Pressure builds for Huppenthal to quit

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by Dennis Welch | 3TV Political Editor

Bio | Email | Follow: @Dennis_Welch

azfamily.com

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 25 at 3:14 PM

PHOENIX -- Pressure on the state's top school official to resign continued to mount Monday as more anonymous blog posts from John Huppenthal emerged.

Using an online alias, the superintendent of public instruction posted several comments on a conservative-leaning website calling for no Spanish language in the state.

In one post Huppenthal wrote, "We all need to stomp out balkanization. No Spanish radio stations, no Spanish billboards, no Spanish TV stations, no Spanish newspapers. This is America, speak English."

Huppenthal followed up with another post on the same site that said, "I don't mind them selling Mexican food as long as the menus are mostly in English. And, I'm not being humorous or racist."

The superintendent was writing on the Espresso Pundit blog using the pseudonym "Falcon9" to hide his identity.

According to the website, both comments were published in  December 2010, a month after he was elected, but before he took office. Huppenthal declined to comment, but his staff confirmed he was the author.

"I'm sick about it, everybody I know is sick about it," said former Arizona  superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan.

Keegan held the office from 1995 to 2001 and said she personally asked Huppenthal to resign during a phone conversation over the weekend.

"You can't hold the position of superintendent of schools and be saying things that sound disdainful of the people that you serve, you can't do that," Keegan said.

Her call to Huppenthal came after he was outed last week for making other anonymous blog posts where he attacked his critics and called welfare  recipients, "lazy pigs."

In addition to Keegan, the Arizona business community may be getting ready to drop Huppenthal as well.

Last week, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry canceled an awards show honoring Huppenthal.

"Due to the recent comments that Superintendent Huppenthal admitted to making, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry will not be presenting the superintendent with an award at our annual luncheon as we had planned," said Glenn Hamer, the chamber's CEO and president.

"The comments should not have been made and posted under any circumstance. We regret that this decision was necessary."

The chamber could call for his resignation later this week or withhold an endorsement for Huppenthal, who is up for re-election this year.
 

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