mike%20huckabee%20michael%20huckabee%20governor%20arkansas.jpegWe've blogged about Governor Mike Huckabee's media meltdown, as well as the rumor -- now somewhat confirmed -- that his daughter Sarah has moved back to Arkansas to help raise funds for his 2008 presidential run.

(By the way, we've heard that Sarah is "a really sweet person." Maybe she can serve as her father's goodwill ambassador to the Arkansas Times.)

But we haven't yet touched upon what has been getting Governor Huckabee the most MSM attention today: the initiative that he and Bill Clinton just announced, under which many soft drink makers will remove their high-calorie beverages from schools around the country. Both Huckabee and Clinton have been involved in the movement against childhood obesity.

Sounds like a sure PR winner for Huckabee, right? Well, maybe not. After the jump, check out some interesting information provided to us by a caffeine-free Democratic operative.

Here's what our tipster had to say:

Huckabee seems to have lost his memory along with his weight. Here are a few more points to continue the fun you've had today.

Just two years ago, Huckabee said there was no evidence that vending machines in schools contributed to obesity. ("There are no studies that I know that clearly say if a kid has access to a soda machine that he's going to be fatter than the one who doesn't have access," he said. Officials who fully supported removal of the machines said Huckabee was being disingenuous for opposing them based on a lack of research. AP 6/20/04)

He supported repeal of a soft drink tax that helped fund Medicaid -- a move that even tax-wary voters rejected. (Huckabee supported a referendum on the ballot to repeal the soft drink tax, even though it had brought in $31.7 million in revenue for the Medicaid program since July 1993. Revenues were set aside in a trust dedicated to Medicaid. The state money was matched 3-to-1 with federal dollars. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/3/94; Commercial Appeal, 10/8/94]...Disagreeing with Mike Huckabee, Arkansas voters voted to keep the state's soft-drink tax for Medicaid, which was approved during a December 1992 special legislative session. Bottlers spent more than $3 million in their attempt to have the tax repealed. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 11/9/94])

He was even fined by the Ethics Commission for an illegal gift that gave free advertising to the Coca-Cola Company. (In January of 2003, Arkansas' Ethics Commission ruled that Mike Huckabee violated two state ethics laws on accepting and reporting gifts in 2001. The governor was fined $250 and issued him a letter of warning for accepting a $500 canoe from Coca-Cola in 2001. Coca-Cola representative Steve Powell said the canoe was given to Huckabee as a way to give the soft-drink company free-advertising. "Because if the governor's canoeing down the river with our logo on the side of it, that's good for the Coca-Cola image," Powell said. [Associated Press, 2/17/06])

Indeed -- although maybe not for Huckabee's image...

Sounds like the Huckabee 2008 crew has a tough row to hoe. Good luck, Sarah and friends; you'll need it!

Sugary Drinks To Be Pulled From Schools [WP]

Soda Distributors to End Most School Sales [NYT]

Gossip mongering [Arkansas Blog]

Earlier: Guessing Game Results: Two Naughty Daughters

Mike Huckabee's Media Meltdown


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