Upstart Blaha Launches Fresh Attack on Lamborn

May 22, 2012
By

Blaha’s buy represents the latest salvo in the heated GOP primary contest

WASHINGTON - Conservative businessman Robert Blaha’s campaign is airing a new 30-second radio and television ad that depicts Rep. Doug Lamborn as the undeserving recipient of lavish perks.

The commercial repeats the charges that the Colorado Springs Republican asked Congress for millions of dollars to fund projects that would benefit campaign donors and has failed to sponsor a bill that became law.

“Yet Lamborn and his wife trotted around the globe— Amsterdam, three trips to West Palm Beach, and a stay at the Ritz Carlton hotel… (I)t’s perks galore,” the female announcer says with sarcasm.

Lamborn’s campaign spokesperson defended the incumbent’s privately-financed trips as beneficial to the public. “Congressman Lamborn’s opponent is complaining about trips (in which) not a single penny of taxpayer money was spent. These privately-funded trips, sponsored by non-profit organizations, allowed him to gain important perspectives and to educate himself on important issues,” Catherine Mortensen said in a statement.

Blaha’s $50,000-ad buy represents the latest round of negative advertising in the Republican primary contest for the fifth congressional district, which is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and Focus on the Family headquarters. The commercial first ran on Monday and is expected to run through this week at least on the local TV affiliates for Fox, ABC, and NBC as well as for KVOR radio, according to campaign spokesperson Ashlee Springer.

Blaha’s previous commercials hammered the three-term incumbent not only for failing to pass legislation and participating in the political practice known as earmarking, but also flashing his temper at a congressional witness and subtly threatening a constituent. Lamborn’s ads have attacked Blaha for failing to vote in previous elections and running businesses that filed late business reports and a bank that received a low rating from and was fined by federal regulators.

Privately-financed trips have come under stricter scrutiny as a result of congressional ethics reforms in 2007. Reformers say that the junkets buy access for interest groups, while defenders say the trips help members of Congress gain outside expertise.

Blaha and Lamborn’s campaigns swapped these familiar charges. “The fact that the Congressman jet sets around the world racking up meal tabs upwards of $1000 and stays at The Ritz Carlton with his wife in West Palm Beach multiple times is further proof that our Congressman is just another member of the permanent political class that accepts perks and gifts from interest groups,” Springer said.

Lamborn campaign spokesperson Mortensen pointed to the representative’s privately-financed trips in 2011 to Israel, Panama, and Budapest. “If the Congressman were not participating in events like these, he would no doubt be accused of not doing his job,” she said.

The Republican primary is June 26.

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6 Responses to Upstart Blaha Launches Fresh Attack on Lamborn

  1. Jessica
    May 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I find it humorous that somehow Lamborn’s trips to Israel, Panama and Budapest help Colorado’s 5th district….. and refusing to go to the United States Air Force Academy’s graduation because the president will be there…..I’m so confused

    • Joan
      May 23, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      You’re not confused, Jessica; you’re just either egregiously ignorant or completely disingenuous–heck, forget the euphemism–make that “or a liar.” Where on God’s good earth did you come up with the notion that Rep. Lamborn refused to go to the USAFA graduation because Obama was the speaker? LAMBORN HAD A PRIOR COMMITMENT TO SPEAK AT WASSON HIGH SCHOOL’S GRADUATION. Those graduates and their families are his constituents, Jessica; USAFA graduates, commended as they should be for completing an arduous four years and committing to serve our nation for several more, are NOT.

      Rep. Lamborn’s trips in question were “fact-finding,” information-gathering trips and, as been repeatedly pointed out, were paid for by non-profit organizations, NOT TAX DOLLARS.

      Where, too, did you get the ridiculous notion that U.S. Representatives (and Senators) serve ONLY their districts? Congress’s activities–allocating federal funds and crafting legislation–affect/impact the ENTIRE nation. (Read the Constitution, Jessica; Rep. Lamborn has a link to it on his web site: http://lambornforcongress.org/Constitution/tabid/1369/Default.aspx. Residents of Congressional Districts vote for the candidate (in general elections and primary elections, if one is needed) who they believe will vote the way they would, were we a democracy, on NATIONAL issues. Blaha DOESN’T GET THIS, judging by his “Jobs” video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INDz9g9UtjY). He seems to think U.S. Representatives are sent to D.C. to act as pitchmen for their Districts, “brokering deals”–i.e., SCHMOOZING–with companies to lure them to their region. That is what groups and organizations such as The Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation and the various Chambers of Commerce of cities and towns within a District do, and Representatives have no control over the things the companies factor into their decisions as to where to locate, things such as tax rates (property, income, sales), real estate/building costs, the cost of living (e.g., housing), the “quality of life” (schools, recreation), and logistics. That Blaha, a former personnel/HR guy, is so ignorant about the job description of the position he seeks is inexplicable and inexcusable.

      (Hey, Jessica? Please don’t forget to wear your “Robert Blaha’s #1 Fan” t-shirt a LOT. :-D)

  2. Shane
    May 25, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Joan, I applaud your loyalty to our current representative. What a wonderful country we live in where we are afforded the opportunity to choose our representation. However, I find it puzzling how we (the people) have chosen our representation yet, as a nation, have less than 25% approval rating of how our current congressmen and women are doing their job (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/congress-remains-deeply-unpopular-poll-finds/2012/03/12/gIQArEjN8R_blog.html). That said, your statement “Residents of Congressional Districts vote for the candidate (in general elections and primary elections, if one is needed) who they believe will vote the way they would” precisely demonstrates why voters are later dissatisfied with who they voted into office. It’s this type of short-sided thinking by the masses that continues to erode our great nation. I encourage you (and others) to think BIGGER than a vote. Record low approval ratings are clear evidence that more is expected of our elected officials than votes. For their $170k salary, I expect my elected representation to fight for the sustainment of our country and for the interests of our district. I expect my representation to lead change through strongly articulated positions that influence votes beyond his own. At this time of economic disparity, I expect my congressman to vigorously challenge wasteful spending and have the courage and freedom to say NO to unsustainable programs. Frankly Joan, Yours Truly (Mr. Lamborn) has NOT met these expectations in his three terms as a congressman. He has proven ineffective and has not performed beyond a vote.

  3. Dakota
    May 26, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Very well said Shane!
    Sincerely,
    Dakota

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