The second slice of business for a Mike Huckabee company to sell pamphlets about coronavirus to the state Education Department for distribution to children is in the works, but not yet ready for distribution. We talked about that yesterday.
I have received a draft copy, still undergoing revisions. Here it is.
It now recommends masks, where the first edition bought last year for more than $240,000 said they weren’t useful in preventing the spread of COVID-19. It also recommends vaccinations. The purchase orders for this second pamphlet, in English and Spanish, will total about $260,000.
The new version had to be corrected last week after Health Secretary Jose Romero noted a significant error, as noted in this Sept. 14 note to the Florida publishing company that Huckabee co-founded:
I’ve included some feedback from our department of health on the draft booklet.
1. On page 11 it states that “when people are vaccinated, they can’t spread the virus”. We now know this is not correct.
Once this is corrected, I believe we will be ready to approve.
Chief Operating Officer
Office of the Secretary
Arkansas Department of Education
An email from Windle also contained this suggestion from Johnny Key:
Just a couple of other points for consideration – in the vaccine development timeline, would it be prudent to include all of the political leaders who have been involved in the process? (Trump and Biden?) or is that too much? Secretary Key thought it might provide a balanced approach to the vaccine development timeline if all political parties were included.
These and other emails I received under FOI indicate Chad Gallagher and Key were the driving forces for the second round of Huckabee-company material. The first pamphlet was pitched to the department by Gallagher, who works promoting the Huckabee publishing company and has worked on his PAC.
The deal for a second purchase seems to have begun in earnest Aug. 10, when Windle, Key’s assistant, wrote Gallagher:
Secretary Key mentioned talking to you about another kid friendly booklet on vaccines. I’m working with ADH to secure content. Do you have someone who can assist us with this?
How much do you need? What format? Can we provide content and your team storyboard? Thanks in advance for any insight.
Chief of Staff, ADE
Gallagher was happy to oblige.
Hi Gina, I’m copying Brad Saft on this, as well. Brad’s team will actually create the booklets so he can help guide that process. I think if there were a list of things you would like to see included then we could start there.
From a public relations side, I will gladly chime in as well regarding suggestions on how things are framed for the audience.
Secretary Key mentioned a possible booklet for parents and one for students. I think knowing the target audience(s) is the first step.
I think brad’s team could take your content ideas, as well as any Arkansas specific items, plus any relevant data the state wants included and storyboard it but I’ll let him speak to that process.
We are looking forward to working with you and your team and appreciate the opportunity to partner with you in your current efforts.
The state did at least add information about masks and vaccines this time. The state of Arkansas provided links to the Huckabee company from the state of Nebraska and Arkansas Children’s Hospital along with Arkansas Health Department input to put the guide together.
Federal dollars are paying for this. No bidding process was used., just the political buddy system.
It IS nice to know people. Chad Gallagher could be a busy man come 2023 if another Huckabee rises to Governor’s Mansion gravy depot. Somebody has to succeed the Gilmore crew that served and has been served so well by the Hutchinson administration.