(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
You knew Texas Gov. Rick Perry's famous Oops Moment would hurt Perry himself, because it made him look so stupid, but I really thought the substance of Perry's incomplete thought–that is, which federal departments should be shut down–would become more of a recurrent theme in conservative GOP primary circles.
I mean, it separates you from the crowd: Shut down the Commerce Department! The Education Department!
This comes up, just not so often.
For example, in a recent appearance on KLZ 560-AM's new "Wake Up" show with Randy Corporon, Rep. Tom Tancredo, who's running for governor, boasted about his efforts, when he was a regional director of the U.S. Department of Education, to shut down the Department of Education:
TANCREDO: I was elected to the State Legislature in 1976, re-elected two more times. I was appointed by Ronald Reagan to run the U.S. Department of Education’s regional office here, in Colorado – six state region. I did that for him and Bush I [one]. Our purpose was to try and implode the whole thing, because we wanted to get the federal government out of education, as much as possible. We couldn’t even get a Congressman to introduce the bill to abolish it, so we tried to do it administratively, and, um–.
HOST RANDY CORPORON: Starve the beast.
TANCREDO: Starve the beast.
CORPORON: Cut back the budget.
TANCREDO: Exactly. So, I found out that that’s what you had to do. That’s the only way you could actually get rid of people that were extraneous – let’s put it that way. [chuckles] I had 22o people employed at the U.S. Department of Education, in the regional office. Two hundred and twenty-two. Now, I emphasize the word ‘employed’. Some of those people were working there, [but] not many. And, um, it took me four years – and as I say, I had to go back to Washington every year and ask for a budget cut in order to actually work through the process of reducing the staff. And I — and there were other reasons why we ended up moving downward, but we got to the point that we had sixty people left, when I left, out of 222.
Left hanging here is, what departments would Tanc cut, wholesale, from state government? That would've been a more relevant direction for Corporon to steer the conversation, given that Tancredo is running for governor.
Perry, you recall, had three federal departments he'd shut down. You get the feeling, when it comes to state government, a guy like Tancredo can top that. Maybe we'll hear about it next time he's on KLZ.