Lamborn, Blaha Swap Corruption Charges in Heated GOP Contest

May 8, 2012
By

Incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn, pictured here, released a pair of hard-hitting ads this week targeting his GOP challenger, businessman Robert Blaha

WASHINGTON – Rep. Doug Lamborn has gone to the airwaves to attack the business record of his opponent Robert Blaha, leveling the same charge of corruption that has been aimed at him.

Lamborn’s two 30-second ads began running Friday on KVOR radio and Saturday on broadcast TV in Colorado Springs and Fox News in the fifth congressional district.

One ad calls the Colorado Springs Republican a “proven conservative leader” and attacks Blaha, whose companies are alleged to have filed late business reports and whose bank received a low rating from and was fined by federal regulators.

The other ad accuses Blaha of serving as a director of a Nebraska business that the Internal Revenue Service leveled three tax liens worth more than $80,000 and director of a blank-check company that the American Stock Exchange Commission threatened to delist for failing to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Scandal, corruption – that’s the Blaha record,” the commercial’s male announcer says.

Blaha dismissed Lamborn’s charges as politically motivated. “Every single one of these charges – they are all half truths, innuendos, and lies,” he said in an interview.

Blaha noted the bank he co-founded, Integrity Bank & Trust, received a low mark at the height of the banking crisis two years ago; was not involved in the daily operations of the Nebraska based Tournament Gold/Attendeez, which offers event registration and meeting planning support to organizations; and the business that AMEX threatened to delist, the Alpha Security Group Corporation, no longer exists.

Blaha defended himself against Lamborn’s counter-offensive in an email yesterday, calling Integrity Bank “a respected partner in our community” that “never participated in federal bailout dollars,” characterizing Lamborn’s criticisms as an attempt to “divert attention away from his lack of results.”

Blaha began running radio commercials and a TV commercial last month that depict the three-term incumbent as a corrupt career politician. The ads blast Lamborn for requesting tens of millions of dollars from Congress that benefit political contributors, a process known as earmarking. “One $3,000 contributor got $1.6 million,” a female announcer says in a Blaha TV ad, then pausing to deliver her punch line. “Lamborn earmarks for Lamborn contributors: a sea of waste and corruption.”

Blaha announced his candidacy in December. After another Republican failed to qualify for the June primary, Blaha emerged as Lamborn’s rival for the GOP nomination. He released the results of an internal poll that showed the businessman within five percentage points of the incumbent.

Now Lamborn is hitting back. “Because Mr. Blaha doesn’t have a public-service record to run on, he has a business record that should be examined,” Lamborn communications director Catherine Mortensen said in an interview. “And it’s a record of scandal and corruption. We don’t need that in Washington.”

Lamborn’s attack ads suggest he views his opponent more seriously, according to Jessica Taylor, a senior analyst for the Rothenberg Political Report. “He’s doing this by the book. He’s facing a competitive challenger, a self funder, and he has had tough primary challengers in 2006 and 2008,” she said. “Lamborn must have seen some movement in the polls.”

While Lamborn likely views Blaha more seriously, the conservative Club for Growth has not decided to throw its weight behind the incumbent yet.

Barney Keller, a spokesman for the political action committee, said its non endorsement of Lamborn should not be construed as discontent with the incumbent, noting it endorses 15 to 25 congressional candidates each political cycle. “Doug Lamborn is a champion of economic freedom. His lifetime voting record of 100 percent from the Club for Growth speaks for itself,” he said. The group played an instrumental role in Lamborn’s first race for Congress, responsible for bundling $281,560 from its members to his campaign.

For his part, Blaha said he plans to release a public statement and launch the website TheRealRobertBlaha.com to refute Lamborn’s charges.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

8 Responses to Lamborn, Blaha Swap Corruption Charges in Heated GOP Contest

  1. May 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    So Lamborn has finally figured out he is not going to just waltz into re-election. I think the pot calling the kettle black is not going to get him anywhere. He is nothing but a puppet controlled by his campaign contributors and could care less what we, his constituents, want and need. Time to update the resume Dougie, as in a few short months you will be out of a job.

  2. May 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I find it interesting that Doug Lamborn has no private sector business experience and finds it appropriate to criticize business practices just from innuendo and media reports. Businesses are attacked by government bureaucrats every day for many reasons including political ones. He would know that if he ever ran a business.

    I think it may be time to send Doug into the private sector to learn some true life lessons and let a successful businessman represent us in DC.

    The Lamborn record for producing jobs and wealth? 0

  3. Jessica
    May 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    It’s really sad to see our own representative attack a small business owner in his own district. I don’t care if he is running against you…Doug, you are supposed to support your district and promote jobs in this crappy economy. Lamborn is in panic mode…He will destruct on his own. Blaha is what we need! I am honestly excited to see what he does for our district. Where is my ballot? I am ready to vote Blaha all the way!

  4. Richard Shirley
    May 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    If Doug Lamborn was anywhere near as effective as the man he replaced, he wouldn’t be facing another primary challenge. His response is not to show a list of his accomplishments, or bring forth constituents that he has helped. He has to attack his opponent because there are no real accomplishments to stand on.

  5. David
    May 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Mr. Lamborn is scared….period. He should be with so many years in Congress and not a single piece of legislation passed into law. All he could say to us at the VFW was it’s because Obama and his people are in control. I’m sorry but that’s not going to cut the mustard any longer this June. Robert is aggressive and knows how to get things done in our community. Filing papers late is a problem? Is that all you can smear around the radio? Please Mr. Lamborn….really?

  6. clyde grace
    May 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    It seems to me that you have slanted all the comments Blaha’s way as there are not positive comments about Lamborn. That doesn’t seem
    to be very appropriate.I will say that there seems to be some truth about Blaha’s record and if you look into his eyes they seem to be hiding something. I the Denver Post supports him it gives me pause as they are a very liberal publication.

    • Joan
      May 24, 2012 at 2:31 am

      Clyde, I know little about this site (The Colorado Observer); I do know that a comment that I posted earlier (highly critical of Blaha and his lack of knowledge about what U.S. Representatives actually do) was removed. There is something fishy going on; pro-Blaha comments, such as those from the ubiquitous “Jessica,” even if they contain blatant LIES; e.g., that Lamborn was not at the USAFA graduation because Obama was the speaker whe, in fact, he had a prior commitment (to deliver the commencement address at Wasson High School in Colorado Springs), are welcome. I’ll see if this post is deleted. My advice? Take a screen shot of your comments immediately after posting them, before they vanish.

      As for the Post’s obvious pro-Blaha stance (e.g., “polygraphing” Lamborn’s ads, but not Blaha’s), consider that they are not so much pro-Blaha as anti-Lamborn; of course they’d like to see the “Most Conservative” member of Congress removed. People with whom I’ve spoken have also noticed the preferential treatment Blaha has received from the Post; they will be voting for Lamborn–”the enemy (Blaha) of our enemy (Lamborn) is our friend” seems to be the Post’s attitutude…but from what I’ve seen/heard, the Post’s support of Blaha is doing him more harm than good–people want fairness.

  7. Joan
    May 24, 2012 at 2:41 am

    David, I have asked Blaha to name ONE piece of legislation he’d introduce; he has yet, weeks later, to reply. Go to http://www.govtrack.us and look up Lamborn’s legislation history; he has seven or eight bills that have passed the House; there IS little chance that Harry Reid will have the Senate consider them. If Blaha thinks he can get a bill through a Democrat-controlled Senate with the current highly partisan atmosphere, that’s all I need to tell me that Blaha is not nearly as conservative as Lamborn. For all I know–Blaha having never held elected office and established a voting record by which voters could judge his efficacy as a representatve–he could be a stealth candidate. What TRUE conservative is as completely unversed in D.C. v. Heller as Blaha showed himself to be?

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