Letters to the Editor

Williams may have signed taxpayer protection pledge, but her record doesn’t hold up

Dear Editor,

The Colorado Union of Taxpayers is pleased that two candidates for Governor of Colorado, Republican Dan Maes and Libertarian Jaimes Brown, have signed CUT’s taxpayer protection Pledge.

We are also pleased that Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Tambor Williams is a Pledge signer. However, CUT is concerned that Williams’s votes, subsequent to her signing the Pledge on July 20, 2000, were often not protective of taxpayer interests.

CUT’s annual legislative scorecard is based on bills that receive floor votes. When Rep. Williams first joined the Colorado House of Representatives, she compiled a reasonably good record in protecting taxpayers. In 1997, she sided with taxpayers 69 percent of the time, according to CUT’s scorecard, compared to the House average that year of 46 percent. In 1998 her rating was 74 percent (House average 55 percent), and in 1999 it was 73 percent (House average 57 percent). So during her first three years in the Colorado House of Representatives, Rep. Williams voted pro-taxpayer about 20 percent more often than the average Representative.

For the 2000 legislative session, her record fell to 59 percent (compared to a 48 percent House average). In 1999, CUT had introduced the taxpayer Pledge, and on July 20, 2000, after the end of the legislative session, Rep. Williams signed the Pledge.

Surprisingly, Rep. Williams’s pro-taxpayer voting record declined subsequent to the Pledge signing. For the rest of her service in the House of Representatives, her pro-taxpayer voting rate was essentially at the House average: 40 percent in 2001 (House average 37 percent), 35 percent in 2002 (House average 33 percent), 33 percent in 2003 (House average 41 percent), 41 percent in 2004 (House average 41 percent).

CUT recognizes that from time to time, even a taxpayer champion may disagree with CUT on a particular bill. However, it is disappointing that a Pledge signer would accumulate such a consistently mediocre pro-taxpayer record after signing the Pledge. CUT is concerned that the tax and spending policies of a Maes-Williams administration might have more in common with Williams’ 21st-century voting record than with the taxpayer Pledges that Maes and Williams have signed.

CUT’s website, http://coloradotaxpayer.org/, contains all of CUT’s annual newsletters, which detail the bills on which Rep. Williams was rated, her votes, and explanations of CUT’s position on those bills. The website also includes a list of all CUT Pledge signers, and a copy of current text the Pledge. Founded in 1976, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers is our state’s long-serving advocate for taxpayers.

Marty Neilson
President, Colorado Union of Taxpayers