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Tambor Williams, Dan Maes's new running mate, a longtime insider, not a revolutionary

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Update below:Dan Maes will announce his lieutenant governor pick at noon today -- and the choice will reportedly be Tambor Williams.

In some respects, Williams fits the lieutenant governor wish list of Northern Colorado Tea Party director Lesley Hollywood, given her experience as a four-term state representative from Greeley. But she doesn't exactly have a reputation as a shake-the-system rebel.

In 2004, former Governor Bill Owens appointed Williams to head the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, better known as DORA -- the same agency that Dem John Hickenlooper's lieutenant governor candidate, Joseph Garcia, once headed.

When Owens turned over the gubernatorial reins to Bill Ritter, Williams returned to her legal practice. But she's kept her hand in public affairs via the Office of Judicial Performance, which grades Colorado judges.

In recent days, speculation began to turn Williams's way, with blogger Ben DeGrow giving this evaluation of her attributes in a Monday post:

While she won't wow anyone with big name recognition, she would balance Maes' weaknesses with her experience as a four-term state legislator, head of the Department of Regulatory Agencies and appointed service on the state's Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, in addition to her private legal practice. In 2002 Williams signed the Colorado Taxpayers' Pledge.

The pledge, by the way, is pro-Tabor, pro-voucher, pro-privatization and resolutely anti-tax. Read it below.

DeGrow credits KFKA radio host Amy Oliver with correctly guessing that Williams would wind up on the Maes ticket. In Oliver's post on the subject, she links to an April interview with Williams in which the latter discussed judicial evaluation. During the chat, Williams repeatedly praises the process Colorado uses for this purpose, and notes that while most judges are recommended for retention, plenty of others choose to step down when they learn that they haven't earned good marks from her office.

Williams's remarks and her tone in the Oliver session are thoroughly moderate, suggesting that Maes chose her more to reassure longtime Republicans rather than to thrill the Tea Party crowd, which will presumably be in his corner anyhow. At this juncture, it looks like a politically astute, and rather safe, move.

Page down to read the Colorado Taxpayers' Pledge that Williams signed:


I, ___________________, ...hereby pledge to the Citizens of Colorado:

Tabor... to honor and uphold the spirit as well as the letter of TABOR.

New Taxes... to oppose any new net tax increase.

Spending Limit... to limit government spending to growth of Colorado population and inflation.

Tax Surplus... to support the refund of surplus taxes to the citizens of Colorado proportional to their contributions.

Prioritize Spending... to support prioritizing the budget by shifting spending from lower valued programs to the higher priorities, and not fund spending with new net taxes.

Education... to support educational alternatives such as vouchers to create competition and improve student results at a lower cost.

Privatize... to support privatization of government departments and functions to make them more efficient and less expensive.

Property Rights... to defend private property rights from "takings" by government or by regulation.

Payroll Deductions... to oppose unauthorized payroll deductions that are used for political purposes.

Petition Rights... to support the citizen's right to petition with rules as non-restrictive as possible.



Update: Check out our coverge of the announcement: "Dan Maes Calls Tambor Williams 'Establishment Conservative' at Lieutenant Governor Press Event."

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