Some people collect antique cars. Others go fishing. Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal leaves posts anonymously about Adolf Hitler on political blogs.
Huppenthal, who is up for re-election this year, said he has written his last anonymous post now that he’s been exposed as the blogger behind the monikers Thucydides and Falcon9. He said he has been doing it for 20 years, or at least since blogs were invented.
Today, the education leader who blogged that President Obama is rewarding “lazy pigs with food stamps,’’ sent out a written statement saying he regrets if his comments may have offended anyone.
Over the years, Huppenthal has written that Charles Darwin, not Adolph Hitler, “named the Germans the master race” and that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, “was given the job of eliminating African-Americans.’’
Huppenthal said in an interview the pig comment was an allusion to the fable “The Little Red Hen,” in which an industrious hen refuses to share bread she baked with other barnyard animals, including a pig, that wouldn’t help to grow the wheat.
“I got too edgy in my discussions on the blog,” Huppenthal said.
He said people have known for years he left the posts and approached him about it. In recent days, the blogosphere and social media sites have been crackling with news that Blog for Arizona, a Democratic site, had figured out he used the monikers and traced an IP address to the Department of Education.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years going back to when (blogs) started up,” Huppenthal said.
Huppenthal said he might have posted a few times from work during lunch hours or breaks.
Bob Lord, one of the writers on the Blog for Arizona, said it is unsettling that an elected official is commenting anonymously. He said the schools superintendent should stand behind his opinions.
Huppenthal said he decided to post anonymous blogs because identifying himself would stop the free flow of ideas.
He said he doesn’t think his unmasking will hurt his re-election efforts. His daily life may be another matter.
“My sense of it is it’s going to be a really rough two weeks,” he said.