I just finished asking the Department of Finance and Administration for copies of the documents related to the emergency spending of the last three years of Mike Huckabee’s tenure. The media has shown a lot of interest in the destruction of the hard drives, but I suspect that there are other legal issues, related to public spending, that will overshadow the issue of the destruction of the hard drives.

I have a question for anyone who wants to defend Huckabee’s actions. How do you argue that the desire to destroy hard drives constitutes an “emergency?” Arkansas state law states in pertinent part that:

A.C.A. § 19-2-404. Emergency expenditures.

(a)(1) In the event of riots or threatened riots; sabotage, public insurrection, or threatened insurrection; storm, flood, famine, or other public calamity which jeopardizes the public peace, health, and safety of citizens of Arkansas that calls for immediate action, the Governor is delegated and authorized by the General Assembly to declare an emergency to exist and to issue a proclamation declaring an emergency to exist.

(2) Other requests for utilization of this appropriation shall be submitted for prior review by the Governor to a Governor’s Emergency Fund Review Committee, meeting in committee, composed of the chairmen and vice chairmen of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee and Legislative Council.

Surely these expenditures don’t fall within subsection (a)(1), unless the Huckabee team had threatened insurrection or rioting unless the hard drives were destroyed. Given the unlikelihood of such a scenario, I want to see the reviews by the legislative officers designated in the law, in which they determine that destroying hard drives is a proper use of public funds.

I have a second question. Why wouldn’t Huckabee simply use readily available software to thoroughly erase the hard drives and leave them in the computers? Are public employees to unreliable to trust to do such a job? Surely the cost would be minimal. The skill level necessary for such a task is not particularly high. Then there would be no hard drives to destroy and none to replace.

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