Governor wants his own attorney in Lakeview case

(January 27, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Governor Huckabee says he wants one of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench as a lawyer in the state school funding case. Huckabee says he wants clearance to hire Little Rock lawyer Leon Holmes to represent the governor's office because of deep divisions between the governor and the Legislature in school funding. At issue is how to respond to a state Supreme Court order to overhaul Arkansas' unconstitutional public education system. Bush nominated Holmes to a federal judgeship in January 2003 and he is still awaiting Senate confirmation. Huckabee has asked state Attorney General Mike Beebe to approve Holmes representing the governor's office. Huckabee says he and the Legislature have such different views on the method for improving the public schools that they shouldn't have to share the attorney general as their lawyer.