Capitol Offense Won't Rock in Hope

July 30, 2003 - Posted at 7:08 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  --Governor Huckabee canceled his rock-and-roll band's date at the Watermelon Festival in his hometown of Hope.

Huckabee says the decision came after the Hope-Hempstead Chamber of Commerce rejected his request to host one of his talks on his education reform plan.

In a July second letter to chamber executive director Mark Keith, the governor said his band ``Capitol Offense'' wouldn't play August tenth at the festival. Keith says the chamber was ``kind of amazed'' by the governor's reaction.

He says the festival will schedule the band if the governor changes his mind. Chamber president Henry Struckman said in a phone interview from his farm in Fulton that there was a misunderstanding.

Struckman said he personally supported Huckabee's education proposal but the chamber decided months ago to remain neutral on the subject. Huckabee said in his letter that he was stunned that his hometown was the only place in Arkansas to turn him away.

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