Smear Campaign Against John Huppenthal Exposed!

Arizona Capitol Times
“High School Journalist ‘Upset’ at How Video Being Used”
The student journalist who interviewed State Senator John Huppenthal about vocational education funding in a video that is now making the rounds told our reporter this morning the edited version that was posted by Democractic Diva blogger Donna Gratehouse does not accurately portray what happened in his meeting with the senator. Huppenthal did leave, Keith Wagner said, but he didn’t disappear and abandon the interview, as the video posted on Gatehouse’s blog purports. (Huppenthal defeated the Dem blogger in the 2006 election for LD20 Senate.)
Wagner said the senator returned with more information on education funding. “He did come back and he was very polite,” he said. Wagner also said he was irked that some are using the video, which was a class protect, to score political points. “I am a little upset that the focus of that has been changed to ‘high-schoolder interviewing a state senator and kind of catching him off guard,’” Wagner said.
As for the legislation Wagner asked Huppenthal about – he described it in the story only as a bill that cut $550 million fom K012 and decreased the career and technical education funds from $11 million to about $57,000 – the student said he was referring to H2028 (Laws 2009, Chapter 5), which lawmakers approved May 13 last year.
However, the student seems to have misunderstood what the bill did, as it didn’t cut $550 million from K-12 and didn’t wipe out funding for vocational programs. The bill, which was part of a two-bill package that closed a $650 million deficit in FY09, did three things: roll over $100 million in university funding; roll over $300 million in K-12 funding; and cut $250 million from K-12, but backfill the cuts with an equal amount of federal stimulus money. Additionally, budget documents from JLBC show the career and technical education funding levels are unchanged from FY09 at about $11.5 million.