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Huckabee starts political action committee

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP)–Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee announced April 15 the launch of “Huck PAC,” a political action committee aimed at supporting Republican candidates who share his values.

“During the course of our campaign, we saw something happen that went beyond the campaign for president,” Huckabee said in a news release. “It was a community that was devoted to a cause that is bigger than any of us and not just about the next election but the next generation.”

Huck PAC’s goal, the former Arkansas governor said, “is to secure a better future for our country by changing our punitive tax system, standing firm for the sanctity of life and traditional marriage, and protecting our borders and giving our veterans the blood-bought benefits they deserve.”

Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist pastor who served 10 years as governor, went from a dark horse candidate to what he described as a “Final Four” finish in the race for the White House. Earning victories in eight primaries and caucuses, Huckabee withdrew from the race in early March after Arizona Sen. John McCain gained enough delegates to win the Republican nomination.

One of the immediate concerns of his new political action committee, Huckabee said, is to see McCain elected president in November along with a slew of conservative pro-life and pro-family candidates elected to Congress. Huckabee said he envisions the website enlarging the online community that grew out of his campaign so that it can be a force for freedom, faith and family.

The website will feature candidates that Huckabee supports, help raise money for candidates who share his convictions, and allow supporters to post ideas as part of Huckabee’s national network.

“The PAC is founded on the principles that make America great: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Huckabee said. “And because we believe our Republican Party embodies these ideas and is best suited to lead America forward, we are committed to supporting Republican candidates nationwide.”

Upon the launch of the website, two candidates were featured as Huckabee’s choices for their respective races: New Hampshire State Sen. Bob Clegg, who is running for Congress, and Arkansas State Sen. Gilbert Baker, who is running for re-election.

Clegg, who chaired Huckabee’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire, “will take the same no-nonsense style and effective leadership to Washington that he has shown in Concord. He has been one of the most respected, effective and sometimes even feared legislators in New Hampshire. He will go to Congress for all the right reasons,” Huckabee said.

Baker, who also was active in Huckabee’s campaign for president, “has represented Arkansans well on the national stage while maintaining a strong connect to the values we hold dear here at home.” Huckabee added that Baker is “effective in getting things done.”

Huckabee identified five ways supporters can get involved through his political action committee: sign up for e-mail updates; make a contribution of at least $25 to support Huck PAC; join the discussion on the campaign blog; join the Huck PAC Facebook and MySpace team; and add their own blog to the Huck PAC blogroll.

“After you submit your blog, our team will review your website and then add you to our blogroll,” the Huck PAC site says. “Huck PAC bloggers are able to participate in conference calls with Gov. Huckabee and will receive unique e-mail updates.”

With the website launch coinciding with the income tax deadline, Huckabee used the forum to explain again how he would like to make April 15 “just another beautiful spring day.” As it is now, he said in a news release devoted to the topic, April 15 is the day “the IRS strikes fear into the heart of every taxpaying American.”

Huckabee went on to say that the average American must work almost four months just to pay their taxes.

“The Tax Foundation reports ‘in 2008, Americans will work 74 days to afford their federal taxes and 39 more days to pay state and local taxes,'” Huckabee said. “American taxpayers spend more on taxes than they do on food, clothing and housing combined.”

The former candidate then laid out his plan for abolishing the IRS and replacing income taxes with a 23 percent consumption tax, called the FairTax.

“Now the skeptics will say the FairTax is impossible to enact,” Huckabee said. “We will see. What I do know is we won’t have a chance if we don’t have the courage and the leadership in Congress to see the task through. That is where Huck PAC comes in.

“Candidates Huck PAC supports will be tax cutters and strong advocates for less government, because the path to a FairTax is far more certain when you walk into a room full of small government, tax-cutting Republicans,” he added. “Help us fill the room and let’s make April 15 just another beautiful spring day.”
Erin Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press.

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