John Huppenthal, the Arizona superintendent of public instruction, put his foot in his mouth last week when it was discovered that he posted anonymously on a multitude of public policy issues.
He shared these views because, well, he thought he could hide from Arizona’s voters. How wrong he was. He compared this anonymous posting to the Federalist papers.
The only difference is that the Founding Fathers never called those who collect welfare “selfish pigs” or compared anyone — let alone the founder of Planned Parenthood — to Adolf Hitler.
There are two problems with Huppenthal’s actions. First, an elected official should not be hiding behind a computer screen and saying these controversial things. He should come out in front and say this to the people of Arizona instead of being a coward.
Second, how are these beliefs affecting how Huppenthal does his job? It’s important to realize that he’s leading the charge in the new college readiness standards. With a person who’s interested in calling poor people pigs, it would be interesting to see how that translates into creating policy for Arizona’s children.
Arizona keeps getting into these types of embarrassing spats with our elected officials. While Gov. Jan Brewer’s calmed down since she aggressively pointed at Barack Obama, we still have Ken Bennett and Tom Horne in the executive branch of government.
Last week, Ken Bennett went to the Clean Elections Commission to fight to be in an official Arizona video about the voting process. Surprised? Me too. Bennett is also running for governor! While Clean Elections didn’t fall for this ploy, it’s ridiculous that we should even be talking about this kind of a conflict of interest.
Time and time again, Arizona ranks high in the measure of “kooks” that run state agencies. I think this is a combination of people who want a “small” (read: ineffective) government and, unfortunately, most people vote against their own interests.
That leads me to the future of the state of Arizona. Doug Ducey, a candidate for governor, wants to eliminate the income tax in Arizona.
According to an analysis by the Arizona Republic, that equates to $3.4 billion, or enough to keep all the K-12 schools open.
I think this all goes back to the idea that the elected officials in Arizona just don’t have the ideas or policies that will help Arizona grow into the 21st century. If Ducey wanted to eliminate the income tax, I’d be happy to listen to his proposal. If Huppenthal thinks that Planned Parenthood started a genocide, I’d want to know.
Unfortunately, it looks like the policymakers in Arizona are going to just keep going down the road they’ve always gone. And, without your vote, we will keep seeing our elected officials abuse what could be done in Arizona.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @peternorthfelt
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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