part in a series burglaries that landed him in prison. In one late-night incident, a middle-aged woman was hit in the face and Clemmons and other teen snatched her purse. He made the news again when he hid a 10-inch metal bar in his sock before a pretrial hearing, and once again when a padlock he threw at a bailiff hit Clemmons’ own mother.

For these and other crimes, the young Clemmons received in 1989-90 remarkably harsh — arguably excessive — sentences adding up to 108 years, by the Arkansas Timescount.

By the time then-governor Huckabee was mulling a plea for clemency in 2000, Clemmons had spent roughly a decade behind the bars, and he pledged he was a changed man. As governor, Huckabee granted pardons and commutations much more than most. According to ABC, many believed it was a religious issue for Huckabee, a Baptist minister.

Thus it made strategic sense that Clemmons stressed his faith in a letter (.pdf) to Huckabee, obtained by the Seattle Times:

Clemmons said he came from “a very good Christian family” and “was raised much better than my actions speak (I’m still ashamed to this day for the shame my stupid involvement in these crimes brought to my family name.),” he wrote.”Where once stood a young (16) year old misguided fool, who’s (sic) own life he was unable to rule. Now stands a 27 year old man, who has learned through ‘the school of hard knocks’ to appreciate and respect the rights of others. And who has in the midst of the harsh reality of prison life developed the necessary skills to stand along (sic) and not follow a multitude of do evil, as I did as a 16 year old child.”

Clemmons added that his mother had recently died without seeing him turn his life around and that he prayed Huckabee would show compassion by releasing him.

In May 2000, citing Clemmons’ youth at the time of his crimes, Huckabee commuted the sentence to 47 years, making Clemmons eligible for parole. The board granted parole in July and Clemmons was released in August, but a year later he was back in prison for another Arkansas robbery. He got a 10-year sentence but in 2004 Clemmons was paroled again. He soon moved to Washington State.

>>>PAROLE DOCS AND MORE HERE<<<

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