The one comment by John Huppenthal that most caught my eye was one of the first things he said: “I made comments that were hurtful to people and they were not what is in my heart, soul and mind,” he said. “I completely repudiate those comments.” Huppenthal says he won’t resign over blog posts .
Set aside the creepy factor here where Huppenthal appears to be repudiating his alter egos, as if they are separate personalities distinct from his own (is he asserting a multiple-personality disorder defense? Intriguing, but I’m not buying it).
Let’s be clear: John Huppenthal “repudiated” John Huppenthal (he was not referring to any particular comment). This may be a political first, a candidate repudiating himself.
Despite the fact that John Huppenthal’s campaign has gone the full Hindenburg this past week, there is a very good possibility that he will still be the GOP nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction on the ballot this November. His GOP primary opponent is a Tea Party single-issue candidate — Kill Common Core! — who is even more chock-full-o’nuts than Huppenthal. Such is the sorry state of the GOP.
Huppenthal’s racist comments about Latinos, John Huppenthal: all Spanish media should be silenced, may very well energize Latino voters, Latino Democratic Caucus of Pima County Chairman Calls for Huppenthal’s Resignation, and prove to be a millstone around the neck of the GOP ticket this fall, as Bill Richardson argues today in an opinion at the East Valley Tribune. Richardson: Huppenthal part of Arizona GOP’s problem.
Given this possibility, I find it curious that I have not seen any reporting on GOP candidates for office trying to distance themselves from Huppenthal’s comments by repudiating Huppenthal. (I have not been following their Facebook or Twitter accounts, so some may have).
The question every GOP candidate for office needs to answer, from congress down to dog catcher, is “Do you repudiate John Huppenthal?” If not, why not?
There is a legal principle that silence is acquiescence, and a failure to object is ratification. GOP candidates who do not repudiate John Huppenthal ratify his hateful comments.
The Yellow Sheet Report (subscription required) has a report about a gubernatorial candidate forum at the Arizona Association of Counties annual meeting, at which the candidates were asked about John Huppenthal. The GOP candidates for governor did not repudiate him:
Frank Riggs was the only GOP candidate to take a stand against Huppenthal, though for his support of Common Core, not the blogging scandal that has been unfolding over the past week. Note: The forum was conducted by political podcast Copper Talk, and was moderated by Copper Talk host Barrett Marson and Arizona News Service Editor Jim Small. A recording of the forum can be heard at http://coppertalkaz.com/.
And in another post from The Yellow Sheet Report (June 26, 2014):
Except for Fred DuVal, the gubernatorial candidates refrained from criticizing Huppenthal, and instead strongly suggested leaving it to the public to decide his fate. Riggs set the tone of the responses, saying that, while he supports Diane Douglas as superintendent in the GOP primary, “It’s hard to watch what’s going on with Mr. Huppenthal without having some human compassion. He’s been under a lot of stress.” He attributed some of that stress to Huppenthal’s position on Common Core, which the superintendent is championing and Riggs is opposing. Ducey added that he won’t pile on Huppenthal, and said he would back the GOP ticket – including Huppenthal, should he win the GOP nomination. Bennett said he’s saddened by what happened, but it’s up to Huppenthal and his family whether to stay in the race or not. Smith echoed the theme that voters should decide whether they want to keep the beleaguered superintendent. Jones claimed to have no knowledge of the controversy. “I honestly, to be candid, don’t know what he said,” she said.
Fred Duval, however, seized the chance to ask for the superintendent’s resignation. He said the job of overseeing the education of Arizona’s kids comes with a “higher duty.” “I believe that the superintendent has violated that,” he said.
CopperTalk Az Gov Candidates Debate
Live from the JW Marriot – June 26, 9 am — Sponsored by the Arizona Assoc. of Counties & Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission
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h/t photo: KNXV, ABC 15 Phoenix, www.abc15.com