Blaha Files Franking Complaint Against Rep. Lamborn

Via John Schroyer of the Colorado Springs paper, GOP CD-5 primary candidate Robert Blaha has filed a complaint against incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn over an official “franked” mailer sent to district residents. The mailer prominently bills Rep. Lamborn as the “Most Conservative Member of Congress”–based on his ranking as such from National Journal Magazine.

According to Schroyer, Blaha is asserting that this mailer violates House franking restrictions against personal references and references to parties, as well as use of “political slogans.”

It’s tough to predict what will happen with this complaint, but it should be pointed out that franked mass mailings must be pre-approved by the House Franking Commission. So this mailing has arguably passed its biggest oversight hurdle. But as an example of Lamborn pushing the envelope of the rules to benefit himself in his primary against Blaha, even if no express rule violation is found, we could see this incident taking its toll among CD-5 GOP primary voters.

Remember, these are voters who are most sensitive to claims of “government waste.”

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  1. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    If there was a problem, it wouldn’t have been sent.

  2. ScottP says:

    You flunked Frank!? Get the flunk outta here!

  3. gaf says:

    a campaign piece!”

    But then I faced the fact that the biggest problem is often what is legal (or “approved” or “permitted”) that shouldn’t be. It’s a nice little privilege these Congress Critters have.

  4. AndrewBateman says:

    Guys, there’s things about this that are worse (though maybe not more illegal. You gotta read the text.

    The first thing that caught my eye was the line that reads:

    “This Mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

    Failing to properly use an oxford comma aside, people should be asking whether this is an appropriate use of taxpayer money. Is there anything in this mailing that serves to educate or inform voter? No, this is a campaign piece, and it should have been paid for with campaign funds. Of is the US House a corporate “person” now, too?

    The second thing was a top line that reads:

    “For the third year in a row, National Journal magazine has ranked me, along with a handful of others, the Most Conservative Member of Congress.” emphasis mine

    How can more than one person be the most conservative member of congress? I guess that “amoung the most conservative members” isn’t as good of a campaign pitch for a guy in a GOP primary.

    To answer that question, I headed over the National Journal’s website and found the article, which scores the members of the house and senate based on votes taken. It turns out that Lambourn tied with 9 others.

    HOUSE

    Most Conservative          

    1st (tie)

    Diane Black, R-Tenn.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Bob Latta, R-Ohio: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Jeff Miller, R-Fla.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Tom Price, R-Ga.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Ben Quayle, R-Ariz.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Dennis Ross, R-Fla.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.: 94.0 (Composite Conservative score)

    So I guess by being tied for 1st, he is technically telling the truth. But the way he is saying it would make any reasonable reader believe that he scored higher (or lower) than every other member of congress, which is simply not true.

    And in any case, I don’t think the taxpayers should be paying to advertise this ‘accomplishment’ or, for that matter, the National Journal itself.

    I hope he gets torn up over this, whether or not it was a violation.  

  5. rosweed says:

    between Blahblah and Lamebrain is that Blahblah has deeper pockets.

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