PR: Senator John Huppenthal Vindicated; Arizona Democratic Party Attack Tactics Defeated

PHOENIX – State Senator John Huppenthal was vindicated yesterday afternoon of false accusations brought against him by the Arizona Democratic Party regarding a campaign sign.

Huppenthal, who was the target of a massive Arizona Democratic Party effort to defeat him in 2008, had been accused by the Arizona Democratic Party of misdemeanor charges of theft and tampering with a political sign.

However, Judge Daniel Washburn issued a ruling yesterday afternoon that found Huppenthal had been granted permission by the property owner to move the campaign sign in question, and that Huppenthal was innocent of the charges against him.

Senator Huppenthal released the following statement:

“I’m pleased with the decision announced today. The Democratic Party filed this complaint because, after $150,000 worth of negative advertising, they couldn’t win at the ballot box. The voters saw through the Democratic Party’s political gamesmanship during the 2008 election, and I have every confidence they’ll do so now.

Helping people is my life’s work. Our state faces tremendous difficulties right now. I remain committed to working as hard as I can with my fellow Arizonans to overcome these challenges and position our great state for better times ahead.”

Senator Huppenthal, the current Senate Education Chairman, is one of Arizona’s leading authorities on education issues. In addition to being the current Senate Education Chairman, Huppenthal has served for 17 consecutive years on the State House and State Senate education committees.

Huppenthal’s reputation for making policy based on the best research available is well established. A September 2008 editorial in The Arizona Republic stated:

“…Huppenthal is a veteran of the Legislature, having chaired five committees and being as knowledgeable about the bill-making process as any of his colleagues. He’s a pragmatic conservative who bases his positions on exhaustive research and works across party lines to get worthwhile bills passed.

Huppenthal insists that legislation be based on best practices from around the country, and he’s prone to arcane dissertations based on stacks of studies he has compiled as he delves into state and district problems. It’s not sexy stuff but it’s necessary to guide a legislative process too often led astray by raw politics and emotion.”   (Read editional here.)

A February 2008 article by reporter Luige del Puerto in the Arizona Capitol Times stated:

“Don’t start Sen. John Huppenthal with reports and studies. A staff member says he probably knows more about them than most, and that’s probably an understatement. Indeed, when the Chandler lawmaker makes a point on the floor it is certain to be backed up by research, and not just any kind of research, but the best research available. To converse with Huppenthal is to immerse in figures, percentages, growth rates and performance ratings. He treats studies the way others probably regard meditation, a way to find peace amid the noise and haste.”

During Senator Huppenthal’s legislative career he successfully developed and passed over 200 bills – the most of any legislator in Arizona history.

Senator Huppenthal played a key role in helping create school choice for parents. In 1995, as Senate Education Chairman, his legislation took the caps off charter schools. This legislation moved Arizona to first in the nation in school choice (ALEC rankings).

Senator Huppenthal has opened a committee to explore the 2010 Superintendent of Public Instruction race. Incumbent Superintendent Tom Horne cannot run for re-election due to term limits.

Arizona’s most popular elected offical, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, have both announced their endorsement of Huppenthal, and that they will work hard to help elect Huppenthal, should Huppenthal decide to run.

For additional information, please call Senator John Huppenthal at (480) 330-3215 or visit www.ImprovingArizonaSchools.com.

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