PHOENIX -- The Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction is owning up to a variety blog comments described as "harsh" that he made anonymously.
Posted under the names Falcon9 and Thucydides, the comments John Huppenthal now says are his first started showing up online in 2011.
He reportedly commented on posts about an array of topics, including the economy, abortion and education.
Among other things, Huppenthal's comments called people who receive public assistance "lazy pigs" and put the blame of the Great Depression square on the shoulders of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"We now know that (Franklin D. Roosevelt) was almost completely responsible for the great depression," Huppenthal posted as Falcon9 on Blog for Arizona last year. "Only in liberal mythology did FDR 'save' the nation. … Worse yet, Roosevelt's disastrous economic policies drug down the whole world and directly led to the rise of a no-name hack named Adolph Hitler who was going nowhere until Germany’s economy went into the tank."
In another comment posted on Seeing Red AZ in September 2013, Huppenthal, as Thucydides, wrote," It was Darwin, not Hitler, who named the Germans the master race. It was Darwin who expressed approval of eliminating both Jews and Africans. Hitler worked to eliminate the Jews. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood was given the job of eliminating African-Americans. Hitler fed 6 million Jews into the ovens. Sanger has fed 16 million African-Americans into the abortion mills."
In one of the earlier posts by Falcon9 on Blog for Arizona, Huppenthal opined that "successful small businessmen/job creators are being taxed to death."
The post continued: "Meanwhile, Obama is rewarding the lazy pigs with food stamps (44 million people), air-conditioning, free health care, flat-screen TV’s (typical of 'poor' families)." (Parentheses were in the original post.)
While writers for the Blog for Arizona Seeing Red AZ suspected Huppenthal was responsible for the posts in question, he did not admit anything until he spoke with an Arizona newspaper Wednesday.
"I don’t know of any other elected official who has led a double life as a serial blog troll besides John Huppenthal," Lord wrote.
In a statement to the paper sent through his chief of staff, Huppenthal said the controversial comments in question were taken out of context. He also apologized.
"I sincerely regret if my comments have offended anyone," the statement, which runs more than a page, reads.
A Republican, Huppenthal was first elected to public office in 1984. Before being elected superintendent of public schools in 2011, Huppenthal served as a city councilman in Chandler, a state representative and a state senator. He is running for re-election as the head of the Arizona Department of Education, which is the fifth highest elected official in Arizona behind the governor, the secretary of state, the attorney general and the treasurer.
Huppenthal came under fire earlier this year after he recorded automated calls advocating Arizona's school voucher program, which allows parents to use public money to pay for private education for their children.
He also has faced opposition to his support of the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, which stem from the Common Core, itself the center of controversy.
It's not clear what kind of political fallout Huppenthal's admission to posting political opinions under various pseudonyms might have. While many, if not most, people believe public officials should always own their opinions and be held accountable for them, some point to historical precedent and say anonymity can be a useful tool to start important conversations.
As for Huppenthals online aliases, Falcon9 is a two-stage rocket made by SpaceX to propel satellites and spacecraft into orbit. Thucydides was a Greek historian and political philosopher who lived in the 5th century B.C. and wrote "The History of the Peloponnesian War."