Okay, for the few of you who have not figured this out yet, by all indication our friend Thucky is John Huppenthal, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which is the fifth highest elected office in the state.
This may be a first. I don’t know of any other elected official who has led a double life as a serial blog troll besides John Huppenthal. Chalk that up to Arizona having the market cornered on political craziness, I guess.
I’ll be making many observations about this in the months to come, as may my colleagues here at BfAZ. How often is it that you get this close a look at what really is going on inside the head of an elected official? It’s kind of fascinating.
So, it’s not surprising that ole Thuckenthal would not find much love here. In The Political Brain, Drew Westen makes the case that if 30% of the electorate does not affirmatively dislike you, the election is not going to happen for you. And, if you’re John Huppenthal, ours is the group who you’d expect not to like you.
But here’s the amazing thing: They don’t like him any better on the other side of the aisle. You see, he posts on the conservative sites as well. At one site, Seeing Red AZ, he has used the handle Socrates1289 (he’s gone by Socrates a few times here as well). So, last September, he was up to his usual dishonesty, speaking of Huppenthal in the third person, and the site proprietor eviscerated him, with full-throated support from the other commenters:
Dont believe this nonsense. Huppenthal is the most conservative leader in Arizona. 16th and deciding vote to bring concealed carry gun rights to Arizona.
Seeing Red AZ:
Socrates: You have tried dominating this section with over a dozen comments. Although some have been posted, don’t expect to see any others. Your wild accusations, name calling and warning to others that this is an untruthful site, will not fly here. This conservative, fact-based site obviously is not the place for you.
It is frenzied candidate John Huppenthal, meeting strong opposition to his bonding with Arne Duncan and Obama’s educare, who is untruthful. He deviously wants to change the name “Common Core” to “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards” hoping no one will notice. We all have and will not forget. Huppenthal is rightly sweating his upcoming election and has taken refuge in deceit.
How badly are Huppenthal’s fellow Republicans not in to him? Check out this poll of party leaders taken last weekend, as reported in Seeing Red AZ and Sonoran Alliance:
Andrew Thomas: 16
Ken Bennett: 7
Frank Riggs: 7
Doug Ducey: 5
Christine Jones: 2
Scott Smith: 0
Al Melvin: 0
U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, not in the governor’s race, garnered a single write-in vote.
SECRETARY of STATE:
Wil Cardon: 19
Justin Pierce: 15
Michele Reagan: 4
Mark Brnovich: 19
Tom Horne: 17
Jeff DeWit: 26
Randy Pullen: 9
Hugh Hallman: 4
SUPERINTENDENT of PUBLIC INSTRUCTION:
Diane Douglas: 35
John Huppenthal: 4
Doug Little: 35
Tom Forese: 32
Vernon Parker: 8
Lucy Mason: 1
Joe Hart (Uncontested)
Note how badly Huppenthal does compared to any other candidate in a two way race. Heck, even in the races with more than two candidates, the candidate running third does as well or better than Huppenthal does in a two-way race. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but barely cracking 10% sucks no matter how small the sample size is.
This is remarkable. When the folks on the other side don’t like you it’s to be expected. But your own crowd?
When I consider why I disliked Huppenthal (then Thucky), however, things start to make more sense. I didn’t dislike him for the views he expressed when I sparred with him repeatedly here. What I disliked was his manner. I felt he reeked of intellectual dishonesty, smugness and insecurity. There were occasions when I (or other writers) absolutely obliterated his arguments. He was so insecure that he couldn’t say “okay, point taken” EVER.
I suspect that’s what’s going on at the Republican sites as well. Some of them may have figured out Socrates or Falcon9 was Huppenthal, and some may not have, but it didn’t matter, because they were recoiling from the same smug, yet false, certainty that he exhibits at this site.
Simply put, he just has an offensive personality. This Letter to the Editor at the Arizona Daily Star tells you all you need to know on this front:
Only blocking could stop calls
Re: the Feb. 19 article “Rep. Grijalva asks US if Huppenthal’s calls violated student privacy.”
Kudos Congressman Grijalva! I find recent news stories about Huppenthal’s alleged abuse of robocalls amusing, since robocalls are his preferred method for annoying constituents.
Some years ago when he was in the Arizona State Senate, my privacy was regularly besieged with his message du jour via robocalls. It became so annoying that I looked up his email address and asked him to take me off his call list since I was not in his district nor was I aligned with his partisan ideas regarding topics important to him at the time.
As a result of that email he not only didn’t stop the calls, but decided instead to invade my privacy further by telephoning me and attempting to debate his “rights” and his ideas.
After I asked him what about “do not call me” didn’t he understand, I finally got rid of him by blocking any further calls. His ideas were dangerous in the Senate, but putting him in charge of public education? What were voters thinking?
Wow! An elected official stalking a voter. The same way he stalks bloggers who agree or disagree with his views, or even those who agree with him.
Decades ago, someone with an offensive personality could not find a way to get elected. Money has changed things a bit. After all, with enough money anyone can be made to look good on a mailer or in a TV ad or, in Hupenthal’s case, sound good on a robocall. But is there a limit to what money can do? Can a creepy blog troll who isn’t even liked by those in his own party make it past both a contested primary and a general? I guess we’ll see.