State Sen. Penry announced his candidacy for governor to absolutely no one’s surprise Saturday. His campaign website is now live and includes video clips among the material that will help readers “learn more about Josh.” The campaign could have simply posted a tape of Penry declaring his candidacy. It chose instead to feature an interview he gave in March to 9News, in which the candidate talks about issues. That’s good. But did Penry really say that as governor he would have adopted the off-his-nut Mark Sanford approach and refused federal stimulus money for Colorado?
In the clip, then-senator now-candidate Penry admits he would have joined the ridiculous ranks of governors like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Sarah Palin of Alaska who, like Sanford, acted to please Rush Limbaugh instead of their constituents when it came to the stimulus and were pilloried as hypocrites and fools when the realities of governance and recession economics exposed them as blinkered ideologists. Maybe worse than the fact of this admission is the fact that Penry is spotlighting it on his campaign-launch website, because now we’re forced to believe that maybe he still stands by such foolishness.
So that’s our question for the new candidate: How does he feel now about Gov. Ritter’s decision to accept the stimulus money? How does Penry feel about it today, as state fiscal stability hearings spiral into headscratching absurdities and hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars are the only thing keeping Colorado teachers, transportation workers, university faculty and staff and thousands of others in their jobs — the same stimulus money that is also fueling a boom in Colorado’s celebrated new-energy sector, a sector that will only grow and one that is the envy of governors from coast to coast?
Penry said he would rather send the stimulus money back to balance the budget in Washington.
One of the things we learn fast about Josh is that he is young. So our follow up question: Has he hired an economic advisor on that campaign staff yet?