by Chet Hardin
"The real scandal in Washington isn't what is illegal, it is what is legal."
That's the response from the campaign of Robert Blaha after finding out that its complaint over U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn's use of taxpayer-funded mail was dismissed.
Blaha, the businessman who is running a Republican primary against Lamborn in the 5th Congressional District, lodged the complaint last month over a mailer that, he claimed, had violated federal regulations.
Today, the Lamborn campaign sent out the word that the complaint had been tossed. Catherine Mortensen, spokeswoman for Lamborn, is taking this opportunity to stomp on Blaha: "As we said from the start, this was an unfounded allegation made by an individual who shows stunning ignorance of the most basic operations of Congress. It was an unfounded, mean-spirited attack. "
Blaha's spokeswoman, Ashlee Springer, responds:
We are not surprised that the congressional commission is protecting their own instead of enforcing the rules. Doug Lamborn campaigned on the public dime and didn't follow either the letter or the spirit of the rules. The real scandal in Washington isn't what is illegal, it is what is legal. Doug Lamborn plays the game well, and the franking commission and the good ole boys have got his back. But the voters won't.
In the decision letter, forwarded to the press by Mortensen, there is a rundown of Blaha's four allegations, as well as the findings — such as this explanation of the acceptable amount of times a mailer is allowed to use "personally phrased references":
The first allegation is that [Lamborn] exceeded the allowable number of personally phrased references by using the words "I", "my" or "me" in the constituent mailing. However, the Commission does not count possessive pronouns such as "my" as personally phrased references. Therefore, the number of references complies with Franking guidelines.