Bob Corkins believes in free markets. He worked at a succession of think tanks in Kansas that preached the gospel of limited government.
Corkins' experience advancing the libertarian views of industrialists, such as the ultra-rich Koch brothers, made him an ideal candidate to run the state's public schools. Or so the Kansas Board of Education thought when right-wingers comprised the majority.
Corkins' run as education commissioner lasted about a year. He resigned after an election tilted the board in a moderate direction, sparing Kansas schoolchildren from having to learn from science textbooks that had God's big, magic finger on the cover.
Though he has built his career promoting the infallibility of market solutions, Corkins is back on the state payroll. He's now the chief legal counsel at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. A department spokesman said Corkins started on Tuesday.
Corkins' path from market idealist to hey-those-are-some-nice-benefits bureaucrat is pretty typical. Newt Gingrich built his power on the idea that "Washington" is synonymous with sin and oppression. But did Gingrich open a canoe livery in his home state of Georgia when his time in Congress came to an end? Of course not. He lives (with his third wife) in Virginia, a short drive from the D.C. bureau of Fox News and all the fine Georgetown restaurants.