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Huckabee for President

Huckabee Lowers Tax Burden. Romney Increases Tax Burden

January 6, 2008 | By | 2 Comments

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Grover Norquist Your Business Blogger was in the room when Mike Huckabee delivered The Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Grover Norquist.

Huckabee reviewed his tax record. That was the first time many heard Huckabee’s compelling review on public funding and taxes during his terms as governor.

It was there and then that Huckabee convinced me that he was a man who was a true conservative with the the public purse; the public treasury.

The Republican Presidential debates Sunday night centered on taxes. A topic of interest for all Americans but especially for New Hampshire, the state of the first Primary.

Romney went on the offensive early in the debate on taxes.

This is a debate Romney should avoid. Massachusetts’s state and local tax burden increased under Romney’s control — as compared to Arkansas under Huckabee’s tenure.

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Mike Huckabee in New Hampshire The non-partisan Tax Foundation publishes a state by state comparison each year. 1 is highest tax burden going down to 50; lowest tax burden.

When Mike Huckabee took office his state was number 46 of the 50 states measuring the total state and local tax burden. The tax burden was 8.8%.

When Huckabee left office eight years later after two terms as Governor his state was still 46 of the 50 states and the burden remained the same at 8.8%. See the Tax Foundation; Arkansas page 4.

When Mitt Romney took office in Massachusetts the total comparable tax burden was 9.8% with the state ranked at number 35.

When Romney left office the Commonwealth’s tax burden was 10.5%. The state also slipped a full 7 steps in rank down (up) to 28. See the Tax Foundation; Massachusetts, page 21.

Huckabee kept his tax burden the same with the same state ranking.

Huckabee’s Arkansas starts ranked at 46 and leaves at 46 with no change.

Romney’s Massachusetts starts ranked at 35 and leaves at 28.

Romney left the Commonwealth with a heavier tax burden and the ranking worse.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure Update: Charmaine has served as a paid adviser to the Huckabee campaign.

Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform and holds a weekly meeting in Your Nation’s Capital where he chairs an off-the-record meeting to review tax strategies and other conservative issues. Grover’s meetings include some of the smartest people on the planet. Your Business Blogger is not one of them.

Church going voters sing from a different sheet of music than the main stream media. Church goers don’t even need the sheet music.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge,

I ,____________, pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district of the State of _________ and to the American People that I will:

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

Check out numbers at MA for Huckabee.

Governor Mike Huckabee: Exceeding Expectations in New Hampshire

January 6, 2008 | By | 3 Comments

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Celebrating in Des Moines After celebrating and driving from Iowa to New Hampshire we followed Mike Huckabee’s performance at the events today in snow-covered Manchester.

Huckabee hosted a Chowder Fest originally booking a 75-seat restaurant. But the advance team learned that the crowd was going to be considerably larger and they scrambled make the move to a larger venue.

A high quality problem to be sure.

The final count was over 700 coming out to support Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee will do better than expected in New Hampshire.

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The future First Lady, Janet Huckabee

with two of the three future First Hucka-Dogs

in Cedars Rapids, Iowa

Credit: The Dreamer

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Thank you (foot)notes:

New Hampshire is a state of 1.3 million; Manchester is the largest city in the “Live Free or Die” state with some 100,000 souls. Concord, the capital has only 30,000.

Getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service might appeal to the voters of the Granite State. Huckabee is the only candidate pushing for real change.

Victory Party and On the Road Honking for Huckabee

January 5, 2008 | By | 8 Comments

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Mike Huckabee at the Victory CelebrationThe Victory Party on Thursday was packed with partiers at above-the-Fire-Marshall-limits in the biggest ball room in the Embassy Suites in the Des Moines.

Lotsa of Happy Huckabee Ho-downers. There were even adult beverages at the event. It was a young crowd looking for change.

Everybody loves a winner. The Hucka-Boom.

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The Diva, The Dude calling caucus goers

from the Des Moines Huckabee Headquarters

Mike Huckabee was quick to give credit to others who worked the phones and did the heavy lifting of lit drops.

The Penta-Posse was proud to play a small role.

After the celebration Your Business Blogger kissed Charmaine good-buy for two days as she got on the Hucka-Bus headed for the Hucka-Boeing to fly out to New Hampshire.

We packed up the Hucka-Truck and headed out for Manchester, NH.

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The Penta-Posse at the podium

Alert Readers will remember that the Hucka-Truck could have been named the UpChuck-aTruck on the drive out to Des Moines…

The ‘Hucka-prefix’ is fast loosing its appeal. Huckabee the candidate is sometimes described as short tempered. But it seems to this casual observer to be an exaggeration. He is proud of his surname and has grown up hearing every permutation that detractors can unload. Visit any group of third-graders on a play ground. (Or a presidential campaign. Hard to tell the difference.) The name-calling really doesn’t bother him.

The Mike Huckabee Hucka-fix is to laugh-off and ignore personal insults. I don’t know how he does it.

He is, well, presidential.

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So the Penta-Posse was packed in the monster SUV and we traveled over 1200 miles across country. Friends wrote “Honk 4 Huckabee” with shoe polish on our back window. And we got Hucka-honked for two days. And we talked with Huckabee supporters at nearly every gas stop; there was a lot of gas guzzling.

(The Chevy monster truck actually gets better mileage than my old Corvette. Except now I can haul 5 kids and kit. The only thing the ‘Vette could carry was a large case for my 8-track tapes…)

Our route took us past Charmaine’s old stomping grounds in Buffalo and the Adirondack Park where she saved a life. Buffalo was where she learned to ski as a wee-one. Her dad would carry her up a hill and — gently — push her down the slope.

Downhill ever since.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

We drove at high speed in more or less in a caravan of campaign workers across Interstate 80 and 90. Some Hucka-travelers, some Obama, some Edwards and others.

But there was a candidate not represented on the road. Not a single bumper sticker:

Mitt Romney.

I would suppose all his staff flew. And not down a highway.

Charmaine worked the Campaign Spin Room and Green Room at the debates at Saint Anselm College.

Huckabee Wins the Iowa Caucus — Big: A Study In Resource Management

January 4, 2008 | By | One Comment

Mike Huckabee won. But more important, he won in the category that counts: He exceeded expectations — he beat the point spread.

And he did it the hard way.

In any military campaign, marketing campaign or political campaign the resources are time, talent and treasure. Seldom is there enough of all three to satisfy every requirement. Usually, a campaign will have two. Seldom three.

(Your Business Blogger is a former marketing guy. My favorite question, “Budget, what budget?” Usually big budgets can fix any short coming.)

The Huckabee campaign didn’t have the treasure. It had the same time as the other candidates.

The only variable that Huckabee had was talent. Oddly, that was enough.

Chip Saltsman, the campaign manager said, “We play to Huckabee’s strengths.” And he won.

The Iowa Caucus made history: It proved a candidate could win on his record; on issues. Without big money. Without the elite media. With out the elite conservative stalwarts. And, sadly, I guess, without Rush Limbaugh…

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Charmaine emailed from New Hampshire at 3:22am,

Hillary’s plane and edwards’ plane were across the tarmac. It is unbelievably cold

Caution: Gloating Follows. Clinton and Edwards got there early. They may have had less to celebrate than the First Place Winners.

Congratulations to First Place Iowa Winner for the Dems Obama.

Your Business Blogger is a-packing up the Penta-Posse to work the phone banks in New Hampshire. A mere 22 hour drive from Des Moines. Reporters would give me horrified stares when I told them I was driving instead of flying. “What do you think this is?” I asked, “The Romney campaign…?”

OK, so I didn’t say that. But there are some things that money can buy. Like an additional 707. (We brought a lot of coats.)

We would be loading up pictures, but we lost all the cabling and adaptors, and the batteries, and the camera.

But we didn’t lose any children.

Bryon York, the National Review White House Correspondent, has more analysis — with children. See, Inside Huckabee’s Victory, How the impoverished governor from nowhere beat the mighty Romney machine.

Alert Readers will remember that the National Review has endorsed Mitt Romney. Your Business Blogger still subscribes to NR. And so should you. (Unpaid endorsement.)

Read More

Mike Huckabee in the Iowa Caucus: You Are Invited To Celebrate Tonight

January 3, 2008 | By | 6 Comments

Mike Huckabee will have his Victory Celebration at the Embassy Suites at 105 Locust St. in Des Moines, Iowa at 7:30 tonight.

It has been an emotional campaign with sharp words; sharp elbows.

But there were some nice words this week about some Huckabee campaign workers. We just didn’t expect them from The Chronicle.

Not everything was so pleasant during the campaign.

A number of Huckabee leaning pastors (redundant, I know…) received threatening letters reporting that the preachers could lose their church’s tax exempt status. The letters had the IRS logo. This would be both illegal…and unethical.

But there is an easy way to stop this nonsense.

End the IRS.

Huckabee is the only conservative in the race who wants to dismantle that large government bureaucracy: The Internal Revenue Service.

Eliminating the IRS would unleash the unique American entrepreneur spirit to create businesses; create new jobs.

Come to the Victory party tonight and help end the IRS and bring on the FairTax.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

One reporter said to the campaign, off the record, that the left and east coasts “Don’t get it” speaking of the flyover country of the middle of American. Where normal people live.

Iowa is, after all, the birthplace of John Wayne.

Charmaine will be on the 737 to New Hampshire tonight. Your Business Blogger is thinking about stopping by Concord…on the way to Virginia.

MEDIA ALERT: Charmaine on FOX Supporting Huckabee…For The Children

January 3, 2008 | By | 4 Comments

Mitt Romney (officially) spent $9 million in Iowa. Insiders estimate the Romney total will be over $15 million.

Romney spent this on some 14,000 attack ads clouding the state. You have to be here to see it.

Huckabee spent about $11.37. And he’s got the cutest babes working for him.

The Dreamer, Dude and Diva worked the phones today at the Des Moines Huckabee headquarters on Locust St.

The Huckabee volunteers made over 11,500 phone calls today to remind Iowans to caucus. The volunteers were normal people. And like normal conservative people we have kids. Lotsa kids. And like most normal conservatives, we love our kids — and like being around them…mostly. And we bring our kids where ever we go — and it’s not just to avoid the sitter expense. We teach our children well, as the old song goes.

Reporters trooped through the campaign HQ all day interviewing and tripping over all the children and getting kids tangled up in cables. The media-persons were amazed. “How do you get anything done with all these kids around?” one reporter wondered. She was not smiling when she asked.

Forget ‘how.’ (Parents have some practice working with and around kids.) The word should be the ‘why.’ “Why” do you work so hard with the kids in the way? — The kids — are the ‘why’ we volunteer and have to work a bit harder to work around the little ones running about.

It really is for the future. We want to make the world a better place for our kids. And with the help of Huckabee.

Family Values. Close down the IRS. Strengthen the Armed Services so that no one even thinks about messing with the US of A. (We know ‘corporal punishment…’)

Well, yes: it really is “for the children.”

Chip Saltsman, put the following up on the Huckabee blog. Chip is the campaign manager, who gets it with new media,

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The Boo-Baby working hard for the mommy “Hi everybody. My name is James. (But my family calls me Jamie B.) I am supporting “I Like Mike” for President. My Mommy works for Mike Huckabee, so I have been having a great time on the campaign food trail. And today I have been at campaign headquarters making phone calls.

Well, actually my older brother and sisters are calling for caucus goers. I’ve been getting some nice naps when I’m not spilling stuff on computers. (Adults have no sense of humor.)

We are working to elect the next president to make the world and my life a better place. And help me clean up my room.

I’m glad Mr. Huckabee is Pro-Life and likes kids. Even when they throw up on stuff.

After my afternoon snooze-timeout, my mom and dad might let me stay up real late to watch I-Like-Mike Huckabee on Jay Leno.

GO MIKE GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Tomorrow Charmaine flies to New Hampshire. And The Penta-Posse got a world class education over the last few weeks. Monday they will return to school…where they will kill some time so that their real education can continue in the South Carolina primary.

Thank you to Alert Reader and good friend, Stacy at Active Christian Media for pointing Your Business Blogger to the YouTube clip.

MEDIA ALERT: Charmaine On FOX: Huckabee Is Pro-Life; Never Supported Tax Paid Abortions

January 2, 2008 | By | No Comments

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Charmaine with Ronald Reagan Charmaine will be on FOX today talking about the Huckabee for President campaign.

She will be debating our old friend Barbara Comstock currently with the Mitt Romney effort.

Charmaine will be reviewing Huckabee’s record. Especially his consistent Pro-Life passion for every human life at every stage, from conception to natural death.

(The AARP likes that natural death part…)

Barbara will be defending Romney’s Pro-Abortion record. She will be discussing, I imagine, Romney’s legislation in Tax-sachusetts using Tax Payer, public money for public funding of abortions.

There are no exclusions for your tax dollars to pay for abortions in RomneyCare. If you are Catholic in Massachuetts, you are paying for abortions.

Barbara will also be defending Romney’s choice of installing Pro-Abortion judges and Board members in his administration while governor.

Charmaine has the unique advantage of serving in the Reagan White House in the West Wing. Alert Readers will remember that she worked in Presidential Personnel.

Where she followed Reagan’s other commandment: Personnel is Policy. The best indicator of future performance — is past performance.

A pro-abortion judge appointed by Romney might be inclined to rule in favor of pro-abortion positions.

Mike Huckabee will put the right people in the right jobs.

Hit time is 1:30 Eastern, 12:30 Central.

Please tune in and let us know what you think.

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Charmaine speaking at the Family Research Council

event where Huckabee confirmed his surging numbers

Credit: Peter Shinn Thank you (foot)notes:

The debate between Charmaine and Barbara will be terrific. They both have worked together (on the same side) for years in Washington, DC. They were both on the Board of Advisers for the Independent Women’s Forum.

From NewsMax,

“Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney “comes on and says he’s pro-life and yet he signed a bill that gives a $50 co-pay for an elective abortion in his state’s health care plan,” Huckabee told host Tim Russert on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.


On the issue of gun rights, Huckabee asserted that Romney falsely claimed he had an endorsement from the National Rifle Association, and said that while Romney “claims that he’s really for the Second Amendment,” he has “talked about how he supported limitations and restrictions on lawful, law-abiding citizens having gun ownership rights. “

snsnewsnow has the Romney response to funding abortion.

The caferteria is closed has National Review links.

Jim Addison at WizBang has Romney’s abortion “conversion” questioned.

See Curiouser and curiouser on Iowa campaign trail for Romney, Huckabee from Boston.com

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Mitt Romney stood outside his campaign Winnebago, parked outside a pizza shop….

“…who wants a slice of pizza?” he asked, offering paper plates to reporters, but not offering to answer questions.

Jim Bob Duggar, a former Arkansas state legislator who is backing Huckabee, crashed the event, asking loudly:

“I was just going to ask you about the $50 copay — the $50 copay for abortions?”

Romney turned way from Duggar, told his traveling press secretary, Eric Fehrnstrom, to give the man an answer, and called out loudly, “Hey guys, who wants pizza? Everybody take a plate if you want pizza.”

Romney supports tax payer funded abortion.

Huckabee shifts focus from faith to record, By: Lisa Lerer, Jan 2, 2008 05:56 AM EST,

“There’s been this real desire to shape the campaign meme as being about religion,” says senior advisor Charmaine Yoest. “And he is very, very careful to define himself as the man who has ten and a half years of chief executive experience.”

Bringing In The New Year With Mike Huckabee

January 1, 2008 | By | No Comments

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Huckabee at the

blogger bash 1.1.08

credit: The Dude Pollster Kellyanne Conway says that the voting public asks, “Do I like the candidate, and is the candidate like me?”

Your Business Blogger was curious about the symmetry and chemistry of Mike Huckabee with normal people. Who might party hard on New Year’s Eve.

So Charmaine and I joined the candidate with revelers at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines to see if Mike Huckabee could have a good time.

We learned that he is a real player. Of the bass guitar.

Steve Martin said that the world’s problems could be solved if every leader played the banjo. The bass may do.

A good time was had by all.

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Charmaine and Mike Huckabee

at the blogger bash 1.1.08

credit: The DudeWe crossed paths with another premier pollster, Frank Luntz, Ph.D. where I blathered on about his book Words that Work and learned about his next book. On what the American public really thinks. Look for it with in the year.

Luntz has visited both Romney and Huckabee functions and reports that Huckabee has crowds three and four times the numbers of Romney.

Early the next morning — today — the campaign flew to Sioux City and Cedar Rapids, then back for a Blogger Bash and an indoor rally for 2,500. Tim Russert was here. It is 6 degrees. Wind chill is lethal.

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Huckabee and The Dude

at the blogger bash 1.1.08

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The Dude backstage

with Chuck Norris

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The Dude interviewing Mitt Romney at CPAC last year

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Thank you (foot)notes:

The Dude has talked with both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. There is no doubt that Huckabee is Pro-Life. But The Dude is not so sure about Mitt Romney. And not because Romney says he’s a recent convert.

But more important: Romney crafted and passed a $50 co-pay for getting an abortion when he was governor.

Mitt Romney asked for and got Tax Payer funded abortions. This is not Pro-Life.

From Politico,

Romney’s universal health insurance plan, which he often touts as the signature achievement of his governorship, allows women to have an abortion for a $50 co-pay. Even worse, the plan does not include any exceptions, which means Massachusetts taxpayers are forced to fund abortion-on-demand. This is no surprise given that Romney’s health plan also mandates that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion seller, be involved in appointing members to the legislation’s policy board.

This is worse than the Romney criminal record and the cover up.

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger has participated in a focus group with Kellyanne Conway.

Mike Huckabee Running a Positive Campaign: The Press Conference — No Floating Crosses

January 1, 2008 | By | No Comments

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Charmaine in the arena Tim Russert walked in smiling and shook a few hands. He was traveling alone. (No Security!) This was the presser not to be passed up.

135 members of the press showed up at the Marriott in downtown Des Moines for the Huckabee press conference. Beginning at noon, there was news to be made and reported and editorialized. (Sometimes hard to tell the difference. MSM sometimes read like a blog.) (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

It was New Year’s Eve and there was celebration in the air. Huckabee was going to come out swinging. He was going negative. There was gonna be a fight. Politics as bloodsport. Fight! Fight!

There comes a time that campaigns must go negative. Bad form, bad feelings — but negative sells.

Huckabee flew down from Des Moines to Little Rock and taped three ads on Sunday the 30th. Two were the good positive pieces. One was ‘going negative.’

The fastest, easiest tactic to get a few polling points is to get nasty…or so the political scientists would lecture. A typical politician can win big by going small.

Charmaine and her (modest) team were up past midnight getting the posters, the banner, the handouts, the fact sheets, the power point powered up. The ad was produced and loaded on the projector.

But Mike Huckabee changed his mind. He wanted a clean campaign.

He pulled the ad from the TV outlets.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

There was no ‘floating cross’ super brilliant move, or “triple bank shot,” as one reporter suggested, when the audio didn’t work right at the press conference. The press conjecture was of the planning and foresight and manipulation and maneuvering of the audio problem. There was a story in there somewhere.

The truth was simpler, as Occam’s Razor would remind us.

The ad was tested some four times through the complex cabling to service the dozen news cameras placed on line.

But more cameras and press kept a-coming and a second ‘mult box’ was set up to accommodate the added hardware — the box was added seconds before Huckabee took the stage.

But the additional box was not tested with the current configuration. And the demon-gremlins worked their evil.

And the evil tried. But good prevailed. The skeptical press later suggested, off the record, that the not-going-negative campaign just might work.

And make political history.

With Reagan’s 11th commandment.

See massachusettsforhuckabee

Too Conservative

See more Huckabee video at huckabee08

Good research at The Huck Report.

ElephantBiz gets it right.

Happy New Year!

Full Disclosure: Charmaine is the wife of Your Business Blogger

On The Road With the Mike Huckabee Presidential Campaign in Iowa

December 31, 2007 | By | 3 Comments

What is the one thing that Presidential Campaigns have in common with military campaigns?

Nobody sleeps.

Not even Fred Thompson, truth be told.

Last week Your Business Blogger was curious about Iowa in the winter. We had been in the state in the summer when the temperature hit 100 degrees. Now the temperature is in single digits. A top coat in Washington, DC is a fashion statement.

In Iowa in Winter coats are survival equipment.

So we load up the Penta-Posse in the monster SUV at O:Dark-thirty for the drive from Little Rock to Des Moines.

Coats alone take up half the truck. (We hope to do some skiing.) Before we depart, I yell out for a Kid Count. The responses are muffled from the kids under coats.

We stop at MacDonald’s to get super-sized with biscuits, coffee, bacon, eggs, cheese, sausage and hash browns in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We consumed breakfast on the road after the meal consumed a week’s pay. I’m considering direct deposit. Or maybe get a job at Hamburger University near Chicago.

It was a long drive. Alert Readers will note that there is no direct Inter-State highway connection between the two state capitals. Governor Huckabee was criticized for his road building initiatives, but we did drive on improved hard surface roads. Thank goodness. Publicly-funded public works at their best.

Full Disclosure: Charmaine, the wife of my life is advising the Huckabee bid with campaign veterans Chip Saltsman and Ed Rollins.

Charmaine was doing a bit of flying but decided to ride to spend quality and quantity time with the wee-ones before the Iowa Caucus. She also wanted to get some work done on the trip up, perhaps.

But she got distracted in the middle of a press release composition, where Your Business Blogger almost lost his composure.

The Darling Baby Boo got ill and lost more than his composure.

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In the working of governments there is accepted practice of keeping the drafts of proposals and ideas and the log-rolling-record of the bargaining to get deals done, off the public record. At the state level, these trial balloons are called the “Governor’s Working Papers.” All political parties respect the practice. The papers are confidential.

The papers reflect the “Sausage Making” as Bismark said.

But I’m not sure it was not only the making of law he was referring to.

When the Baby Boo got sick, he threw up his sausage all over the governor’s briefing papers.

I don’t think this is what Bismark was talking about.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Huckabee will be conducting a press conference at high noon today. Must view.