Before entering the political arena, Littleton home-schooled her three children and was a faculty member at Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy and Colorado Springs Christian School. In 2004, she campaigned for delegate spots at the Republican National Convention in New York with two other golden-haired Republicans. They called themselves "Blond Babes for Bush."
Littleton's political career began with serving on the Colorado Board of Education from 2004 to 2011. There she earned a reputation as a champion of conservative causes and as someone who tended to push the ethical line.
In 2010, Colorado Ethics Watch named Littleton in their annual report that highlighted "misbehaviors and misdeeds" on the part of Colorado government. Littleton was cited because she collected tens of thousands of dollars in real estate consulting fees from charter schools while sitting on the Board of Education, which regulates charter schools.
In 2011, the Independent wrote a story ("Message of fear from Littleton," News, March 10) about her unfounded claims that jihadist charter schools were being set up across the United States, including in Colorado, with the goal of indoctrinating children in Muslim principles. Obama, she said, was part of the scheme. When confronted and asked for details, she couldn't provide any.
Also in 2011, Westword ran a story about how Littleton had brought abstinence-only sex education funding to Colorado in 2010, a move that sidestepped then-Gov. Bill Ritter's orders. Most of the money went to a group called WAIT (Why Am I Tempted?), which critics said shamed kids, used sexist arguments, and left out LGBT students. The group also supported Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, who was a strong proponent of a Ugandan bill that called for gays to be put to death.
None of those issues prevented voters from electing Littleton District 5 commissioner in November 2010. And in her county post Littleton has been just as conservative as she was in her past roles.
In 2012, for instance, she broke a 2-2 deadlock on the board, voting against accepting $261,630 in federal funding for five new jobs at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. The funds were offered because more people were needed to help the long-term unemployed navigate new requirements. Amy Lathen and Darryl Glenn voted with Littleton.
Looking back, Littleton says, she was frustrated by the lack of information about how the money would better the lives of citizens. And she also felt that the resources being used on unemployment were getting out of control, finding it "a bit disingenuous" for citizens to claim that they couldn't get any job after 90 weeks of unemployment. At the time, she also said that she believed that the federal government offered funding to local governments only as a means of control or "government blackmail."
It wasn't the only evidence of her brand of conservatism. She has the county pay $99 every two years for her membership to the Heartland Institute, the conservative think tank famous for climate change denial. Littleton and her fellow commissioners have been vocal supporters of gun rights; under their leadership, the county partnered in the building and opening of the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex. Leading up to the opening, Commissioners Sallie Clark, Amy Lathen and Littleton posed with firearms for photos that were released to the press. The commissioners also regularly pass resolutions supporting and recognizing the National Rifle Association.
Political gestures aside, Littleton has focused much of her effort as a commissioner on emergency management — both dealing with the aftermath of the Black Forest Fire and planning for future disasters. Littleton is behind the Lighthouse Program (lighthouseprogram.net), a fledgling organization aimed at setting up communications centers in neighborhoods to be used in the event that a disaster — whether a financial collapse, an act of terror, or natural calamity — takes out the power grid. Littleton envisions ham radio operators and volunteers communicating with the central Emergency Operations Center when all other modes of communication are down.
The program is modeled after one in Seattle, and in a November Gazette article, Littleton said fear of such a disaster wasn't as far-fetched as it might initially sound: "People thought Noah was crazy when he built his ark," she said, "then it started raining."