Mike Huckabee’s Willie Horton

Republican Presidential contender Mike Huckabee’s role in letting a convicted rapist go free so he could later rape and kill a Missouri woman may derail his fastrack to the nomination.

In what is becoming a “he said, they said, he denied” campaign issue, Huckabee’s defense is that he refused to commute a sentence for Wayne Dumond, the rapist, but claims it was the parole board, not he, who put the man back on the streets.

Several members of the parole board claim otherwise, saying Huckabee, then Governor of Arkansas, pressured them to let Dumond walk.

Huckabee’s parole problem breaks back memories of Willie Horton, the murderer released from jail by then-Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis, who killed again. A campaign ad showing Horton’s menacing mug shot led to Dukakis’ loss to George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Reports Bloomberg News:

Former Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said he didn’t pressure a state parole board to release a convicted rapist who later raped again and committed murder.

“My only official action in this was I denied his commutation,” Huckabee said during an interview with CNN. Huckabee said three parole board members weren’t being truthful in their descriptions of pressure exerted by him in the case Wayne Dumond.

Huckabee’s record as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007 is coming under greater scrutiny as he climbs in polls of Republican voters with less than a month to go before the first contest in the nomination race. Huckabee placed second behind former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani among Republicans nationally in a Nov. 30-Dec. 3 Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times survey.

Over the past week he has been asked to respond to reports about the Dumond case, the latest coming yesterday on the Huffington Post Web site. The Web site reported that Huckabee supported Dumond’s release from prison even though several women who had been assaulted by Dumond wrote letters to the governor warning that he was dangerous.

Huckabee, 52, told CNN that he wrote a letter to Dumond telling him that parole was the best option for him because he had decided to deny his request for a commuted sentence. Parole meant Dumond would be supervised after release, Huckabee said.

“For people to now politicize these deaths and to try to make a political case out of it, rather than to simply understand that a system failed and that we ought to extend our grief and heartfelt sorrow to these families, I just regret that politics is reduced to that,” he said on CNN.

Dumond was paroled in 1999. He was arrested two years later on charges of raping and killing a Missouri woman and died in prison in 2005, according to Huffington Post.


  1. beedee

    I agree with this reader of TPM:

    I’ve seen the Wayne Dumond affair referred to as Huckabee’s “Willie Horton” problem a number of times, including on this blog this afternoon in a post by David Kurtz linking to Murry Waas’ excellent piece. But this case is only superficially like Willie Horton. As I recall, Michael Dukakis did not advocate the release of Willie Horton specifically, whereas Mike Huckabee *did* advocate specifically for the release of Wayne Dumond. Of course, Dukakis as governor *did* move to continue the program of furloughs for prisoners serving life without parole as a measure he believed would effectively rehabilitate prisoners, and in my opinion that was both dangerous as a matter of public policy and stupid at a purely political level. But the equivalency developing between the Willie Horton story and the Wayne Dumond story is ridiculous.

    The bottom line is simple. Mike Huckabee championed the release of a specific convicted rapist who, once release, raped and killed a woman in Missouri. The furlough policy advocated by Mike Dukakis led to the furlough of Willie Horton, who raped a woman in Maryland and stabbed her fiancee. But Mike Dukakis had never heard of Willie Horton, whereas Mike Huckabee was well aware of the crimes and dangers posed by Wayne Dumond. Anyone who doesn’t see the substantive difference between the two cases just isn’t looking.

  2. hank-the-nite-watchman

    Huckabee’s extremely poor judgment in the Dumond parole matter and Huckabee’s obviously blatant deception and cover-up of the travesty should fit right in with the record of the present occupant of the oval office, should this Huckster tragically succeed in achieving that position. A further testament to Huckabee’s flawed character may be viewed at http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/11/13/huckabee/
    where “The dark side of Mike Huckabee” details how he tried to claim $17,000 in governor’s mansion furnishings, to say nothing about the 5 times Arkansas’s Ethics Commission sanctioned him. It’s now wonder he is no longer a parson.
    The nite-watchman

  3. Carl Nemo

    I thought readers should afford themselves of more details concerning the Mike “Huckleberry” Huckabee, Wayne Dumond case along with the incident of his son boarding an airliner with a “loaded” Glock !?

    True, his son is no longer a minor and under the direct supervision of the father, but it makes me wonder from a genetics standpoint, what we might have here as a presidential candidate as demonstrated by his son’s actions …? Oops, I forgot that Mike Huckabee is a Christian Evangelical Minister…he must be OK…no?! 😐

    I’ve always admired the people of Iowa as hardworking, grassroots, salt of the earth type of people, but if they gravitate towards this last minute NWO~MSM sponsored plug-in module and nominate Huckabee, I’ll be more than sorely disappointed with Iowans. It will also prove that too much hard work under the sun just might fry the human brain and common sense along with it.

    If Mike Huckabee is the rethuglican’s only hope for maintaining control of the executive branch in 2008; they are in deep trouble…! They seemingly are headed for the ashbin of political history and most assuredly his nomination will make it so.



    Carl Nemo **==