While digging through archives of Huckabee’s tenure in Arkansas, I found this little tidbit from a Washington Times article dated December 10th, 2001:
The Republican governor, who appears to be a shoo-in for a second term next year, has set up the “Tax Me More Fund” to give voters who think they are not taxed enough the chance to send more money to the state.
Too much fun, indeed. It’s brilliant satire, and so effective at curbing tax raises that other Republicans used it around the country. As Huckabee says in the article:
“What it does is expose the hypocrisy of the liberals because they want to raise taxes as long as someone else has to pay for them. Our state law does not prohibit someone from paying more. So if they believe it would make them feel better to contribute more, then I want them to write as generous a check as they can to make themselves feel good,” Mr. Huckabee said.
“I have a pocketful of pre-addressed envelopes for them to mail in their checks. If someone in the legislature comes up to me and talks about a tax increase, I pull out an envelope and say mail it in. They just shake their head,” he said.
Perhaps the most bitter irony of the article comes at the end:
Mr.Huckabee’s political success with his tax fund has not gone unnoticed among campaign strategists elsewhere, some of whom think it could be used in other gubernatorial campaigns.
“I think he has come up with a kind of clever ploy that has the liberals sputtering,” said Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, which supports candidates who favor tax cuts.
“There is going to be increasing muttering about raising taxes in next year’s campaigns, and this type of approach by Huckabee might be a good way to stop the liberals in their tracks,” Mr. Moore said
Clearly, one story doesn’t make a campaign, and there were times when he raised taxes in his tenure. But Huckabee can clearly be at home with fiscal conservatives, and worked actively for their side at points during his tenure.