Hate wins

March 2, 2018

To the CMA Foundation Board
From Mike Huckabee
March 1, 2018


Dear Board Members:

It appears that I will make history as having the shortest tenure in the history of the CMA Foundation Board.  I genuinely regret that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained.  I had NO idea I was that influential!  I’m somewhat flattered to be of such consequence when all I thought I was doing was voluntarily serving on a non-profit board without pay in order to continue my decades of advocacy for the arts and especially music. 

The message here is “Hate Wins.”  Bullies succeeded in making it untenable to have “someone like me” involved.   I would imagine however that many of the people who buy tickets and music are not that “unlike me.”

I hereby tender my resignation effective immediately.  I hope this will end the unnecessary distraction and deterrent to the core mission of the Foundation which is to help kids acquire musical instruments and have an opportunity to participate in music programs as students. 

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Since I will not be able to continue in what I had hoped to be useful service in this endeavor, I wanted to at least put some things on the record.  I have no expectation that it will change the irrational vitriol directed toward you or me for my religious or political views that necessitated my abrupt departure, but I want you to know what you would never know by reading intolerant and vicious statements on the internet about who I am or what led me to want to be a part of your efforts to empower kids with the gift of music.  So please bear with me.

Music changed my life.  I grew up dirt poor in south Arkansas.  No male upstream from me in my entire family ever even graduated from high school.  I had no reason to believe that my life would consist of anything but scratching out a meager living and hoping to pay rent in a house I would never own just as generations before me had done.

Music changed that.  The gift of an electric guitar by my parents when I was 11 put in my hands a future.  It took them a year to pay for the $99 guitar they bought from the J. C. Penney catalog.  Granted, I was never good enough to make a full-time living at music, but the confidence I gained by playing, being in front of people, and competing against myself and the low expectations I grew up with was transformative.


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No need to recite my entire history, but I was especially baffled that I was accused of not being supportive of public education.  I am the PRODUCT of public education.  As Governor my own children were the first children of a Governor in 50 years to have their entire education grades 1-12 in the PUBLIC schools of Arkansas.  I fought to give teachers the largest pay raise in state history.  I successfully led the effort to allow teachers to retire with full benefits after 28 years of service after my two Democrat predecessors vetoed the same bill.  I personally shepherded through legislation that mandated both music AND arts programs for EVERY student in grades 1-12 and taught by fully certified teachers.  We were one of the only states to have ever done that. 

I was Chairman for 2 years of the Education Commission of the States, comprised of all 50 Governors, education leaders in the Senate and House from all 50 state legislatures, and the state education chief for each of the 50 states.  My chosen theme and agenda for those two years was music education for every child.  I launched an initiative “Play it Again, Arkansas” that promoted donation of musical instruments that would be professionally refurbished and provided to students whose parents couldn’t afford the rent or purchase of an instrument allowing them to be in the school band.  I traveled repeatedly to DC with the NAMM Foundation to advocate for music education and have worked with them for several years to urge states to mandate music and arts education.  Now someone who has never met me threatens to wreck valuable programs of the CMA Foundation because of a personal contempt for my faith and politics.  I am willing to get out of the way for the sake of the students the Foundation will hopefully help. 


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If the industry doesn’t want people of faith or who hold conservative and traditional political views to buy tickets and music, they should be forthcoming and say it.  Surely neither the artists or the business people of the industry want that.

Until recently, the arts was the one place America could set aside political, geographical, racial, religious, and economic barriers and come together.  If the arts community becomes part of the polarization instead of bridging communities and people over the power of civil norms as reflected in the arts, then we as a civilization may not be long for this earth.

All of us have deep passions about our beliefs.  I do about mine.  But I hate no one.  I wish upon NO ONE the loss of life or livelihood because that person sees things differently than me. 

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I hope that the music and entertainment industry will become more tolerant and inclusive and recognize that a true love for kids having access to the arts is more important than a dislike for someone or a group of people because of who they are or what they believe.   

My sincere thanks to the CMA Foundation for believing I had something to contribute.  I regret that my presence caused controversy and threats to vital support for deserving kids.  Kids wanting to learn music shouldn’t be the victims of adults who demand that only certain people can be in the room or be heard.

I wish you nothing but good will and success at reaching students across America who need music as much as I did.  At the end of the day, I’m not worth the fight, but the kids are.  Never stop fighting for THEM!




Mike Huckabee



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Comments 1-50 of 904

  • Catherine P. Wilford

    05/06/2018 07:09 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, I am so sorry you were forced by bullies to give up your seat on the board! I am very disappointed in the CMA! I venture to say that over half of the fans of CMA are of the same beliefs and faith as you. We must stand against these bullies - HATE CANNOT WIN!! My good wishes go with you, Gov. and your family. We especially love Sarah! Again, I apologize for the ignorance of those who objected to your seat on the board! God bless you and yours, as I know He will.

  • Marlene Kimberly

    04/17/2018 05:44 PM

    "Until recently, the arts was the one place America could set aside political, geographical, racial, religious, and economic barriers and come together. " The barrier of gender identification and sexual preference is very large. Interesting that you left that out. These kids who identify differently need acceptance from ALL of us. We are close in age but worlds apart! I was raised Catholic but am open to all differences and love and respect everybody. My motto, if they are not hurting me or themselves...live & let live! Your past words have been hurtful to many people. You can believe what you want but you cant make others believe it nor can you use your beliefs to hurt others. #BemorelikeChrist

  • Linda F Briggs

    04/15/2018 09:02 PM

    I have always watched country music awards each year and I am 75 years old now.. I will not watch them tonight because I have more respect for Mike Huckabee than all of country music. Shame on the moron that said Mike Huckabee was sick!!! He is the one that is sick when he/she thinks living and marrying another he/she is correct!! What is coming to our country. I don't care if they live together. I feel bad for the kids involved but blood wise they are not related...they will be taught that it is ok to be with another man the same way God Made Man and Woman....?? Shame on them and shame on the awards. I hope at least half of the audience watched Fox or Hallmark but not the awards...God Bless Mike Huckabee and the USA.

  • martha curcio

    04/12/2018 08:18 PM

    God bless you and keep up the good work you do.

  • Lisa Renee

    04/05/2018 02:22 PM

    You realize that you're Bully number one, correct? You continually malign the gay community, and their families. They're human, just like you. They have feelings, just like you. And in the this, Mr. Huckabee, you're truly blind to what being a good christian is all about. It is not your place to judge. If you were a true christian, you'd love and accept and allow God to be the judge. Instead your own heart is filled with hate, so fearful of those who isn't exactly like you, that you lash out to make yourself feel better. Instead of continuing to cast judgement on those around you, perhaps you should look inside first.

  • Sherry Artman

    03/30/2018 05:02 PM

    You are one person that I have the utmost respect for in our society today. So sorry that you felt the need to resign from the CMA board, but completely understand your decision. Thank you Governor Huckabee for being the true Christian person you are today!

  • Richard Hill

    03/30/2018 01:06 PM

    I appreciate your stand, Mr. Huckabee, and will continue to pray along the lines you stated. You truly demonstrate the "Love" spoken of in I Corinthians 13. Have a blessed weekend and continue keeping God in the front of all you do.

  • June Archer

    03/21/2018 09:23 AM

    Blessings to you Mike Huckabee--Thank you for helping children get an appreciation of music and the ability to learn to play an instrument. I attended public school for three years and I remember when we would be asked to rest at our desks and for 15 beautiful minutes we listened to the classics--how I loved that. But in my family my Dad was a great lover of classical music and it would be playing often especially on weekends. I laugh when he would turn up the volume when he would be outside working in the yard so even the neighborhood learned of classical music.

    Thank you Mike for all the good you have done for many children.

    Peace be with You--June

  • Paulette Reecer

    03/16/2018 01:51 AM

    This sounds just like bullying in schools. What is this telling our kids? That it's ok to bully people in their adult lives?. This country is running more on hate especially on things that the bully doesn't understand as long as what they want happens. What has happened to all the brotherly love we are to have for one another. I'm so sorry Mr Huckabee for the way you have been treated. It's a loss for the kids and music across our Nation.

  • Kevin Schwinkendorf

    03/15/2018 06:50 PM

    The "hard rock" and "rap" music genres have been disgusting for many years, but conservative Americans have enjoyed Country Music for as long as there has been Country Music. The "Dixie Chicks" found out how conservative Americans felt about unpatriotic political views, and so now maybe the CMA will do likewise. Country Music has suffered for their bending to politically-correct pressure groups, and I am not impressed. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with them, and anyone else who puts down the values that made America the great nation it is.

  • Lloyd King

    03/14/2018 09:28 AM

    Governor Huckabee, I appreciate your testimony and your service to our country. What we are seeing, as I'm sure you realize, is that biblical prophecy if being fulfilled. We are seeing the "end times" prophecies coming to fruition. Anything that remotely resembles godliness is sure to be rejected. Keep up your good work; God is watching and each person will receive their just rewards!

  • JoAnn Mitchell

    03/13/2018 04:04 PM

    What seems to be clearly missing from your "I'm a good guy" resignation letter is something along the lines of you support/defend/stick up for the rights of all children/people-straight, gay, transgendered/queer. You don't have to hate these people to see them as undeserving or "less than." And nowhere do you question or show any kind of actual exploration or questioning of what your religion told you to think. So the folks that opposed your involvement on this board don't hate you either-they just don't understand why you can't give LGBQT folks the same rights, respect and acceptance as you presumably do your fellow parishoners. They don't hate you-they just see you are deficient in some essential qualities.

  • Mary Seltzer

    03/11/2018 11:20 PM

    Mr. Huckabee,
    Thank you for sharing how music in public school helped make your life different in a positive way. Thank you for all you did in your state to improve music and art opportunities for students. Thank you for the good example you set for us in being in the world, but not of it. I appreciate you and pray for you often.


    03/11/2018 01:20 PM

    Keep Up your comments I for one read them

  • Miriam L McCurry

    03/11/2018 01:59 AM

    Mr Huckabee, I appreciate your remarks, your good work, caring, and your thoughtful response. It is unfortunate that so many hateful people exist in this world. That they are allowed to overrule good, conservative individuals who wish to build up rather than tear down constantly amazes me. We as a nation need to get off our backsides and stand for right. We have allowed the few ignorant, bigoted, bullies who scream the loudest to take over and spread their vitriol. I feel that giving way to these bullying individuals merely gives them a bigger pulpit to spread their evil. When good men and women do nothing, we add to the problems. I do however, understand your reasoning. There are many who stand behind you and for you. Carry on your good work. Thank you.

  • Laura A. Hatcher

    03/10/2018 09:16 PM

    Dear Gov. Mike Huckabee:
    I am almost speechless at the people who cannot tolerate Christians. I do still believe GOD is still in control! I only have faith and hope that one day God will be number ONE in peoples lives. I pray everyday for the unbelievers and ask GOD to change their hearts. I thank you for your continued support of Trump and also for your very talented and super intelligent daughter Sarah. She gives me hope everytime I listen to her. God bless you for everything you stand for I am so sorry they treated you so ugly regarding the music endeavor. Sincerely, Laura

  • Jerry allen

    03/08/2018 11:09 PM

    So sad, it's not even really about your nra association, it's really about your faith! Christians better wake up, Nero has set the country on fire and the Christians will be blamed, it's an historical analogy for those who don't know. These situations will only continue and get worse as long as those in positions of power and influence keep there heads in the sand for fear of repurcussions. God dod not give us a spirit of fear. Personally, I am done with the nfl and country music, its not even country anymore, with one exception, Mo Pitney, my money can be spent better elsewhere. God Bless You and Your family!! A Fellow Arkansasan, Jerry

  • venna jean jordan

    03/08/2018 01:21 AM

    It is so very unfortunate that this happened to you. It is not about you, but is about them controlling and keeping godly influence from the people. You are the best, and you are an inspiration to me. I could not believe what they did to you. Watch and see their sins will find them out.

  • Susan Peterson

    03/07/2018 08:07 PM

    What a terrible loss for the children! One of the many things I admire about you is how you can carry on a civil conversation with anyone, even when you don't agree. You have handled this situation very admirably and brought things to their attention that needed to be said. Well done, Governor Huckabee!

  • Ted Malone

    03/07/2018 06:37 PM

    Just to correct an earlier comment I read here a few comments back, Jesus never said not to discern between right and wrong and good and evil, only not to condemn (judge) people (that's up to God to do that). So when Mike or anyone else stands up for moral behavior and stands against immoral behavior, he's simply discerning between that which is good vs. that which is not good based on biblical principals. That's something that every Christian is required to do. If we didn't do that, then all behaviors become equal and would render biblical principles of little consequence.

    As for the CMA, maybe it's time to start a rival chapter to them, one that gets back to the traditions of country music. Maybe the HMA (Huck Music Association)?!

  • Dennis R. Mackowiak

    03/07/2018 11:57 AM

    Atta Boy Mike !! Well said!! Please continue the outstanding work that defines your supporters also.

  • Carolyn Worthington

    03/06/2018 11:18 PM

    Gov. Huckabee,
    I’m sorry this has happened. Judging from your story, you are a great member of the CMA. Unlike probably most commenters here, I consider myself a liberal, and I hate how divided our country has become. Music is one thing that we can all enjoy and benefit from, whatever our beliefs. Thank you for the support you have given to music education up until now.

    Carolyn Worthington

  • Jerry wiggins

    03/06/2018 10:07 PM

    So sad to see just a reminder of what's in store for Christians. I am a lifetime member of the CMA and I am extremely disappointed in their decision but everything else in their decision-making including the type of music they support, not really being country anymore is sad indeed. I hate to see the people's faces during the resurrection and judgement day. God bless Mike Huckabee

  • Rebecca Thompson

    03/06/2018 06:21 PM

    You rock! You stand up for your beliefs and influence many. Too bad "they" are so afraid of you and your faithfulness that they will not let you serve. It is their loss and just perhaps, God will open an even better door for you.
    God Bless You

  • Linda Thompson

    03/06/2018 04:16 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, First, let me say thank you for never being ashamed to let all know you are a Christian. I read several of the comments and to your being judgmental - I have never noticed that. I too am a Christian and daily I have to ask our Father to help me not be judgmental and when I allow Him to take control, then my mouth doesn't take control and say things I regret later. My husband and I watch your TV show on TBN every Saturday evening and if we are not home then it is recorded. We have followed you through the Presidential races and would have voted for you if that had ever been an option. I firmly believe you are greater servant to our Lord because you were never put in that position. The position I see you in is one of a teller of the truth, a true disciple for our Lord and bringing into light things we were taught but sometimes forget. When the lady wrote about things in the Old Testament, maybe she should read the New Testament again. Jesus taught about right and wrong and that by accepting him as Lord and Savior and turning from our sinful ways we can be with him throughout eternity. Paul also taught about the rights and wrongs in the letters to the churches. Just because many men/women are willing to accept things that MAN has declared is okay does not mean God accepts them. I fear God much more than man. We will continue to pray for you and that God will give you the wisdom and strength to continue to prevail against the enemy known as Satan.

  • William Ballard

    03/06/2018 02:11 PM

    You are right on target. I'm very sorry to see you leave.I fear for my republic but I also have faith that the people will survive.God be with you, don't give up the ship. You are one of the few people who I listen to.

  • Curtis Droege

    03/06/2018 01:07 PM

    I sent a comment to the CMA, which reads:
    "Congratulations on booting one of the best people you could have on your board. Mike Huckabee is a gentleman, a strong music advocate, and would have raised the credibility of country music. There is no greater measure of what the CMA has decined to become by effectively forcing his resignation. And to think this comes from what should be good, wholesome, conservative people that is (or was) the character of country music.

    The only way forward for the CMA now is for all board members to resign. You have blown it.

    I will be cancelling my trip to visit Nashville this summer, and will do nothing to promote country music in the future. I want nothing to do with you."

  • Deborah Poteet-Johnson

    03/06/2018 01:01 PM

    Very well-said, Gov. Huckabee! I was not aware of all of this story since I am behind on reading my e-mails, but when I heard you refer to this incident on your weekend TV show, I knew there was something serious that had taken place. If only those who have contempt for us Christians and our faith would take to heart the words in Romans 1:22--"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...." Alas, they may never realize how foolish they are until it is too late.


    03/06/2018 12:17 PM



    Our nation is etched in Biblical principles, i.e., The Constitution, but sadly we're living in a secular culture.

  • Joseph Alotto

    03/06/2018 11:52 AM

    I admire you and the one thing you did not tell was that it was you and your administration who had to clean up the Bill Clinton mess as Arkansas governor. I am a Christian and believe in Christian values, while sometimes a don't fully live up to them, they are written in the book about my next life, so I believe. If these deviants don't like it too bad, I am just earthly enough to want to attend their judgement on their death to see how they handle the judgement of GOD the father. He will no doubt be compassionate I am sure but they will get to meet Satan in person, and only then understand the opportunity they passed up for earthly rewards, pleasures, or popularity. One additional thing if a man can be rewarded on earth, you have reward in I see your daughter on TV in the press briefings and she maintains her Christian values while some of the demonic press forces come against her. You must be proud and know you and your wife's parenting skills are successful. May GOD continue to bless you and your leadership on this earth, and as Billy Graham said may I meet you in my new and improved life in heaven.

  • Andy Kacmar

    03/06/2018 10:47 AM

    I never comment on things like this, at least up until now. It was very thoughtful of Mr. Huckabee to step aside rather than being a distraction to the organization he wanted to serve. But then everything he says is thoughtful, kind, respectful and makes sense. A truly fine American!

  • Susan M. White

    03/06/2018 10:03 AM

    Mr. Huckabee, I applaud your dedication to the advancement of the arts for children. We must continue to provide opportunities for every child to explore the arts and find their voice through art. I agree with the idea that all boards of charities be as inclusive as possible in order to represent the diversity that is America. And I think that may be where you, and those who opposed your appointment, clashed.

    While it is clear you have spent your life working to advance the arts, you have also concurrently advocated the exclusion of certain types of people from our society because of your religious beliefs. I can understand their opposition to your appointment because they have felt ostracized by you, or even believed more dastardly intentions on your part.

    That's the problem when we judge others' life and/or lifestyles. Jesus exhorted us repeatedly not to judge one another. He did not make any exclusions or exceptions to that exhortation. Just: "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Here is where so many Christians have failed to follow in their Master's footsteps.

    Too often, Christians fall back on the Old Testament, forgetting that Jesus declared the Old Law was fulfilled in Him and He came to us bringing a New Law, the Law of Love. It was the Old Law that judged the ways of others, but the New Law simply asks us to offer Love in every circumstance and leave the judging to God. Judgments are so easy to make and do so much harm, not only to others, but to ourselves. I think the consequence of your failure to abstain from judging others has now come home to roost for you.

    I thank you for your years of dedication and service to the advancement of the arts and the opportunity to participate in the arts that you have given to so many children. I will pray for you and hope you can find it in your heart to understand how you have excluded others and now must experience what it means to be excluded yourself.

    May God's Blessings and Understanding be yours.

  • Paul P. Reid

    03/06/2018 09:23 AM

    I commend you for your life as a born again Christian. Keep up the good work of living and sharing your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ!

  • Jim Palo

    03/06/2018 08:56 AM

    Mike: I do not undrestand how such a group has so much affect over our lives. They certainly don't reflect the views of most of our citizens in America. Hopefully our Lord will somehow touch their souls and restore our society soon. Keep the faith! God Bless.

  • Thomas R Beckwith

    03/06/2018 07:56 AM

    Apparently CMA is taking after the Hollywood crowd.
    After seeing the Oscars, the following thoughts come to mind:
    Interesting… Hollywood has been pushing free love for decades.
    Now they are discovering it is NOT free.
    And they are lecturing us on discrimination against women, blacks, Hispanics, and LGBTs.
    Funny… Corporate America hasn’t been able to get away with that for decades.
    We hire for knowledge, skills, ability, and experience.
    Glad Hollowood is catching up.

  • Paul Daugherty

    03/06/2018 06:32 AM

    You're a bigger man than I, but I knew that. The CMA association should be as well, but they're just another group being high jacked by the liberal Hollywood crowd. I'll being sending my support to other groups that do appreciate conservative Cristian American values until these folks wake up. As the song says, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything" and I believe the "anything" has a lot of our America! Stand proud my friend, America loves you. Most of it anyway!

  • John Sweet

    03/06/2018 03:26 AM

    Damn Mike, wonderful letter!

  • Gerri L. Morgan

    03/05/2018 11:05 PM

    Email addresses to send letter to CMA---is a good start to show how valuable Mr. Huckabee is ---we need him much more than we need CMA.

    [email protected];[email protected];[email protected];[email protected]

  • Marsha McKenney

    03/05/2018 10:55 PM

    How pathetic and intolerant from people who demand tolerance. It’s their loss.

  • James Rogers

    03/05/2018 10:28 PM

    Mr. Huckabee, You've stated gay families are morally beneath straight families and use language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country. I'm glad you left the CMA. Now go away. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Tresa Ames

    03/05/2018 08:31 PM

    It's a sad day that country music turns against Christian American values. Guess it's another entity I will boycott, a growing list.

  • Jane Rininger

    03/05/2018 07:09 PM

    what a 'classy letter', but I wouldn't have expected anything less.

  • Tammy Clause

    03/05/2018 05:59 PM

    Mr. Huckabee you and your daughter are doing a fantastic job.
    Truth will set you free. Evil "haters" don't like the truth.
    I would hope you do not take this as a discouragement. I would move forward and take the winner's with you. May God bless and protect you and your family.
    Thank you so much.

  • Chip Waldron

    03/05/2018 04:43 PM

    I liked your whole letter, with one gigantic exception: Hate didn't win ... hate of others because of their sexual orientation was what won. Hate lost!

  • Becki Burr

    03/05/2018 04:26 PM

    “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
    Thank you for your willingness to serve...but know that hate does NOT win, because this is a battle of principalities and powers....and that our dear Savior will right every wrong. Thank you for sharing this. I keep shaking my head at the ridiculous things happening in our world, but especially in the USA, and think it can’t get any worse, but then it does. I am so proud to know that there are some of you are standing strong. And BTW, your daughter is rocking it!

  • Melissa Tinker

    03/05/2018 02:56 PM

    Mike, I'm so sorry our world has come to this. I support you 100%. I feel like the CMA and the kids are the ones who lose here as you would have been a real gift to the foundation board. Thank you for standing up for Judeo-Christian values and for being exactly who you say you are - A Christian. God Bless you Mike.

  • Thomas R Morgan

    03/05/2018 01:47 PM

    Dear Mr.Huckabee ,They or hate does not win. I know in a way it seems so. For me I wasn't surprised ,but I got something out of it. Your letter is very good it exposes the left for who they really are and we received a encouraging testimony.It alone may effect more people then your appointment would have. You are a man of God,instructed by him,led by him ! Love your wisdom and your matter of fact teaching and reporting. Your the Winner !

  • Don Wood

    03/05/2018 01:36 PM

    Love your news letter, the truth is refreshing. Have enclosed a link for your readers.

    School shootings are virtually unheard of in Israel – this is why

  • Hypocrite

    03/05/2018 01:09 PM

    Yet when Colin Kaepernick lost his very lucrative career because of political and economic pressure from the right, did you defend his right to his own beliefs and expression, Mike? Did you implore the league that blackballed him to keep his pre-game politics separate from his contributions to that game which inspires and entertains so many?

    Did you even just stay silent?

    Of course not. You joined the dogpile, with considerable vitriol and righteous fury.

    As a Christian conservative, I'm sure you understand that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap!

  • Richard Belknap

    03/05/2018 12:54 PM

    I wish other states would appreciate and follow your lead on the arts and music in public schools. The music most kids listen to today does not resemble the music my wife and I grew up on. We are in our 80's and we often enjoy a day full of music from the 30's to the 80's. Our six kids all played instruments in public schools. How did Tammy Baldwin ads get into your column? We live in Wisconsin and she reportedly was the only Congress person to receive early warnings of the VA opiod situation and "she sat on it for months". A rock solid liberal. Hope to get rid of her soon! Thank you. Richard Belknap