The body snatchers seem to have their flashing neon lasers focused on the inhabitants of the executive offices of the Arizona Department of Education.
It’s not as though State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who disdains the media spotlight, doesn’t’ have enough to keep her hopping. A foolish recall against her by her liberal opponents was announced within nanoseconds of her election based in large part on her campaign opposition to Common Core. By law they have to wait six months to collect 367,000 signatures, making a daunting task even more difficult in the blazing Arizona summer.
But we digress. The daily recently reported that the online activity of Douglas’ chief of staff Michael Bradley is raising more than a few eyebrows.
In his off hours, according to the newspaper report, Bradley “runs a website featuring items of general interest, including pictures of dogs and quirky news items, as well as thousands of photos of scantily clad women in costumes, and sexually suggestive images and humor.”
Since the news of his blog surfaced, he has removed some of the most vulgar content. On his website, scroll down past the unfortunate costumed dogs and futuristic ships for Bradley’s sarcastic response to the news coverage regarding his peculiar hobby known as “cosplay,” or costume role-playing —- where adult participants oddly dress as characters (examples not from his site) inspired by comic books, video games or movies.
Bradley provides contact information for his followers to respond to the media and education community which find his posting content inappropriate for someone in his position. The state agency is responsible for educating over a million Arizona K-12 students.
It seems just a blink ago that Douglas’ immediate predecessor John Huppenthal was ousted due to his inappropriate blog postings. The two term Huppenthal posted anonymously and at all hours, including during the day when he was on the taxpayer’s dime at the Superintendent’s office. Bradley is engaging in his pursuits on his own time.
Over the weekend, Diane Douglas asserted that she was “absolutely not” going to replace him. “He serves as the chief of staff during the day, and after that it’s his personal life,” she said.
Like too many others, Douglas has disappointingly fallen short of her campaign promises. This instance provides her a much-needed opportunity to prove she can be trusted to lead. She ought to do so without the costly entanglement of Michael Bradley —- pulling down a $150,000 salary —- besides causing her needless grief.