Thank you NEWSWEEK: Romney on Huckabee II Romney attacks Huckabee again with false and misleading claims.

False and misleading… like I’ve been saying all along. Those that want to know the truth should just see the records for themselves – and remember; visit mikehuckabee.com and click the truth-squad icon for the facts as well as factcheck.org

Hey FOXNEWS, be FAIR AND BALANCED and ask Mitt on the validation of this article.

If you’re in IOWA, please pass along to your family, friends and colleagues.

Here’s the NEWSWEEK article

by Justin Bank and Lori Robertson | factcheck.org

Romney launched another negative ad in Iowa this week, where the Republican presidential candidate has been battling the new front-runner, Huckabee. This time, Romney attacks Huckabee’s record on methamphetaminelaws and the clemencies he granted as governor of Arkansas. We found that:

The ad says Romney “got tough on drugs like meth” while governor of Massachusetts, but the legislation he supported never passed, and his state’s laws are much weaker than Arkansas’. Convicted meth dealers face both minimum and maximum prison terms in Arkansas that are four times longer than those in Massachusetts.

The ad misrepresents news articles, implying that they supported Romney’s actions as governor when that’s not what the news organizations said. One article, in fact, gave critical views of Romney’s refusal to issue a pardon.

Analysis
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced that the ad would begin airing in Iowa Dec. 17. It’s a sequel to an earlier Romney attack on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee that we reviewed here, and it begins with the same misleading description of similarities between the two before going on the attack with new material.

Injecting Meth into the Campaign
The ad says Romney “got tough on drugs like meth” while Huckabee “even reduced penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine.” But wait: While Romney did submit legislation in 2005 that would have broadened state laws against meth production, such as setting sentencing guidelines for possessing various methamphetamine precursor ingredients, this effort to get “tough” failed. That bill died in committee in Jan. 2007.

The legislation Huckabee supported, meanwhile, did shorten the amount of time a convict would have to serve before being eligible for parole from 70 percent of the sentence to 50 percent. But Arkansas has strict meth laws that remain on the books, and they are far tougher than those in Massachusetts. A convicted meth dealer can be sentenced to 40 years in Arkansas, but in Massachusetts the maximum term is 10 years. The mandatory minimum in Arkansas is 10 years in prison, but it’s only a two-and-a-half-year state prison term in Massachusetts. And, in fact, the bill this ad criticizes was drafted with the help of Arkansas state prosecutors to help alleviate overcrowding problems in the state penal system.

Here are the details of the state laws: In Arkansas, offenders found guilty of intent to distribute or manufacture while in possession of less than an ounce of meth face a minimum sentence of “not less than ten (10) years nor more than forty (40) years, or life” and a fine “not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).” In Massachusetts, the penalty for a person convicted of manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to manufacture or distribute a substance that contains any quantity of methamphetamine is “a term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half nor more than ten years.” A fine of no more than $10,000 may be imposed as well. The legislation Romney backed would not have increased the mandatory minimum, even if it had passed.

One possible reason that Arkansas has far tougher meth laws than Massachusetts is that it has a far larger meth problem: The federal Drug Enforcement Agency counts 407 methamphetamine “lab incidents” in Arkansas in 2006, compared with only one in Massachusetts. The DEA says methamphetamine is Arkansas’ “primary drug of concern,” while in Massachusetts the drug is “available in limited quantities” and “rarely abused.” However, meth is a huge problem in Iowa, where this ad is airing. In 2006, there were 318 meth lab incidents, according to the DEA, down from a high of 1,370 in 2004. Iowa enacted a tough law in 2005 that made it illegal to sell non-prescription pseudoephedrine to a minor or to keep it anywhere but behind a pharmacy counter. Pseudophedrine is found in common over-the-counter medications such as Sudafed and has been widely used to make meth.

Print Your Own Newspaper!
The ad uses news clippings to borrow the independent credibility of newspapers and bolster Romney’s claims. However, in several instances, the ad reconstructs the words of the newspapers to distort the original reporting. For instance, it lists the Berkshire Eagle as saying “tough on drugs like meth” on Aug. 15, 2005. But the paper didn’t exactly say that. What the paper did say was:

Berkshire Eagle: Legislation filed by Gov. Mitt Romney would heighten the penalties for the possession of methamphetamine as well as toughen penalties for the possession of the chemicals used to produce it.

The newspaper is clearly reporting on the legislation filed. Romney’s ad changes the words to make it appear the newspaper is endorsing his effort. Filching the credibility of news organizations is an old trick we’ve found in past elections here, here and here.

Pardonable Offenses
In another example of skewing the news in his favor, the ad shows a June 12, 2007, Associated Press tagline under the headline “never pardoned a criminal.” But the closest the AP article comes to saying that is this:

AP: During the four years Romney was in office, 100 requests for commutations and 172 requests for pardons were filed in the state. All were denied.

The language from the ad appears nowhere in the news article, which is certainly no endorsement of Romney’s policies. It actually portrays the governor as unreasonably stubborn. The article focuses primarily on Romney’s refusal to pardon National Guard Lt. Anthony Circosta, who had been convicted of assault at age 13 for “shooting another boy in the arm with a BB gun, a shot that didn’t break the skin,” according to the AP. After returning from duty in Iraq, Circosta wanted to become a police officer but needed to have his childhood charge pardoned first. Romney refused twice, despite the recommendations of the state Board of Pardons.

We’re not passing judgment on either governors’ record on clemencies, but we take issue with Romney’s misleading attempt to claim this news article endorsed his actions. It didn’t.

Sources
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Senate bill No. 2183, “An Act to Control the Use of Methamphetamine.” 18 Aug. 2005.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Chapter 94C: Section 32A. Class B controlled substances. Accessed 18 Dec. 2007.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Arkansas state fact sheet 2007. Updated June 2007.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Massachusetts state fact sheet 2007. Updated June 2007.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Iowa state fact sheet 2007. Updated June 2007.

“Meth in Iowa” fact sheet. Prepared by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute on behalf of the Midwestern Governors Association Regional Meth Summit, Dec. 2005.

Kendell, Gary W. “Methamphetamine Abuse in Iowa.” Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, 19 Jan. 2007.

Arkansas Code (Non annotated) > Title 5 Criminal Offenses > Subtitle 6. Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, Or Welfare > Chapter 64 Controlled Substances > Subchapter 4 — Uniform Controlled Substances Act — Prohibitions and Penalties > 5-64-401. Criminal penalties.

Arvidson, Erik, “Romney acts to boost meth penalties,” The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA). 15 Aug 2005.

LeBlanc, Steve, “As governor, Romney opposed pardons, a blanket policy challenged by case of Iraq war veteran,” AP. 12 June 2007.

Robinson, David and Thompson, Doug, “House approves repeal of 70-percent law for meth producers,” Arkansas News Bureau. 9 Mar 2005.

Republished with permission of FactCheck.org .

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6 Responses to “Thank you NEWSWEEK: Romney on Huckabee II Romney attacks Huckabee again with false and misleading claims.”

  1. The attacks are relentless… but the poll numbers say it all: Reuters/Zogby - Huckabee and Giuliani tied in 2008 Republican race « Bill’s Weblog Says:

    […] (CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE) Conventional wisdom would think that attack, after attack, and more attacks would do harm to any candidate – and it could, in time. But for now, it seems that the feeding frenzy is putting Mike Huckabee in the spotlight. Here’s the good thing: as dozens of new articles per day are popping up, the smart voters (not smart in that they know everything, rather smart in that they want to learn the facts) do their research, get to know Mike Huckabee when visiting http://www.mikehuckabee.com, look at the facts, and realize how these attacks, for the most part, are petty, without merit and totally untrue. […]

  2. Jenner Says:

    What are Evangelicals doing? Stop the hate. Stop the anti-mormonism. It is rampant among your people. Stop the anti-semitic feelings. Are you not ashamed, is this America or Germany circa 1930’s?

    Watch this before you vote:

    http://www.articlevithemovie.com/trailer.php

  3. christfollower Says:

    Bill:
    Exactly! Mitt has stooped to distortions and misrepresentations of Gov. Huckabee’s record. Mike Huckabee has an established record of consistency and success as a conservative Governor. He has more executive government experience than any of the other candidates running. I’m sure the lies will continue from the desperate and scurrying campaigns of the other candidates but I am hopeful that the people of Iowa will see through them and recognize Mike Huckabee as the man of character and integrity and conviction that he is.

  4. Kenneth Howell Says:

    Shame on Mike Huckabee. It was Mike Huckabee who raised the issues of a religious test for office, Romney’s faith as a cult, and promoting himself as the only “Christian Candidate”.

    Huckabee stands back and acts like an innocent, all the while framing questions about Romney’s faith to be questions of his character and integrity. Shame on Mike Huckabee.

    Paragraph 3, Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution reads, “. . . all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    Well, so much for the Constitution in Huckabee‘s mind. On the campaign trail to the 2008 presidential election, religious bigotry has reared its ugly head. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a Mormon. As his poll numbers continue to rise there is a sudden, alarming amazement, a dread resulting in utter confusion and dismay led by Mike Huckabee!

    In many denominations pastors rely on the church as their source of income. They are good, moral people whom, I believe, earnestly minister to their respective flocks. Yet, it is also their livelihood. Mormons do not pay their leaders and, doctrine aside, evangelical leaders have problems with that. Too, the rapid growth and retention rates of the Mormon Church, coupled with its superlative welfare system have only added grief to the evangelical leadership. So, from the evangelical seminaries to the smallest southern pulpit the Mormon doctrine is attacked.

    Never mind that one would be hard pressed to find a more humble, clean-living, patriotic, law-abiding and civic-minded group of people than a Mormon congregation. Never mind that the church’s name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Never mind that two major articles of their faith are: We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, and We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. Mormons just cannot be Christians! But they are.

    Pastor turned candidate Mike Huckabee, while speaking (preaching) to the choir at the Values Summit said, “Faith is also threatened, and let me share with you how. I believe that there are many who will seek our support. But let me say that it’s important that people sing from their hearts, and don’t merely lip-synch the lyrics to our songs. I think it’s important that the language of Zion is a mother tongue, and not a recently acquired second language. It’s important that a person doesn’t have more positions on issues that Elvis had waist sizes.” Oh, that was subtle, and hateful. It is just pure religious bigotry; “you can only believe what we say you believe.” And it is offensive to the principle of religious freedom. Where do these ideas come from? Well, just ask Noah Crowe, a Southern Baptist pastor from North Carolina, there’s nothing Romney can do to overcome their distrust of Mormonism. “he studied Mormonism at his evangelical college in a course called Cults and False Religions. He claims there’s nothing Romney can do to overcome their ideas on Mormonism.

    Unfortunately in the evangelical south, such rhetoric has marginalized the most qualified presidential candidate, the one who most shares their value system. Moreover, this consternation is unwarranted.

    More than a few members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have served in our Federal Government. Democrat Senator Harry Reid is the current senate majority leader. Ezra Taft Benson, Republican, served as Secretary of Agriculture in Eisenhower’s administration. J. Reuben Clark, Republican, was appointed U.S. State Department Solicitor. In 1928, he was appointed Undersecretary of State. In 1930, ambassador to Mexico. Most in the Republican party know of Paula Hawkins of Florida, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Ron Packard and Ivy Baker Priest of California, and, of course, Orrin Hatch. Democrats know Stewart Udall of Arizona, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Ralph Harding of Idaho

    Indeed, on famousmormons.net Stephen M. Studdert, Special Assistant to President Reagan says, “Ronald Reagan truly admired the Latter-day Saints. His administration included more members of the Church than any other American president, ever. Three of us, David Fischer, Gregory Newell and I, served on his personal White House staff. Richard Wirthlin was his chief strategist. Terrel Bell served as Secretary of Education, Bay Buchanan was Treasurer, Rex Lee was Solicitor General. His White House included Roger Porter, Brent Scowcroft, Richard Beal, Blake Parish, Jon Huntsman, Dodie Borup and Rocky Kuonen, and there were many other Latter-day Saints throughout his Administration.

    The list goes on and on. Many more members have served in high and trusted positions throughout the world in business, medicine, law, education, media, sports, and entertainment. Thank goodness. After all, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

  5. Peter Says:

    A VOTE FOR HUCKABEE IS A VOTE FOR HILLARY! Let me explain:

    Huckabee cannot win the election. Everyone should know this. What good is his Evangelical background going to do for us Evangelicals when he loses to Hillary in November?

    Outside of the Christian Right Huckabee is viewed as yet another Christian from the South with nothing else behind him. I like huckabee but Americans view him as Bush 2.0 and there is NO way Americans are about to put another Bush into office right now.

    PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU VOTE FOR HUCKABEE AND SEND HILLARY INTO THE WHITE HOUSE:

    http://www.evangelicalsformitt.org/why.php

  6. billgarcia Says:

    …looks like the bashers found their way here too….


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