No Heart for Huckabees

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to speak at Freedom Foundation fundraiser in Salem

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Mike Huckabee is a failed presidential candidate, the former governor of Arkansas and apparently plays the bass guitar well.

But Huckabee is getting ready to come to Oregon to speak at a Freedom Foundation fundraising event. Besides being the dad of President Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Huckabee has said some stupid stuff — like LGBTQ rights are the biggest threats to the U.S., that he may buy a home in Israeli-occupied West Bank, sent racist Tweets and so much more.

Freedom Foundation is an anti-union organization based in Olympia, Washington. In July 2018, after the Supreme Court ruled that unions couldn’t charge a minimum fee on non-members, Freedom Foundation began an opt-out campaign to notify public employees of the ruling. The group has used public records requests to acquire public employee personal information like phone numbers, email and mailing addresses.

The pro-labor nonprofit Northwest Accountability Project has been gathering signatures of people to tell Salem Convention Center that they oppose his presence. So far, the group sent 750 emails to the convention center’s general manager, Chrissi Bertsch, Northwest Accountability Project’s Executive Director Peter Starzynksi tells Eugene Weekly. 

Starzynski adds that he hasn’t heard back from Bertsch and even stopped by her office but she “wasn’t available.”

Eugene Weekly contacted Huckabee for comment but didn’t respond, and Bertsch was unavailable for comment from EW.

“Oregon should be a welcoming place for all people including the LGBTQ+ community,” Starzynksi says via email. “Mike Huckabee’s brand of bigotry is harmful and dangerous. He is the type of extremist speaker we would expect from the Freedom Foundation, which has failed miserably in enacting their extremist, right wing agenda, but the Salem Convention Center should have higher standards.”

For those who oppose Huckabee coming to Oregon, he says that people can contact Bertsch by emailing her on Northwest Accountability Project’s website. He adds that people can attend the rally against Huckabee 5:30 pm Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Salem Convention Center.

“Also, people can do the opposite of Mike Huckabee and be nice to one another and help create a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community,” Starzynski says. “Reject Huckabee and the Freedom Foundation’s brand of bigotry.”