Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jane Norton’s a stickler for conservative details

Running the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was an opportunity for Jane Norton.

A Republican Party loyalist, Norton was plucked by Gov. Bill Owens from a medical trade and lobbying group to run the $465 million, 1,200-employee department charged with citizen health, air quality and nursing-home regulations. In that post, Norton pushed conservative principles — anti-abortion policies and fiscal responsibility — she now touts on the campaign trail for U.S. Senate. But critics contend she was interested in politics as much as or more than she was in public health.

"She wanted to do the right political thing for Bill Owens. She was very close to him and his administration," said Lee Thielen, a former associate director of the department under Norton.     More

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