A July 3 NewsMax article by Dave Eberhart attacks Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for not being an "authentic" conservative. Among the reasons Eberhart listed was his "liberal policy of criminal pardons" while Arkansas governor:
Case-in-point: Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist who was released during Huckabee's tenure as governor and who subsequently sexually assaulted and murdered a woman in Missouri following his release.
In October 1996, Huckabee met privately with the parole board to talk about the Dumond case. Some members of the board have since stated that they were pressured to re-examine and vote in favor of Dumond's parole. Huckabee has denied influencing the parole board in any way, but acknowledges some responsibility for signing Dumond's parole.
Dumond's case had gained some celebrity status in the mid 1990s from critics of President Bill Clinton who felt the former Arkansas governor had been too harsh with Dumond because Dumond's initial victim was a distant Clinton relative.
What Eberhart doesn't mention: A few years ago, NewsMax sang a much different tune as one of those "critics of President Bill Clinton" who tried to tie the DuMond case to Clinton and steer it away from Huckabee. As we've noted, NewsMax ran a November 2002 article uncritically quoting Huckabee, who was running for re-election as governor, claiming that Clinton "is running the campaign of his Democratic opponent, Jimmie Lou Fisher, who has made a 1984 rape case the central focus of her bid to replace Huckabee as the state's chief executive." The article added: "Clinton's role in resurrecting the rape case against Huckabee is particularly ironic, given the still unrefuted charges that he himself raped Arkansas businesswoman Juanita Broaddrick in 1978."
The article went on to identify DuMond's victim, Ashley Stevens, as "the daughter of Clinton cousin and campaign contributor Walter Stevens," asserting that "Stevens herself botched descriptions of the truck DuMond was driving at the time of the crime - and even got the color of his eyes wrong."
Not only did the 2002 article not mention, as Eberhart did, that Huckabee "pressured to re-examine and vote in favor of Dumond's parole," it allowed Huckabee to claim that Fisher's campaign "completely mischaracterized his role in the case":
"My opponent has used one issue," Huckabee told Imus, "and that is over a commutation that was actually done by [Clinton's successor] Jim Guy Tucker. ... He commuted the sentence of Wayne DuMond, a convicted rapist, and then the parole board released him. In the middle of that, I did give consideration to an earlier release, but I denied it."
Worse still, many believe DuMond never committed the rape in the first place.
The 2002 article also failed to mention that DuMond had been arrested for the Missouri murder in 2001. He died in prison in 2005.
Why has NewsMax flip-flopped on Huckabee and his role in the DuMond case? Doesn't Bill Clinton-bashing play anymore? Or is NewsMax simply trying to clear the path for Mitt Romney? Perhaps Eberhart can explain that.