I’m a bit troubled by information I have received this weekend on Mike Huckabee. A friend, troubled by Huckabee speaking at Cornerstone Church, given it’s pastor’s virulent anti-Catholicism, started digging around.
If you notice on his personal financial disclosures, Huckabee is racking up big bucks on the campaign trail speaking at churches. Now, he does this it seems, by funneling the speaking fees through his company, 12 Stops, Inc., which was named after Huckabee’s book From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPS to Restoring America’s Greatness.
Even throughout this year, Huckabee has earned thousands and thousands of dollars speaking at places, usually religiously affiliated, via the International Speaker’s Bureau. All the money flows through 12 Stops, Inc.
So, here’s the thing. An email was sent to the International Speakers Bureau seeking to get a Huckabee speaking engagement. Here’s the response back:
From: “Rosalie Jefferson”
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:50:01
Subject: Mike Huckabee
Thank you for your inquiry regarding booking Mr. Huckabee for your upcoming event.
Due to the ongoing Presidential campaign, Mr. Huckabee is not accepting speaking engagements.
If you would like to consider other political figures who are not currently running for office, please let me know your budget and I will be delighted to send you bios and fees accordingly.
International Speakers Bureau
A second email was sent to the ISB *specifically* inquiring about Huckabee speaking at a church. Now it gets interesting:
I would be happy to help you with Mike Huckabee. He charges a minimum of $25,000 per engagement plus expenses and he can not address anything to do with his running for President.1 Do you have a date in mind for your event?
International Speakers Bureau/Worldwide
So, Huckabee, even though campaigning for President, makes $25,000.00 per engagement plus expenses to speak at churches, but not to general audiences. And he gets the income from the events (not that I blame him because he’d otherwise be unemployed and needs to pay this off).
But how many other candidates are making personal money on the campaign trail? And why milk churches, but no one else? On Face the Nation this morning, Huckabee said, well, from Mark Kilmer’s review of the shows:
Mike Huckabee said that he’s going to change the Republican Party because it needs to be changed, to be more inclusive of those with less.
It seems to me that Mike Huckabee is not just trying to drive church voters into the polls for him, but he’s trying to get their wallets while he’s at it.
And that leads me back to today’s event. Is Cornerstone Church paying Mike Huckabee $25,000.00? And if so, will he donate it to Catholic Charities?
This is CYA boilerplate. He can’t speak about his campaign to protect the church against charges that it is violating 501(c)(3) status. Likewise, if he’s not there on “campaign” purposes, he can pocket the money as non-campaign related income. They clearly know all the rules involved. But it is interesting that he’s doing all of these events from the campaign trail while being an allegedly full time candidate for the Presidency of the United States.