New DHHS Early Ed director called Hillary Clinton “butch”

UPDATE: Dianna Lightfoot resigned on Thursday morning, two days after appointment. Read more here.

The state’s new head of early education programs referred to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “butch” in a Twitter post about female members of the Obama Administration.

Dianna Lightfoot, under the Twitter handle @chinalight44, sent the tweet in July 2011 in response to another Twitter user who was critical of GOP politicians U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Lightfoot volunteered as an adviser for Bachmann’s presidential campaign, according to Lightfoot’s LinkedIn page.

“Between hillary and the other butch bunch obama anointed (sic) it’s great to finally see 2 with intelligence depth and femininity,” Lightfoot tweeted.

“Butch” is a term that can be used in a derogatory sense against lesbian women.

Lightfoot Tweet

Lightfoot did not respond to two calls for comment left on her cell phone this afternoon.

The Twitter profile for Lightfoot identifies her as a “Public Policy Executive; recruits, organizes, manages medical and child welfare experts to respond to policy and legislation. NC and CA.”

Lightfoot has also served as the president since 2001 of the National Physicans Center for Family Resources, a small non-profit that had less than $20,000 in funding last year and has lobbied nationally on abstinence and early education issues. Her new DHHS position puts her in charge of the state’s SmartStart program, which is recognized nationally for its work helping low-income families.

“Encouraging parents to entrust their children to an institution may result in some being less responsible and reliable,” wrote Lightfoot and two doctors in the National Physicians Center policy argument against early-childhood education.  “In the long run, there is great potential for early learning institutions to foster more dependency on the government (i.e. taxpayer) and more of an entitlement mentality.

The group’s policy page, which advocates children being taught in the home in their early years, also cited a 1997 poll from the fashion magazine Glamour stating that 88 percent of women would work from home if they could afford it.

She’s scheduled to begin work next Monday with an annual salary of $110,000.

Update: Lightfoot’s Twitter account was deactivated shortly after this post was published.

UPDATE 2: DHHS spokeswoman Julie Henry released this statement Wednesday evening regarding Lightfoot:

“Ms. Lightfoot was selected for this position because she has extensive expertise in healthcare, child welfare and education.  The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is committed to outcomes-based, effective and quality early childhood programs and Ms. Lightfoot will work closely with the Secretary to carry out the department’s mission to protect the health and well being of all people, especially young children.”


  1. Frances Jenkins

    February 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Are you attacking the new governor because you know there are many high racking officials in DHHS that could have criminal charges and you want to take away from that sting? By the way where is that report?

  2. agua fruta

    February 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    You’re burying the lede here. The real story, from what you outline here, is her total lack of qualification for a post of that magnitude and the fact that she’s opposed to the very institutions she would be charged with protecting and improving! A fox guarding the henhouse, and an incompetent fox at that.

    You should re-frame this story so that we can share it more broadly. The Hillary angle, apart from being far more superficial, really narrows down the audience that would be receptive to this story. If I put this on facebook, for example, no one is going to care that she mildly insulted HIllary’s feminity. But A LOT of my friends would care – even many right-leaning ones! – about her complete unsuitableness and unpreparedness for such a sensitive position! Many people on the right could care about early childhood education but will only be alienated and put off by the Hillary red herring.

    Just a suggestion! If you re-frame this, it would be easier for us to spread around, especially to folks who don’t vote exactly the way we do.

  3. Sarah Ovaska

    February 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Frances, Thanks for your comments. As I’ve said to you before, please feel free to pass on any specific ideas for investigations you might have to me. I would be more than happy to look into it, as I would to look at any ideas you might have DHHS. You’ve only mentioned general allegations of corruption and wrongdoing in the past, without any more specific direction than that. My email is sarah@ncpolicywatch.com.

  4. Frances Jenkins

    February 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Missing cell phones, missing cars and the cost of their billing system would be a nice place to begin.

  5. The Predator State

    February 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm


    Please investigate over-prescribing and drug company profiteering in the Medicaid program with the fall out being a prescription drug abuse epidemic in NC.

  6. jlp75

    February 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Frances lacks the intelligence to come up with anything of substance. She just sits around her computer all day lobbing false attacks at those she doesn’t agree with while playing the victim card when someone lobs one back in her direction. Typical hypocritical Republican. They are a scourge that we have been increasingly successful ridding ourselves of at the national level through the ballot box, however we have to many ignoramuses in this state to clean up at this level.

  7. Susan Moses

    February 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Curiouser and curiouser, have we fallen through the GOP looking glass? I don’t like the looks of this world, a world that views strong women as “butch” and children in poverty as “entitled.” Looks as if the fox is in charge of the hen house.

  8. ToddM

    February 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Her ignorant, heterosexist comment aside, why is Ms. Lightfoot in charge of early childhood education? Why would someone who is seemingly opposed to early childhood education be hired to run early childhood education? I can only assume this is a ploy to end the (already scarce) programs to help low income/at risk children in North Carolina. (And, Ms. Lightfoot took Michelle Bachmann seriously? That fact alone speaks volumes about Ms. Lightfoot’s “judgment.”)

  9. Frances Jenkins

    February 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I love liberals who hate.

  10. Megan Squire

    February 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    We can still get a copy of the latest tweets (2012) by using Google’s cached copy. In the cached version, we can see her calling President Obama a murderer, and suggesting that there is some sort of important person in history called “Lord Chamberland”.

    #1 (tweeted during the Bengazi thing) “the spineless weak apology of our “leaders” is why there’s still blood in the streets sounds like they’ve been studying Lord Chamberland”

    #2 (tweeted during Chick-Fil-A controversy on Jul 29): “Chicago should focus on stopping their murderers and not on killing business–unconstitutionally no less! EAT MORE CHICKEN”

  11. jlp75

    February 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I love Republicans who hurl false accusations with no facts to back them up. You are correct Frances, I hate liars as do most people with integrity which you clearly lack.

  12. Brian

    February 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Is this an elected position or an appointment?

  13. Frances Jenkins

    February 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Did you write the letter to President Obama asking him to close all military bases in NC?

  14. Megan Squire

    February 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Here’s another fact about Dianne Lightfoot. She was behind 4parents.gov – her company NPC developed this boondoggle.

    In 2005 her company NPC took federal money through HHS to develop a web site promoting abstinence education. It was so rife with problems and inaccuracies that it had to be removed and its URL abandoned [1][2][3][4]. Note that in [2] she is misidentified as “Dianna”.

    [1] http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/03/politics/03sex.html?_r=0
    [2] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/13/AR2005071302190.html
    [3] http://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom/www4parentsgov
    [4] http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2005/07/14/4parents_into_the_fire.php

  15. Megan Squire

    February 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Sorry, this is the one where it quotes Diana Lightfoot:


    (There are just SO MANY articles decrying the content on that web site, it’s hard to keep them straight!)

    “The content appears to have been guided by ideology, not a commitment to providing parents and teens reliable information about sex,” Waxman wrote. “A federally funded website should present the facts as they are, not as you might wish them to be. It is wrong — and ultimately self-defeating — to sacrifice scientific accuracy in an effort to frighten teens and their parents.”

    Much of the work on the website was done by the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, an educational and advocacy group that promotes sexual abstinence for teens.

    “The website was intended to emphasize the healthiest lifestyle choice, and [President Bush] says that he believes abstinence is the healthiest choice for adolescents,” said Dianna Lightfoot, the nonprofit organization’s president. The group has offices in Birmingham, Ala., and Malibu.

  16. Gene Hoglan

    February 7, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Oh good, more lunatics running the asylum.

  17. […] next for the McCrory Administration? A new child care director who tweets homophobic epithets at the U.S. Secretary of State and calls expanded health care for people in need […]

  18. […] tweet where Lightfoot called former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “butch.” (Click here for our previous […]

  19. […] Lightfoot, 61, of Winston-Salem, resigned yesterday morning after being appointed two days earlier by new N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos to heading the state’s pre-K and child development division. Lightfoot’s resignation (more about that here) came after comments and positions she’d taken  criticizing government-run early education programs and Tea Party-related causes surfaced. Those comments included a comment from her now-deactivated Twitter account in which she referred to women appointed in the Obama Administration as a “butch bunch.” […]

Check Also

UNC Board of Governors face protest, chooses new board chair and interim president

It was a busy day at the final ...

State and Federal COVID-19 policy updates

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

At the end of an hour-long question-and-answer session with UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiew [...]

North Carolina House lawmakers will consider an elections bill today that would provide temporary fu [...]

If the North Carolina Department of Transportation's financial practices were a highway, it wou [...]

High school students in the small mountain town of Sylva have been going to extreme lengths to find [...]

Yesterday – the 75th Memorial Day since the end of World War II (and the first in more than century [...]

The post Hark the sound of childhood hunger appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

We’ve known for a long time that former President Barack Obama lives rent-free inside Donald Trump’s [...]

Ask a public education advocate when our society began doubting and undervaluing public schools and [...]