Tuesday, February 02, 2010

EDITORIAL >> Can Huckster explain this?

It was so far down in the crime news that you may not have noticed. We like to mark the sparrow’s fall when it comes to former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s history with the criminal element, so we bring it to your attention.

Carlos Lamont Brown, a native of Forrest City, was sentenced to nine years in prison last week for running a credit-card scam that defrauded people of almost $130,000. His confederates would copy credit- and debit-card numbers when people used the cards to pay restaurant bills, and then Brown and his friends would use them to buy goods. The waiters would use hand-held scanning devices supplied by Brown’s team to copy the card numbers and identifications.

Gov. Huckabee never had any connection with Brown as far as we know, but one of the thief’s confederates was James Edward “Jimmy” Hinton, a former basketball star at Little Rock’s Hall High School. Hinton will be tried later this month for his role in the racket. After his playing days, Hinton spent time in the state penitentiary for distributing cocaine.

Huckabee, as we know, had a soft spot for sports and rock stars, businessmen who contributed to the Republican Party, repenting sinners, anyone who had victimized a relative of Bill Clinton and anyone who found a Baptist preacher to vouch for him. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Huckabee gave Hinton a pardon. We don’t know what the former star told Huckabee that merited a pardon, or whether a preacher interceded for him, a model path to earn clemency in the Huckabee years.

The death toll from Huckabee’s liberal clemency policies still stands at six. Hinton at least did not add to that, but he lengthens the long line of criminals who preyed upon innocents after winning Huckabee’s favor. We have a hunch there will be more before the presidential race in 2012, when Sarah Palin — or someone — will demand that he explain a judgment that ran awry so often and that brought such unspeakable pain.