by Chet Hardin
The Real Doug Lamborn, the website set up and run by the campaign for Robert Blaha, has taken aim at U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn's history of using earmarks to bring money back to the 5th Congressional District.
In a press release from the Blaha campaign, the businessman-turned-Congressional candidate is crying foul over Lamborn's "record of congressional earmark spending - a record that includes millions in taxpayer dollars that Lamborn funneled to some of his biggest campaign contributors."
Lamborn, a leading earmarker for the past several years, ironically made his conservative voting record the centerpiece of his re-election campaign, arguing that it is his record that sets him apart from his cohorts in Washington. In the ads, however, the Blaha campaign points to the Congressman's generous earmarking record as evidence that Lamborn is not the conservative he claims to be.
"The Congressman asserts that he is a rock solid conservative, but his eye-popping record of earmarking for big dollar donors tells a very different story. The Congressman's earmark madness is neither conservative, nor right, " said Blaha For Congress Campaign Manager Tamra Farah.
On June 17, 2011 the Gazette reported that Lamborn requested "... tens of millions in contracts for companies that donated to his campaign." The Gazette report included a detailed list of Lamborn donors, Lamborn earmark requests, and contracts awarded. For example, a $500 donor to the Lamborn campaign received a $1.6 million government contract, an $11,000 Lamborn donor received $7.52 million, and a $1,250 Lamborn donor received $800,000. In the same article, it was reported that Doug Lamborn said earmarks were "a symbol of wasteful spending and corruption".
"Doug Lamborn's reckless position on earmarks doesn't just put him at odds with Robert Blaha. It puts him at odds with the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, John McCain, and the millions of conservative Americans who are fed up with Washington's good ole boy system and all the spending it brings" said Farah. "The Congressman can argue all day long about what the definition of an earmark is, but that's not the point. The undisputed fact is that millions of our taxpayer dollars were funneled by Doug Lamborn to Doug Lamborn donors."
In response, Catherine Mortensen, the spokeswoman for Lamborn, once again spun this criticism as a sign of Blaha's "stunning ignorance" on how Washington, D.C. operates.
The only thing eye-popping here is Mr. Blaha’s stunning ignorance. When Congressman Lamborn and Republicans regained the Majority in the House last January, one of the first things they did was ban earmarks. But, even while in the Minority, under Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Lamborn voluntarily declined to make earmark requests. Lamborn and his Republican colleagues led the way in abandoning the practice of earmarks as a result of the widespread abuse of earmarks that Lamborn, and many in the public, found so offensive.
Prior to that, Congressman Lamborn did make limited requests to fund critical national defense projects. Lamborn makes no apologies for prioritizing our defense needs and seeking to ensure our troops have what they need. The Congressman always put his funding requests on his congressional website for constituents to see. He is proud of his record to provide for our national defense.
Note: example of funding requests Congressman Lamborn submitted in his first term in office:
23-Acre Land Acquisition for Peterson AFB - Amount Requested: $4.9M
Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, CO
• Prevents encroachment and allows future mission expansion by allowing the Department of the Air Force to acquire from a willing seller a 23 acre parcel in the State of Colorado
Full Access to Peterson AFB from Powers Boulevard - Amount Requested: $4M
Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, CO
• Addresses mobility and future congestion at the Powers Boulevard intersection by providing an interchange
Improvements at Fort Carson Gates 5 & 6 - Amount Requested: $687,000
Fort Carson, CO
• Accelerates intersection improvements at Fort Carson Gates 5 and 6 and safety improvements along SH 115 located between these gates
Watch the Blaha campaign's ad re: Lamborn's earmarks.