A mysterious group calling itself Iowans for Some Semblance of Christian Decency has begun waging a campaign against former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, insinuating that not only is the Republican presidential candidate not a true conservative, he's not a real Christian.
The group is urging the media to take a closer look at Huckabee's record, including the story of Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist whom Huckabee urged the Arkansas Parole Board to release from prison who went on to commit at least one homicide.
In fliers put under the doors of reporters at the Marriott in Des Moines, where Huckabee was staying Monday night, the organization, whose members are unknown, lays out its interpretation of how the former Baptist minister's views run contrary to the Bible.
Huckabee's support of educational opportunities for the children of illegal immigrants is portrayed, for instance, as "justification for violating the 8th commandment (stealing from U.S. citizens)." A lighthearted video clip where he pretends to talk to the Lord (watch HERE) is portrayed as "sacrilegious mocking of God for political gain."
Most pointedly, however, the raised the controversial case of Dumond, the flier also raises the controversial case of Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist whom Huckabee publicly suggested should be freed from prison.
After Dumond was freed by the parole board, whose members later said they had been influenced by Huckabee, Dumond sexually assaulted and murdered a woman named Carol Sue Shields. Dumond died in prison in Missouri in 2005.
Huckabee was asked about the parole of Dumond in November on Fox & Friends, and he downplayed his role in meeting with the parole board and urging Dumond's release.
"I did originally support a parole, but governors don't parole anybody," he said.
Generally Huckabee has portrayed the story as a smear, telling Hannity & Colmes a couple weeks ago that "the parole board was all Democrats appointed by (former Arkansas Governors Bill) Clinton and (Jim Guy) Tucker. The idea that I went in there and persuaded them to do something is ludicrous on its face."
But Deborah Suttlar, appointed to the Parole Board by Democratic Gov. Tucker, says Huckabee "was influential" in the board's decision to parole Dumond.
"He planted a seed for the board to change their vote on Wayne Dumond. Then the governor turned his back on the board and pretended that he had no influence."
Suttlar, who served on the board from 1994 until 2001, says she knew nothing about Iowans for Some Semblance of Christian Decency, though her name and phone number were on the flier.
Read the full flier HERE.
The Huckabee campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.
A Des Moines Register poll from Sunday indicates that Huckabee has surged to first place in that first-in-the-nation caucus state.
Over the weekend, a third-party group that is supporting Huckabee placed phone calls in which Huckabee's opponents were criticized, prompting Huckabee to say Monday, "Our campaign has nothing to do with the push polling and I wish they would stop. We don't want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign. I don't want to become president because I disabled the other candidates, I want to become president because I am the best candidate."