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THE NATION

Ark. First Lady Paid $6,000 to Speak About Life in Triple-Wide Trailer

February 13, 2002|Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The governor's wife was paid about $6,000 by two housing trade groups to speak about the first family's decision to move into a triple-wide trailer while their mansion was being renovated.

The Arlington, Va.-based Manufactured Housing Institute and Illinois Manufactured Housing Assn. said they each gave Janet Huckabee an honorarium of about $3,000 to address their members last year.

Both groups deny the money was payback for the free publicity she generated for their industry. Janet Huckabee did not return telephone calls Tuesday.

Gov. Mike Huckabee and his family moved into the 2,100-square-foot triple-wide in August 2000 for 16 months and were featured on television and in the Economist and the New York Times.

"I said we were going to get national publicity. I encouraged it," Janet Huckabee told Modern Homes, the institute's trade magazine in November.

Huckabee disclosed the payments to his wife on his 2001 statement of financial interest.

Graham Sloan, executive director of the Arkansas Ethics Commission, said no state law prohibited the governor's wife from accepting speaking fees.

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