The Huckabee campaign just issued a response to the Romney ad.
First, on meth:
In a new attack ad released today, Governor Romney attempts to contrast his position on drugs with that of Governor Huckabee. The ad says that Romney got "Tough on Drugs Like Meth," while Governor Huckabee "Reduced Penalties for Manufacturing Meth." What Romney fails to mention is that — even with the reductions — Governor Huckabee was tougher on methamphetamine manufacturers than Governor Romney was.
— The "reduced penalty" in Arkansas was a requirement that meth manufacturers serve 50 percent of their sentence rather than 70 percent before being eligible for parole. In Arkansas, the average meth dealer spends an average of 10 years in prison.
–In contrast, the source quoted in the Romney ad that claimed Romney "got tough" on drugs notes, "The punishment would be either 2 1/2 years in jail or five years in prison."
On the clemency issue, the Huckabee campaign responds that:
The ad also states that Romney "never pardoned a single criminal." But this begs the question: how many clemency cases did he actually review while he was governor of
Massachusetts? Or did he simply avoid his responsibility as chief executive of the state to review clemency cases and give petitioners a fair hearing?
The campaign also goes onto argue that, in contrast, Huckabee took his clemency duties seriously, and reviewed 8,698 applications during his 10 ½ years in office, denying 88 percent of them.
During the 10 ½ years Mike Huckabee was governor the number of government agencies and businesses that conducted background checks increased at an incredible rate. The terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, have resulted in increased concerns regarding security. Potential job candidates and long-time employees considered for promotion are under increased scrutiny.
Before the mainstream use of background checks, most people could have some youthful arrest, change their lives and become good, tax-paying citizens without that earlier arrest coming back to haunt them.
Governor Huckabee found during his time in office that each year the number of people needing clemency to clear their record increased. Denying their request prevented them from continuing to earn a good living and pay taxes. The majority of the clemency requests he granted were for this reason.
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