Thursday, June 26, 2014

Analysis: Tearful Huppenthal refuses to resign and pleads love in his heart

Hupp held a press conference that ended in tears - his.

He now claims this:

"I just shouldn't have done it," he said. "They (the posts) do not reflect the love I have in my heart and they don't reflect my actions."

 But, among other things, he wrote this:

"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)."

I guess he was just expressing the love in his heart he feels for the lazy pigs.

There are two views about Hupp resigning (or not).

(1) Arizona Republic editors want Hupp to stick it out.  But for the wrong reasons.

And therein is the real problem with Huppenthal's anonymous blog posting. It opened him up to ridicule. Given the number of instances in which he has made himself look buffoonish, Huppenthal's credibility as a responsible public official is nearly shot.

Granted, bloggers say some weird things, but Hupp was not a blogger in the true sense of that word.  He did not write posts.  He wrote anonymous comments.  He revised biographical entries - both his own and others.  Granted also that what he wrote was not illegal.  But apparently he used state resources to do it.  And that really does seem illegal.  It might be helpful to know where the Republic editors stand on some things.

[Huppenthal] has made his political career on the wings of ideas. Some, like support for charter schools and higher graduation standards, have been generally good.

Might that "good" include robocalls for vouchers?

The bottom line for this camp is that Hupp is a good guy who got caught doing a stupid thing.  Never mind he used state time and resources to do it.

(2) The other camp wants a Scalp-enthal.  This camp includes a former superintendent, many bloggers, and, most recently, the Latino Caucus of the Pima County Democratic Party.  

The argument for Hupp's immediate political demise is made most succinctly by Bob Lord from Blog for Arizona. For example:

Huppenthal’s comments are out of step with the growing number of Americans who aren’t willing to blame the poor for their plight at a time when wealth and income are increasingly concentrated and the rich are getting absurdly rich.

Read more about Lord's conclusion here.

Hupp may be repentant, but he has a very different view of his "hurtful" comments. 

But he insisted nothing he wrote makes him unfit for his job — or convinces him that he should not try to get another four-year term.

So, basically you have a table of possibilities with two rows and two columns. Columns are what you think about Hupp:"Character defect" vs. "Got caught".  Rows are what you think should be done about it: "Resign now" vs. "Let voters decide".

Scriber thinks it's a character defect.  Scriber bets on getting Hupp whomped in November.  But then again, this is Arizona ...

Postscript:  The articles on this, specifically by Howard Fischer, do not do justice to the folks who did the original research and reporting.  The blog that outed Hupp was Blog for Arizona and the guy largely responsible was Bob Lord.  Neither was mentioned by Fischer.  

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