I saw this little item about the ostensible republican presidential nomination “surger” in Iowa…

Huckabee took thousands in gifts, records show

A $1,000 pair of cufflinks from a supporter, tens of thousands of dollars of clothing from a wealthy Little Rock businessman and thousands in gift certificates and cash from staff and appointees were among the lavish gifts given to Republican presidential candidate and unexpected frontrunner Mike Huckabee while he was governor of Arkansas.

The gifts fell within Arkansas’s ethics rules but have raised questions among the governor’s political opponents and ethics analysts at a time when scrutiny of the candidate is intensifying, and are at odds with the humble persona Huckabee has adopted on the campaign trail….

…and I thought to myself, “Hmmm. I wonder if Arkansas has on-line financial disclosure reports?”

Bingo!

This is fun:

Arkansas Disclosure Report – Image 15319200013 (Page 13 of 13)

SECTION 8: GIFTS

2. Custom-made cowboy boots; gift to Governor; May 2005; $3,695.00; Republican Party of Arkansas

3. Custom-made belt; gift to Governor; May 2005; $500.00; Republican Party of Arkansas

4. Wal-Mart gift card; Christmas gift to Governor, December 2005; $650.00; staff (no single person gave enough for any contribution to constitute a “gift” under Arkansas law).

5. cash gift;  Christmas gift to Governor 2005;$2,100; Cabinet (no single person gave enough for any single contribution to constitute a “gift” under Arkansas law).

6. Custom-made purse; gift to First Lady; may 2005; $495.00; Republican Party of Arkansas.

7. Yellow turquoise jewelry; gift to First lady; August 2005; $595.00; Jennifer Lynn Myers, d/b/a Jennifer Lynn Jewelry Designs.

8. Credentials, World Boxing Association Middleweight Title Match, Jermaine Taylor vs. Bernard Hopkins, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2005; provided to Governor and First lady by the Nevada Boxing Commission. These were credentials, provided not only to the Governor and First lady but such other guests as Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico. These credentials have no face value and may not be purchased or sold. Thus, it is difficult to assign a value to this.

9. Accommodations at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay, las Vegas, Nevada; gift to the Governor and First lady; December 2005; $755.00; Kelly Boyd.

[emphasis added]

The boots and belt are really rich. At that value those boots should at least have those blinky lights (“Governor for Sale”). The Wal-Mart gift card is, well, so Arkansas. The cash gift is, well, so wonderfully republican…

It’s not true. What happens in Vegas [gasp!] shows up in Arkansas financial disclosure reports. Et tu Bill Richardson?

It’s a nice gig if you can get it. But then, those perks are there to outweigh any potential unpleasantness that can come with the job.

I seem to remember something about boxing somewhere. Boxing, boxing tickets… Oh yeah:

Reid Accepted Free Boxing Tickets While a Related Bill Was Pending

By John Solomon

Associated Press

Tuesday, May 30, 2006; Page A03

Senate Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) accepted free ringside tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission to three professional boxing matches while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing.

Reid took the free seats for Las Vegas fights between 2003 and 2005 as he was pressing legislation to increase government oversight of the sport, including the creation of a federal boxing commission that Nevada’s agency feared might usurp its authority….

I wonder, did John Solomon see Mike Huckabee at any of those matches?

It gets better:

Arkansas Disclosure Report – Image 13297700013 (Page 13 of 14)

SECTION 8: GIFTS

1. Gift certificate to Mack’s Paririe Wings of Stuttgartt, Atkansas; Christmas gift to Governor; December 2002; $2.050; Cabinet (No single person gave more than $60).

2. Hunting clothes; Christmas gift to Governor, December 2002; $300; staff (No single person gave more than $50)

3. Quillow; August 2002; $145;…. According to the statement of…, the gift was brought to an event in Star City to show the Governor but it was not intended as a gift. The quillow was inadvertently placed on the vehicle and was taken to Little Rock. The quillow has been returned to… Although it is not necessary to disclose the gift herein, the disclosure is being made out of an abundance of caution to avoid another partisan attack by the Ethics Commission.

[emphasis added]

The clothing thing is understandable. I mean, no state should have a naked governor.

The quillow controversy is too much. Those partisan bastards on the Ethics Commission. Though, this is funny: “…although it is not necessary to disclose the gift herein, the disclosure is being made out of an abundance of caution…” Is it a gift, or isn’t it? Maybe not when compared to all the other cool stuff.

I’ve got to get me a Cabinet – those gifts are awesome!