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Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is a career politician who came up through city councils and the legislature—a man who never spent a day teaching class. Nationally, Huppenthal is probably best known as an advocate for privatizing education, and he was part of the Republican team that carried out the Ethnic Studies ban two years ago in the Tucson Unified School District, a dick move that eliminated Latino and Native American voices from the curriculum—in a district that is majority Latino.

Huppenthal is running for re-election but first he has to make it out of a tough primary, which is not a done deal, especially after today's news. The Republican candidate will face either Sharon Thomas, a teacher, or David Garcia, an educator and someone the national Latino/a community is paying attention to. Along with legislative candidates like Ruben Gallego, Garcia is part of the young Hispanic leadership that'll help turn Arizona purple.

Today we learned that Huppenthal has an anonymous online life. That's no surprise, many of us do. But this man who oversees all public schools in a very ethnically diverse state spends his time, apparently often at the office, defending himself and spouting racist and demeaning claptrap in blog posts.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

His comments at liberal and conservative websites alike refer to welfare recipients as "lazy pigs," he discredits evolution by linking Darwin to ethnic cleansing, dismisses teaching climate change in science courses, and considers Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger more murderous than the Nazis. Natch. When pressed by the media, Huppenthal confessed to his online presence, where he often posted as "Thucydides" or "Falcon9."

Since at least 2011, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal has shared controversial, conservative opinions anonymously on blog websites, he revealed this week.
Attorney Bob Lord at the liberal Blog for Arizona (yippee!) suspected something was up because "Thucydides" was all over his website, defending Arizona's education policy, not to mention some pretty nutty ideas in general, and in the process posting details about Huppenthal's life that only someone close to him would know. Regular bloggers began to suspect Huppenthal might be the anonymous troller frequently defending himself in the third person: "There was more of a nuance to Huppenthal's comments than put forth in this commentary," he wrote. After some investigating, Lord traced the posts to the Department of Education offices, and then he outed Huppenthal at the Blog for Arizona. That forced Huppenthal's hand and today he owned up.
"I have chosen to participate in online blogs as a forum to advocate for and discuss issues related to economics, energy, criminal-justice reform and in recent years, education," Huppenthal wrote.
If it was just a matter of a government official anonymously defending his agency's policy on his own time, and truly "discuss[ing] issues related to economics, energy, criminal-justice reform," that's one thing. But apparently Huppenthal wrote a lot while on the job, and get a load of some of his comments:
It was Darwin, not Hitler, who named the Germans the master race. It was Darwin who expressed approval of eliminating both Jews and Africans.
That's the sort of rubbish you find at creationist websites that are hell-bent on smearing evolutionary theory. Darwin did not express "approval" of eliminating blacks or any other group; in Descent of Man, which is as much about cooperation as competition, he observed what might happen to Africans as a result of Europeans' actions. He loathed slavery and was a great deal more progressive than most Christians of his day.
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood was given the job of eliminating African-Americans. Hitler fed 6 million Jews into the ovens. Sanger has fed 16 million African-Americans into the abortion mills.
Yeah, Sanger did that all by herself. Once again, Huppenthal is lost in the right-wing hardcore christian blog machine. Sanger was never "given the job" of eliminating blacks, or anyone else for that matter. Sure, she made controversial and even inaccurate comments, but her work was praised by much of the African American community, including MLK. Huppenthal is spewing divisive lies to serve the anti-choice agenda, which has a grip on this state.  
We now know that (Franklin D. Roosevelt) was almost completely responsible for the great depression. … Only in liberal mythology did FDR 'save' the nation.
Completely responsible? Economic historians will probably always argue whether FDR's policies brought a satisfactory end to or prolonged the Great Depression, but to suggest that Roosevelt is "completely responsible," and therefore government assistance doesn't work, is poppycock. There was that Hoover fellow, remember? And Wall Street—which wrecked the system more than three years before FDR entered the White House.

Elsewhere he says Arizona's swamped Child Protection Services isn't of any assistance, no matter what its budget or staffing levels. So why bother? Another post says, "Obama is rewarding the lazy pigs with food stamps."

A lot of those food stamps are probably used by children in your classrooms, Mr. Superintendent. Yuck, so this is the person who oversees public schools in Arizona—a fundamentalist, science-denying corporatist. Well, given his fondness for charter schools, we shouldn't expect him to care much about the public variety. There's little evidence of that. And you can see why, when you read in these posts what he thinks about the public.

Originally posted to Maggie's Farm on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 06:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Phoenix Kossacks, Baja Arizona Kossacks, and Daily Kos.

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