Tancredo is a frequent guest on talk radio and television shows, and is the topic of discussion on many Internet blogs. According to the Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_3255494), he has appeared or been discussed in top news shows over 200 times in the past two years, and his name appears on over 5,000 blogs! It’s been reported that Tancredo’s even gotten so many death threats that U.S. Capitol police frequently travel with him. Who is this Tom Tancredo and where did he come from?
Before being elected to Congress, Tom Tancredo served in the Colorado legislature for several years, and later in the Colorado Division of the U.S. Department of Education. He was initially appointed to the U.S. Dept. of Education by Former President Ronald Regan. Former President Bush continued his appointment. While at the Colorado Division of the U.S. Dept. of Education, Tancredo reduced the staff in the Colorado office from 223 people to 60 people in only four years. He served in the U.S. Dept. of Education from 1981 through 1992.
A conservative republican, Tancredo is currently the U.S. Congressman representing Colorado District 6. He has formed an exploratory committee to address his running for Presidency of the United States and his campaign manager is conservative Pat Buchanan’s sister, Bay Buchanan.
Whether you agree or disagree with him, perhaps Tancredo’s beliefs on immigration account for the vast debate that often surrounds him. He is an outspoken believer that immigration, particularly illegal immigration, should be one of this country’s primary concerns. He started the Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC) in 1999 and it has grown to have over 100 members. The IRC is currently chaired by Congressman Brian Bilbray, a Republican from California (http://www.house.gov/bilbray/irc/). The IRC supports employer enforcement, strong and secure borders, and is against all forms of amnesty for those who entered America illegally.
According to Tancredo’s presidential website (http://teamtancredo.com/), Tancredo believes that it is virtually important to secure our borders and stop the influx of illegal immigrants. Additionally, he believes that our culture and economy is being undermined by the flood of illegals into America. His web site says, “…As President, I will secure our borders so illegal aliens do not come, and I will eliminate benefits and job prospects so they do not stay…” (http://teamtancredo.com/tancredo_issues_index.asp).
Immigration is not the only issue of concern to Tancredo. He is pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-small government. His Team Tancredo web site states that he is not in favor of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade because this would only give states the right to decide individually whether or not to permit abortions (http://teamtancredo.com/tancredo_issues_index.asp). Instead, he believes that the public should be educated about potential life-long medical and emotional problems that are often associated with abortions.
After college, he taught school at Drake Junior High School in a suburb of Denver. While there, he met a French teacher named Jackie who later became his wife. In 1976, while teaching history at Drake Junior High, Tancredo decided to enter local politics with the support and encouragement of his students. He ran for, and won, a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives. He served locally in Colorado from 1977 through 1981. While serving in Colorado, Tancredo pioneered opposition to bilingual education. Tancredo has been married since 1977 and has two children, and five grandchildren.
With his background as an educator and his service to Presidents Regan and Bush, Tancredo is a firm believer that parents should have the power to decide what is right for their child’s education. He believes that all parents should be given no-strings-attached vouchers, which would allow parents the most freedom in selecting the best educational option for their children. Vouchers would promote school choice, and be a driving force for educational improvements at schools across the country.
His voting record has been rated either A or A+ by the following groups:
American Conservative Union
National Right To Life Committee
National Rifle Association
Family Research Council
National Taxpayers Union
Americans for Better Immigration
National Federation of Independent Businesses
Funding for his campaign
Tancredo’s Presidential campaign is largely funded by everyday Americans who agree with his beliefs. Donations of $5, $10, or $100 are not uncommon. At this point, he appears to be a long-shot of winning the Republican ticket to run for President. However his impact should not be underestimated since he has many supporters.
A grandchild if Italian immigrants, Tancredo was born in December, 1945 and was raised in Colorado. He was a political science major at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. After graduating in 1969, he was eligible to serve in Vietnam but applied for a deferment. According to the Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_3255494 ), he claimed that he had a history of being treated for depression. He was granted a “1-Y” deferment on these grounds, thus Tancredo never served in the U.S. military.
After graduating from college, he became a history teacher at Drake Junior High School in a suburb of Denver. While teaching, he met a fellow teacher named Jackie, who later became his wife. Tancredo took the plunge into local politics with the support and encouragement of his history students at Drake Junior High. He served in the Colorado State legislature for several years before President Regan came calling. Tancredo has been married to Jackie since 1977, and has two children and five grandchildren.
He is known by many titles–son, father, parent, grandfather, legislator. Will the next title be President? Only time will tell.