He's had the story up since Wednesday. I don't know how this has not gotten out!
The author starts with this case of Eugene Fields.
EUGENE FIELDS: JAILED FOR DWI IN 2003, SENTENCE COMMUTED IN 2004, ARRESTED FOR DWI IN 2006:
Eugene Fields Sentenced to Six Years For Fourth-Offense DWI. Eugene Fields was originally sentenced in August 2001 for his fourth DWI and began serving his six year sentence in May 2003, after the state Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.
Previous convictions against Fields were in 1996, 1998 and 1999. [www.myeyewitnessnews.com, 4/13/06; Associated Press, 4/14/06, 2/25/04, 2/27/04]
This guy has a real problem! His fourth DWI! Let him sit it out for six years.
2004: Huckabee Commutes Fields' Sentence, Saying Keeping Fields in Prison "Serves No Further Purpose." Huckabee said through a spokesman, "Eugene Fields requested clemency before going to prison. He deserved to spend time in jail. He has completed an alcohol rehabilitation program and has been a model prisoner. There's a critical shortage of prison bed space. Keeping him there serves no further purpose." [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/28/04]*
So, he started serving his sentence in May of 2003. And he finished his six-year sentence in early 2004? Come on, Huck.
Huckabee Was Heavily Criticized By MADD and Families of Drunk Driving Victim For Giving Fields Clemency. In 2004, Teresa Belew, state president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, sent Huckabee a letter asking him to change his mind about giving clemency to Eugene Fields of Van Buren.
"It is important that the process begun by law enforcement officers such as those we honored today be supported," Belew wrote in to Huckabee. "As our governor, your decision at this point in the process is strategic to ensuring that the process works." She wrote that Fields was to blame for making "continued choices to drink and drive."
The guy is a dangerous and highly irresponsible.
Paul Leopoulos, whose 17-year-old daughter, Thea, was a youth activist for MADD before her death in a car crash, said he was "blown away" by the governor's intentions in the Fields case. "I'm sorry. That's saying to everybody else ... 'you can continually do it and they'll slap your hand,'" said Leopoulus. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/28/04; Associated Press, 2/27/04]*
You're right, Paul. That's all Huck--Mr. Anything But Tough on Crime--did. A little hand slap.
Huckabee's Motives Questioned by Prosecutor. Prosecutor Marc McCune questioned Huckabee's motives in the Fields case. "[Fields] has not served one-sixth of his time, and the governor is already trying to give him clemency," McCune said. "It may be because he's a wealthy businessman in Van Buren or the governor is taking a light stand on DWI's. I don't know." Fields owned a shopping center in Van Buren, Arkansas and was involved in real estate developments in Rogers and in Texas. [Associated Press, 2/25/04, 2/27/04]*
He served less than one year, and got out. Just possibly, his standing as a wealthy guy made a difference. What do you think?
According to an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Governor Mike Huckabee "commuted the sentence of a Van Buren man-Eugene Fields, a shopping center developer-who'd been convicted of drunk driving four times. When the Guv does something like this, his message is unmistakable: Drive drunk and he'll commute your sentence. At least if you're a shopping center developer from Van Buren. It's a message he shouldn't be sending." [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/17/04]
Not good, Guv Huck. Bad message to send--especially to young people.
2006: Fields Arrested Again. In April 2006, Eugene Fields pleaded guilty to driving drunk again. Barling Police Chief John Roth said Fields was arrested on a driving-while-intoxicated charge on the evening of April 4 after almost crashing head-on into police officer Kevin Dugan on Arkansas 59.
#5. What a surprise!
When Fields was arrested again in 2006, Huckabee said he was disappointed with Fields' actions. "Mr. Fields has broken all trust and deserves the full penalty the law allows," the governor said. "Not everyone does right, but when a person fails a second chance he forfeits a future one." [www.myeyewitnessnews.com, 4/13/06; Associated Press, 4/14/06, 2/25/04, 2/27/04; Arkansas Democratic-Gazette, 4/14/06]
Fields didn't fail his 2nd chance, Huckabee. He failed his FOURTH chance. He didn't deserve that FOURTH chance.
Huck was Mr. Nice Guy, handing out clemency like it was candy. This results from bad judgment.
This demonstration of pathetic judgment transcends Wayne DuMond and Mr. Fields. Remember, Governor Huckabee released (on average) one felon every five days !
Update: I googled this Eugene Fields character and found this story at ArkansasTonight.com:
The director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving criticized Gov. Mike Huckabee after a four-time DWI offender to whom the governor granted executive clemency two years ago recently pleaded guilty to driving drunk.
Eugene Fields, 67, of Fort Smith was arrested April 4 (2006) in Barling and charged with DWI and refusing to take a blood alcohol breath test. He pleaded guilty Friday to DWI in Barling District Court.