In response to Peter Northfelt’s June 26 column “Three candidates for Arizona office who’ll raise your ire“
Thank you for a fine column. On its overall premise, I could not agree more. In listening to Mr. (State Superintendent of Public Instruction John) Huppenthal over the years, one actually suspected behind his politically polished public statements, the sentiments expressed in more anonymous blogs were lurking. Now the steam has escaped the kettle, and it is clear the water is boiling. Like that escaped steam, he can’t put the comments back into anonymity.
Initially, his response at being caught was to say he didn’t think it would affect the election. I fear he might be right. How scary! Yet thanks to you and other journalists who continue to draw attention to these statements, maybe he is wrong. He said there would be no more comments from him, then suddenly his tear-filled press conference. Keep up the pressure! Thank you.
Oh, there is a nominal precedent for such anonymity. In the Federalist papers Madison and Hamilton took on pseudonyms to debate points. It isn’t quite the same, but they apparently felt no compunction as leaders to reveal their authorship.
I think the biggest issue concerning Mr. Huppenthal for voters to consider is the fact that as head of the public school system in Arizona, his children do not attend public school. Why is this not more of an issue? It would seem he thinks public education to be for only the less fortunate as a kind of safety-net for them — at least they would have something — instead of education for all being a safety net for the entire culture. Why is this not mentioned more often by journalists and others? I think it most telling.
Keep up the good work!
Gary N McCluskey
Pastor, University Lutheran Church
Lutheran Campus Ministry
Arizona State University