Ads target Norton as a ‘big spender’

A campaign by an organization backing Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck is questioning Jane Norton’s spending habits.

Norton’s campaign said the attacks are “patently false” and violate the informal dictum that Republicans shouldn’t attack each other.

The group, called Declaration Alliance, has listed Norton, along with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, as “big spenders” on its Web site,, and in radio advertisements.

In Norton’s case, Declaration Alliance said she was a big spender in the Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as a supporter of Referendum C.

Norton “claims to be a conservative, but her record of failure in Colorado, higher taxes and making government bigger tells a different story,” the radio ad says.

Not so, said Norton spokesman Nate Strauch, saying Norton “has a record of cutting spending in both of her public sector positions, and that’s a verifiable fact.”

During Norton’s tenure as head of the Department of Public Health and Environment in the Bill Owens administration, the department budget went from $22.7 million in 1999 to $16.3 million in 2003.

As lieutenant governor, her budget went from $288,000 in 2003 to $285,000 in 2007, Strauch said, citing figures from the Joint Budget Committee.

“It’s unfortunate that other Republicans in this race would rather attack a fellow conservative than focus on the overspending of Michael Bennet and others in Washington,” Strauch said.


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