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Friday, October 28, 2005 

Huckabee "lambasted" the profit of oil companies


Huckabee lashes out at oil firms over profits
BY MICHAEL R. WICKLINE AND JAKE BLEED - ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

Gov. Mike Huckabee on Thursday night lambasted the profit levels of oil companies, saying they “are stealing from absolutely the poorest people.” He also suggested the Legislature enact a uniform pay scale for school superintendents in the state. “There’s no excuse, there’s no reason that they [oil companies] should be profiting at that level when everyone else is suffering the consequences,” the Republican governor said on his monthly television call-in show on the Arkansas Educational Television Network. “It doesn’t make sense that somehow this one sector of the economy is recording their highest record,” said Huckabee, who is weighing a possible bid for the presidency in 2008. Market forces are one thing, he said. But “there’s a point at which you cannot continue to just gouge people because you can, because they don’t have an option,” Huckabee said. “That’s not a market. That’s an immoral force,” he said. “We need to find out; if these folks are gouging, then maybe a few executives need to do a few hours’ community service in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans cleaning it up,” Huckabee said. Huckabee’s remarks came after The Associated Press reported that Exxon Mobil Corp. rewrote the corporate record books Thursday as the oil company’s third-quarter earnings soared to almost $10 billion, and it became the first public company with quarterly sales topping $100 billion. Royal Dutch Shell PLC posted a profit of $9 billion for the quarter, and Marathon Oil Corp. said its profits more than tripled. With the state Supreme Court weighing the masters’ report that concluded that the 2005 Legislature and Huckabee backtracked on educational reforms enacted in 2003 and 2004, the governor said the Legislature should enact a statewide pay scale for school district superintendents if the superintendents continue to sue the state and make the state responsible for all decisions. The masters’ report, issued Oct. 3, said that the state erred by freezing per-student public school funding at $5,400 this school year and by not doing enough to improve school facilities. The masters said more money for education could be allocated from state surpluses during a special legislative session if Huckabee chooses to call one. A statewide pay scale for superintendents could have an entry-level salary and pay more to those with a master’s degree and more to those with a doctoral degree, Huckabee said. The pay scale for a superintendent also could be based on the number of students in the districts and the size of the district’s budget, he said. “Right now there is no rhyme or reason to the superintendent pay scale and there ought to be some limitation, maybe no more than three or four times what your teachers are paid,” Huckabee said. “If the [state] Supreme Court puts us in a situation where we end up having to have a special session, look for those kind of things to be brought up and passed because I think there is a sense of utter frustration,” Huckabee said. Last year the House Education Committee rejected a bill that would have limited school superintendents’ guaranteed salaries to 75 percent of average pay during the 2002-2003 school year and make more pay contingent on performance.

Pander Pander Pander. All talk, no solution. Just like a Democrat.

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