December 2nd, 2009
02:32 PM ET
3 months ago

HuckPAC coordinator steps down, citing clemency decision

Huckabee granted clemency to Maurice Clemmons in 2000, when he served as governor of Arkansas.
Huckabee granted clemency to Maurice Clemmons in 2000, when he served as governor of Arkansas.

(CNN) – The Arkansas coordinator for Mike Huckabee's political action committee resigned Tuesday, citing the former Arkansas governor's decision nine years ago to grant clemency to Maurice Clemmons, the man suspected of murdering four police officers in Washington state.

Jason Tolbert, who runs a conservative blog, served as Arkansas state coordinator for HuckPAC in a volunteer capacity.

"My departure was with a heavy heart but was done after serious prayer and consideration," Tolbert wrote on his Web site. "Some have asked about the timing. As most could imagine, the recent news of the last two days along with the response did play a role in this decision but was not the sole factor."

Huckabee said Tuesday he takes "full responsibility" for the clemency decision.

"I acted on the facts presented to me in 2000, the former GOP presidential hopeful said in a statement. "If I could have possibly known what Clemmons would do nine years later, I obviously would have made a different decision. But if the same file was presented to me today, I would have likely made the same decision."


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Popular Posts
soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. Marie

    I would not have voted for you in 2000 and I DEFINITELY would never vote for you EVER

    December 2, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. HKP

    Hey Huck, Mike Dukakis just called and left you a message: "Karma really stinks, eh?"

    December 2, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. Dawgman

    This is not the first Murderer/Rapist that Huckabee has pardoned. He obviously does not care enough about the community he serves to protect it from these kinds of animals. Clemmons and the other guy that he pardoned simply moved out of Arkansas and started right where they left off, adding to their rap sheets. One is in jail (for more crimes) and Clemmons is now dead, just like Huckabees chance for EVER getting into the White House, at least in by book.

    December 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Stu

    Don't blame the GOP. The liberal left is far worse on this topic, especially Obama. He worked hard to block youthful offenders from being prosecuted as adults in Chicago. The issue here is that one, you can't reform antisocial people and that includes juveniles and two, kids of this ilk are totally antisocial, sociopathic, and permanently criminal by their early teens. Either to permanently isolate these monsters from society, or you tolerate the heinous acts they commit. The other issue is that we don't have enough prison space to hold the vast numbers of violent offenders (and it becomes a political and racial issue every time a prison is built). We only incarcerate a small fraction of felons, choosing instead to live the fairy tale of probation, parole, diversion programs, suspended sentences, etc.

    December 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. HKP

    Hey Frank, let me guess. The two Washington judges are Democrats. Are you Faux News types completely devoid of self awareness?

    December 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Minnesotan

    Jesus loves Truth, Facts and Reality. Why don't Republicans?

    December 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Katie

    I think clemency decisions are tough to make for a governor, so Huckabee made a mistake and it was a really bad one. But imagine how the Republicans would be ranting if a Democratic governor had made this mistake. The entire Democratic party would be ripped to shreds with no future in the next decade. Fox News would have had a hay-day like none you've seen. Happily the Democratic party isn't like that, despite their other flaws.

    December 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Charlie

    How about someone research all those he pardoned and post a list of their accomplishments on-line.

    December 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. bob

    This is what happens if you let out everyone who says they 'found Jesus'.

    December 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Change_Has_Begun

    i am a supporter of Obama...but guys cut some slack for Huckabee...the decision he made nine years ago was the right decision...it was up to our legal system to get this clemons guy treatment and guidance to becoming a better person...

    December 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. chuck

    Clemency and conjugal visits for every prisoner who professes that he read the bible last night, but please keep those dangerous gay men from loving one another. Talk about misplaced priorities.

    December 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. marcia

    His actions are as criminal as the outcome of his clemency!

    December 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Ed from Bucks County PA

    This is Willie Horton all over again. Dukakis was crucified by the Republicans for freeing Willie. This contribur\ted to his losing the election.

    If Huckabee decides to run, I wonder how the party will handle this?

    December 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Joe P.

    Is he beefing up again?

    Seriously, I can't decide which Republican I'd like to see the GOP trot out for the 2012 race! But I think they'd all fair about the same. Huckabee, Cheney, Palin, that other crazy woman from MN, or any of the others.

    What the pissed off people in america fail to recognize is that regardless of who was elected, our current President was going to have a struggling economy, high unemployment, two wars, and half of the country feeling left out. Be glad that we have an articulate planner in office who's put a lot of thought into every decision.

    Where was the outrage during the "bring-it-on" "we'll go it alone" administration of Bush-Cheney?

    December 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Johnny DC

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Your posts are my favorite. I can't tell if you are racist against white people, blindly anti-Conservative, horribly uneducated, or just plain ignorant. The smart money is on all four.

    Keep spouting your hate, and keep mixing in the dreams that the GOP is on the way down. You are in for a very rude awakening in 2010 and 2012.

    December 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Marie MD

    head on with class? He doesnt have any. Maybe that is why it didn't bother him either that his son tortured and killed a dog. Boys will be boys, right?

    December 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Dar

    The Huckster admited his choice was wrong and it's a hard pill to swallow for him. Some of you hate mongers try sitting in his chair and make choices that he had to make. For the most part they were right but a couple of bad apples and some of you want to crusify him.

    What about Odumbo waiting to make his choice about Afganistan, how many of our troops died because of his choice to wait, shouldn't he be gone too due to his bad choices???????

    Some people just amaze me of how they think. Have you ever heard Odumbo say he made a mistake??? NOPE

    It takes a big man to say he was wrong and the one that you say is the best president we ever had can't say when he is wrong. What a guy!

    December 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. John Lubeck

    I'm as "un-Republican" as you can get but I find it more than a little ridiculous that most every comment on this issue seems to have a crystal ball that would have foreseen this cop killer. So, despite my vast differences from Huckabee, I think he is a better man than those throwing the stones right now.

    December 2, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Liberal4Obama

    The rats are jumping of the Hucktanic, it's never too late to abandon ship

    December 2, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. susanj

    If he frees murderers and rapists – how do you think he would be in securing our nation, if he should become President. Talk about a whimp – why don't you call him a whimp and a man-child Rush.

    December 2, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. Gil Oberdas

    Just another right wing religous nut case hypocrite!

    December 2, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. t22

    I'm not sure what to make of the comments here. Unlike many other governors and elected officials, he stood up and said he was wrong. He isn't hiding from anything and I don't see what his faith has to do with any of this. Let's face it, if this had ever happened under Obama's watch (had he actually made any executive decisions in his life), he would have made sure we all knew it was someone else's fault.

    To the poster who said he should step down, step down from what, his job as a talk show host on Fox?

    I don't think Huckabee is a good presidential candidate, but this has little to do with it.

    December 2, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Rickey Lawrence

    I would have love to seem the you Republicans reactions if that was Barack Obama or another democrat did this. It would have been played on hannity, beck and limbaugh all day long. Not a peep out of the clowns about this issue. So much for Fair and Balance. I make a bet with any republican out there if this had been a Democrat is would have been headline news on Fox and now you wonder why everybody calls it GOP TV .

    December 2, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. IB1

    Willie Horton....

    Once again, 'Conservatives', which has come to mean, 'living in fantasyland', will fail to see their utter hypocrisy.

    December 2, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Ken

    Why dont stories point out the circumstances leading to the clemancy? Seems important to me.

    December 2, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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