Huppenthal Distances Himself from Controversial Blog Comments

Jun 25, 2014

The state’s top school official this afternoon distanced himself from comments he made anonymously online about welfare recipients and use of the Spanish language. But Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports John Huppenthal said he’s not going to resign.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal at Wednesday's press conference.
Credit Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer

For at least four years Huppenthal posted comments under pseudonyms on various blog sites on a host of issues. But, the school superintendent’s screen of anonymity came crashing down when a blogger traced the I-P address of the sender back to the state Department of Education. Huppenthal said the comments were simply his effort to spur public policy debate on important issues. He said that is why he wrote “This is America, speak English,” along with a diatribe about why there should be no Spanish-language media.

“I feel the key to opportunity for our students is the ability to read, write and speak English. That does not set aside that that comment that I made on that issue was hurtful. And I renounce that comment,” he said.

And, as to saying welfare recipients are lazy pigs:

“I have a tremendous bias toward opportunity as opposed to providing, just providing,” he said.

And, Huppenthal said that his comments about immigration were misunderstood. He said he was trying to express his view that, given that “Caucasians aren’t reproducing themselves” the state’s economic future is tied to immigration.