21 Mar 2011 11:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

Much has already been written about the now infamous letter written by Tony Hill, who claims to substitute teach in Glendale, that was read aloud by Senator Lori Klein on the floor of the Arizona Senate last week.

Best post goes to Tedski:

It’s just a wee bit odd that this man’s experiences in a classroom seem to include every possible paranoid fantasy of anti-immigration extremists, even invoking Steve Gallardo’s name. I guess it would have been a more perfect storm if one of the students stood up on a table reading aloud from Occupied America while peeing on a picture of Ronald Reagan.

Seriously, if you were playing Lou Dobbs Bingo along with that letter you’d fill the whole card, easily. Special bonus points for “my wife and kids are Hispanic so how can I be a racist?”

Speaking of Dobbs, this bit from the letter stuck out at me:

The teacher’s instructions were for the students to read a few pages and answer the questions regarding Mark Twain in their history textbook and to finish their final drafts to Senator Steve Gallardo thanking him for his position on Illegal Immigration rights. Their teacher apparently had showed them a video with Senator Steve Gallardo and Lou Dobbs.

Wait, what? Lou Dobbs???

I am totally calling shenanigans on the letter just for that. I have confirmed with Sen. Gallardo that the one and only time he appeared with Lou Dobbs was back in 2007 on Dobbs’ CNN show. That interview featured then-Representative Gallardo along with then-Representative Russell Pearce debating the employer sanctions law. The video went somewhat viral, getting several hits and repostings by right wingers pleased by Dobbs’ performance in it. If we are to believe Hill, the regular teacher showed the video, not merely to spark discussion about immigration or employer sanctions, but to inspire the class to write thank you notes to Senator Gallardo for being a supporter of “Illegal Immigration rights”. Because if there’s anything wannabe gangster 8th graders have at the forefront of their minds at all times, it’s how onerous compliance with federal employee verification requirements might be for Arizona businesses. Well, that and all the thank you notes they need to write.

Either the regular teacher is a big Steve Gallardo fan or Tony Hill was straining to insert a reference to him in his stereotype and urban legend riddled diatribe. I think it’s the latter and that this is where he jumped the shark.

Republic Legislature reporter Alia Rau says Hill was contacted today and stands by his story. Please, AZ media, don’t let this go away. Hill needs to answer questions about wild claims he’s making and Senators Pearce and Klein need to explain why they felt it was appropriate to read an anonymous letter making dubious claims as part of a floor debate. This is funny on one level but on another it’s really not, because an entire group of Arizona kids are being defamed by this little stunt.


  1. Comment by eric on March 22, 2011 6:51 am

    Donna, where did the name Hill come from?

  2. Pingback by Rum, Romanism and Rebellion » Blog Archive » Tony the Teacher on March 22, 2011 7:20 am

    […] Donna over at Democratic Diva tracked this down: I have confirmed with Sen. Gallardo that the one and only time he appeared with Lou Dobbs was back […]

  3. Comment by Steve on March 23, 2011 6:14 am

    I don’t know if what Mr. Hill wrote is true or not.

    But what if it is?

  4. Comment by Donna on March 23, 2011 12:46 pm

    What if it is, Steve? Would that be the first time in history a middle school class messed with their sub? Why would it be appropriate for a grown man to respond to it by writing a letter full of anti-Hispanic vitriol to Russell Pearce?

  5. Pingback by Russell Pearce Goes off the Reservation | The Pink Flamingo on March 24, 2011 4:54 am

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