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September 03, 2007 06:11 AM UTC

Should the House Ethics Committee investigate Lamborn for threatening constituents?

  • by: CD-5 Line

5th District Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn’s attack on the Barthas has now been widely reported on blogs and news media across the USA and should not require any further explanation.  This is an idignity to our electorate, not just the Barthas.

The Barthas have done nothing wrong yet Lamborn threatens them with “serious consequences” for exercising their 1st Amendment rights and based on the state of the public record as it actually existed.  For example, Lamborn conveniently tries to dodge his accepting the $500 from the manager of Bronco Billy’s, yet, as I read it elsewhere in a comment on Colorado Confidential, Lamborn’s attack letter that he sent to Garcia plays word games by saying he has “never accepted gambling contributions from any COMPANY” and, in that literal sense, the manager made the contribution as an individual, not as a company. 

However, it is a matter of public record, given the report in the Gazette from June of 2006, that Lamborn didn’t merely acknowledge receipt of the $500 from the manager of Bronco Billy’s, he justified it.  For Lamborn to attack constituents and threaten them in the way he did may be a basis for the House Ethics Committee to investigate Lamborn.  Never mind that Greg Garcia may need to investigate Lamborn, but, now Lamborn has invited a level of scrutiny that he has asked for and it should be given to him, but not now merely from the El Paso County Republican party, but, from the House Ethics Committee for having threatened the Barthas.  The apology that is now in order is one from Doug Lamborn to the Barthas.  However, as the Colorado Statesman reported a few weeks ago, even Jeff Crank’s young children were subjected to personal attacks in 2006 and no personal apology came from Doug Lamborn either on his own behalf or on behalf of his supporters, so, it is not any surprise that Lamborn is now engaging in such attacks directly and personally against his constituents, such as the Barthas, and, if Lamborn holds true to form, he will also not apologize to them. 

Should the House Ethics Committee investigate Doug Lamborn's personal attacks on the Barthas?

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35 thoughts on “Should the House Ethics Committee investigate Lamborn for threatening constituents?


      With something like 45,000 people casting their ballots while this was on its front page national news, 68% considered it a serious matter for a Congressman to be threatening his constituents for exercising their 1st Amendment rights.  Maybe Lamborn has or will give back the gambling donations.  But the public record he invited the Barthas (and all citizens, by virtue of his open letter to Greg Garcia) to investigate with a “few clics” didn’t support his claims.  When a sitting Congressman invokes federal records in support of his attacks on citizens for exercising their rights and when the federal records did not support his claims, trying to suppress and silence their criticism with threats and also calling them liars is not only a serious breach of political common sense, but, ethics.  He should be investigated, Barron X!  Maybe in 2 months the FEC records will support Lamborn, but, to call people liars and threaten them with facts that aren’t yet facts, but maybe in the future, is unconscionable.  [Not Jeff, Barron!]

      1. what did Ray Powers or Joel Hefley or any of the good old boys ever do that was good for this community ?

        I can’t think of anything.

        They served about 250 good old boys in their clique.  Payola, graft, corruption.

        Their heirs, including Crank, are getting ready to take the reins. 

        The best thing for this community would for that whole gang of crooks to get thrown out.
        If Lamborn can shake their hold on power, I support him as by far the lesser of two evils. 

        I assume you are part of the clique of 250, and understand why you are fighting to deny effective representation to the District.
        If we got a good Congressman, the gravy train for your type ends.
        And I assume you’re not doing too good under Doug. 

        But knowing local history, I expect to go back to machine politics as usual, and the District loses its only chance at effective representation in 2008. 

        But I can still dream the American dream.

        1. Crank supporters are part of an elite clique?  That’s cool, I didn’t know that was the case!  Where’s my membership card?

          Lamborn is shaking things up?  That’s cool-wait, remind me what he’s done again?

          Seriously, where do you get this stuff from?

          1. Crank was anointed by Hefley

            Crank worked for Hefley

            Hefley pledged in 1986 to a limit of 3 terms.

            Hefley’s only achievement was standing up to Tom DeLay (a remarkable achievement, I admit)
            But that took him 18 years to get around to. 

            Hefley lives just south of the Academy.  He didn’t like USAFA cadets doing glider training on Saturday mornings, because the gliders interrupted his breakfast, so he got a guy fired and got training canceled on the only days Cadets could go out and get extra practice. 

            Hefley personally got the Southern Delivery System delayed for at least 6 years, maybe permanently.  Folks who pay for water from Colorado Springs Utilities pay for hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water that flows right down the Arkansas River and that the city cannot pump without the SDS. 

            I have a personal stake in this.
            In August 2002, I went to Hefley’s office as an intermediary.
            I was in contact with Dr. Sadoun Hummadi, the Speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly.  Part of Saddam’s government. 

            I had told him that, in America, folks could go to their Congressman with problems, and at least get their voices heard, if they didn’t always get what they wanted. 

            2 weeks later, he emailed me back and asked me if I would take a message to my Congressman. 
            Seems that Saddam Hussein wanted to know whether or not President Bush would be willing to make a deal. 
            Now, Saddam was not making any commitments, but he wanted to know if Bush might let him go into exile in another country, and take a boatload of cash and a large entourage, in return for abdicating from office. 

            In other words, he was willing to let Bush appoint the new President of Iraq, if Bush would just let Saddam save his own neck. 

            As a corollary benefit, the US could take control of Iraq without firing a shot.  No soldiers killed.  No war. 

            I never got to talk to Joel. 
            I don’t know if the staffer that kept me from seeing him was Jeff or not. 
            But he told Joel what I was proposing, and brought back this message (not an exact quote):
            the Congressman supports the President on this.  If the President thinks that the country needs to go to war, then I support that decision. 

            Joel is a worm.  If that was Jeff transmitting that message, then Jeff is a worm. 

            Sure, Lamborn is a crummy Congressman.  But he is way better than Hefley, and if Hefley anointed Crank, Crank would probably be far worse than Doug, too. 

            But that’s just the opinion of this Democrat. 

            And Haners, you’re a young kid, and I think you just moved here.
            There’s a lot of history in the local GOP party.
            You may not know even 2% of it. 

            For example, what GOP mover and shaker actually killed a county employee while driving a county vehicle while drunk on duty ?  And never missed a day of work or got any punishment ? 
            You don’t have a clue, do you ? 

            You make smarter posts when you know what you’re talking about.

            1. I was not a big fan of him either.  Lost a lot of respect for the guy when he sided with his neighbors on the whooshing sound of those noisy gliders (that have been flying over that land for much longer than the houses have been there).  The last race was about Hefley and I agree that he should not have been allowed to appoint his successor.  Things have changed now though.  Now Jeff Crank has run and is his own man.  He can win without Hefley’s endorsement this time, I dont think he could have last time.  I also thought that Crank conducted himself with a lot of honor in the last election when faced with some pretty foul situations.  I would be alright with Crank or Rayburn and I think either would do better than Lamborn.  That being said, I hope only one runs because it just is not worth the risk.

              Finally, I think that Crank was at the Chamber in August of 2002 not on Hefley’s staff.  Someone else will have to confirm that, but didnt he start in early 2002 or 2001 there?

              1. he worked for Hefley from 1991-1998.  Glad I did my homework on that one…but I’m told that I make better posts when I know what I’m talking about. 

            2. A couple of quick points…first off, you still haven’t told me how Lamborn is “shaking things up” with the local establishment that you obviously don’t like.  Not getting his candidate (can you tell me who this is?) elected as Chairman of CD-5 certainly didn’t “shake” anything up.  Threatening people has shook things up, but I doubt that’s what you are looking for…unless it is.  Maybe I should do my homework on that one…

              Second, your lame attempt to link Crank to your inability to get through to Hefley doesn’t carry a lot of water with me, since you failed to note whether or not Crank even worked for Hefley at that point.  Why don’t you do your homework on that and get back to me.

              So when you come up with solid examples of how Lamborn (who you admitted is a “crummy congressman” is righting your precieved wrongs, shaking up the establishment, and reversing any tides (other than, you know, looking at being a one term congressman), I’d be happy to admit I was wrong.  Until then, I maintain that I don’t know where you’re getting this from.

              But since you seem so intent on educating me, I would love to know which “mover and shaker” killed a county employee.

        2. You know that’s not true.  You’re caught with your own comments here:  http://www.coloradop

          Your aspirations you’ve shared before of running as a Democrat opponent to Lamborn, on some notion your party would nominate you, is a pipe dream.  Your idea isn’t really that Lamborn is the one we must keep to have effective representation, but, that the only chance you have to be elected is if he is your Republican opponent.  I have a funny feeling your representation would not be so effective as you believe. 

          It’s ironic that you are willing yourself to make gross misrepresentations to defend Lamborn to try to serve your own interests while suggesting Crank is a crook, and, for that matter, that I am one as well.  Like Lamborn, you’ve overstepped the line.  You owe me an apology more sincerely than the one Lamborn gave the Barthas. 

          1. maybe not as bad as Hefley, but worse than Lamborn. 

            My campaign had a single focus – to get the discussion on the Iraq War to consider that there was still a way to salvage some limited success and withdraw our troops.
            I pledged to get troops out in 60 days.

            Actually, the longer they stay, as long as our troops are fighting against core American principles and values, the worse off the country is.  Both countries, actually. 

            If we empower authentic indigenous local leaders of communities to secure and stabilize their own neighborhoods and towns, and to take over responsibility for aid, development and reconstruction efforts,
            these local Iraqis will do a better job of governing themselves than our soldiers ever could. 

            Really, in an honor society, where individuality means far less than the family reputation, who is going to let a foreign army occupy them and steal their resources ? 
            The whole idea behind the Iraq War is just stupid. 

            as for an apology, did you say you are not part of the good old boy network ? 
            If that’s true, say so, and I’ll apologize.

            But you are a pretty strident Crank supporter, and he is the heir to the machine that has dominated this District for decades. 

            If you just support him because he’s a good guy, well, then, fair enough.  say so. 

            But your venom against Doug suggests otherwise. 

            1. But, I am passionate not for Crank, in the manner you suggest, I am passionately against Doug Lamborn and his ethics.  He is a scourge on our party.  And, we are paying for it.  Once he came out from under cover to do his own dirty work in his own name, without Pat Toomey and Chuck Gosnell doing it for him, he got caught.  He deserves his problems.  But, then, if he can, he’ll make his wife the fall guy, knowing Lamborn.  He’s already started on that angle, from what I’ve read.  Lamborn never takes responsibility, not even court ordered, without a fight.  Look at his son’s arson as a case in point.  Look at his son stealing opposition candidate’s signs.  Run  him out of office is the best thing for us all, of both parties.  Period.

  1. Are you all nuts? Greg Garcia has absolutely NO authority to investigate Doug or the Bartha’s. Nor can he do anything about their on-going battle. He can talk to all parties but that’s it. Why in the world do you think he has some magical power to make it all go away? And how would he “punish” any of these people? Would he force Doug to resign? Absolutely NOT. His role as chairman of the party is to provide support to ALL Republican candidates and he must remain neutral through the entire primary election cycle. Greg has enough problems at Republican Headquarters without getting in to this mess. 

    1. What’s Lamborn think that Garcia can do to the Barthas?  Lamborn is the one who called for the investigation, so he obviously thinks that Garcia can do something to the Barthas

      1. on whether or not to investigate Lamborn.  The findings of  the House Ethics Committee would then be considered by Garcia.

        Lamborn can’t get around the fact that he accused the Barthas of lying and he did so on the basis of their supposedly being able to prove to themselves with a “few clics” on the FEC’s website that he had returned the gambling donations.  It is now being reported that the $1,000 donation from IGT was returned to it recently in an unmarked envelope with an unsigned letter, and returned in the last few weeks, after the July 15 reporting deadline to the FEC for the quarter ending June 30, but supposedly before the Barthas letter.  In other words, it was impossible for the Barthas to have proven to themselves the money was refunded to IGT, and that’s also why none of the national media has been able to confirm it on the FEC’s records.  Yet, Lamborn used the canard that the FEC’s online records already prove he refunded that $1,000–when in fact they don’t–and then used that to charge the Barthas as being liars. 

        The story on the supposed refund of the donation from Marc Murphy has yet to be provided by Lamborn.  But, Lamborn’s letter to Garcia attacking the Barthas never mentioned he accepted Murphy’s money last year and never mentioned there was a Gazette article to document the reasons that Lamborn gave as to why he did take the money.  Lamborn used lawyerly words to say he’d never accepted a donation from “any company.”  Murphy isn’t a company.  He’s an individual.  That’s not going to persuade Garcia nor should it persuade the House Ethics Committee that he, Lamborn, was justified in attacking the Barthas.  Lamborn has been caught and he’s trying to explain his way out of this problem.  You can’t call people liars, threaten them with serious consequences, and do so on the trumped up charge that the FEC records proved he had refunded the money.  The FEC records don’t.  Lamborn can’t have it both ways.  And that’s why CREW’s request that Lamborn be investigated is absolutely the right thing to have been done.  I just wish Garcia had made the request.

        1. So did he cash the check or not?  That’s not the issue to me, I’m just curious as to whether or not he netted $29.00 last quarter, or if he’s really in the negatives if we count the returned check…

          1. Let’s just say that Lamborn’s previous record of $45,000 or so on franking privileges may be broken wide-open in the 3rd quarter of this year.  The $500 he (supposedly) has returned to Marc Murphy sometime in the 3rd quarter (supposedly) has to be made up somehow, so, adding another $500 in franked mail may be the answer for Lamborn! 🙂 

        2. they are the ones who went public with his request to meet.
          And he does not threaten to harm them,

          he only threatens to hold them accountable for their actions.

          1. Lamborn’s “open letter” to Garcia says he tried to contact them, then skewers them as if they were lying–when they were not.  LAMBORN WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO MAKE IT PUBLIC!  “That’s why I attempted to contact the Barthas before making this statement to my friends in the local Republican Party. However, I got no response,” as he said in his open letter to Garcia. What response should they give when he did threaten them in his voice mail.  You’ve obviously not bothered to read the Denver papers transcript of the voice messages. 

          2. Here’s just another one of Lamborn’s lies.  Notice this excerpt from his open letter to Garcia regarding the donation from IGT and asking an investigation of the Barthas:

            “Had the Barthas bothered to ask us before publishing their accusations they would have learned that we were indeed sent a check by this company, but that due to our objections to gambling we sent it RIGHT BACK and did not even deposit it.

            Wow.  “As soon as that hot little check got in my hands, Greg, why I did the right thing and sent it back post haste!”  “Right back” is used to imply promptly, without delay in Lamborn’s letter to Garcia. 

            Thank you, Jim Spencer, for helping prove not only that Lamborn’s account of the facts differs from IGT’s executive’s account, but, that Lamborn’s most recent account on when he returned the check differs in a huge way with what he put in his open letter to Greg Garcia.

  2. Lamborn has attacked a fundamental tenant of a democratic society in attacking freedom of speech.  I dont think what he did warrants getting booted from Congress (yet), but he should be publicly reprimanded for his actions.  The voters have a right to decide if Lamborn gets re-elected, but his colleagues should make it clear that Congressmen need to have higher ethical standards than Lamborn just showed.

    1. Lamborn may have since returned some or all his gambling donations from and after the date the Barthas questioned his receipt of the donations; however, when he specifically said that they would have known he had (supposedly) returned the donations by a “few clics” on the FEC’s site–and when not one media source yet, not one national newspaper, blogger, citizen, etc., could find with one million clics something any proof the donations had been returned because it isn’t yet to be found, that was an abuse that requires discipline.  He then used his “few clics” defense to call the Bartha liars and threaten them with serious consequences.  I guess in Lamborn’s mind, once the Barthas exposed his gambling donations, even if he had not yet returned any of the donations, Lamborn could call someone a liar even if he hadn’t returned the donations so long as he intended to do so in the future!

      1. Is that Lamborn would have known that there are no consequences to a letter to the editor… even if they were lies.  The freedom of speech of an individual when criticizing an elected official is so much greater in priority than that of the public official to defend against libel that any attorney knows there is no case.  But Lamborn threatened anyway.  And if he was not threatening legal action, what was he threatening?  He has no political pull in the local party, no influence over the D49 school board, and no substantial influence at FOTF.  The only “serious consequences” I can think of aside from a lawsuit would be sicking his son on them.  Maybe he meant that his son would burn down their house? 

        CD-5 I agree with you that this should be investigated.

        By the way, why has the national media picked up on this and the Gazette is still silent?

        1. The only “serious consequences” I can think of aside from a lawsuit would be sicking his son on them.  Maybe he meant that his son would burn down their house?

  3. was well known to be the least competent, most ideological, and most radical of the bunch of candidates. That includes Dems and Repubs. He was the very worst candidate by far.

    The ethics committee has no busienss here. The voters who put him in office are the ones who should be examined.

  4. I voted Yes but I suppose it’s really a question of whether the House Ethics Committee has any jurisdiction over a matter like this. Reprehensible as it is, it’s not like anyone is accusing Lamborn of taking bribes. Anyone know whether this is in the Ethics Committee’s bailiwick?

  5. but this is silly.  What’s the Ethics committe going to do.  Pull Dougie into the corner and give him a time-out?  Not let him have his cookies at recess?  There’s no action the Ethics Committe could actually take against Lil’ Dougie for “threatening” these people.

    Further, the Ethics Com has no interest in making Lamborn less popular in the 5th.  Dems would love nothing more than Lammy to be re-nominated and have to run against a credible Dem next year (yes, I know it’s not going to happen, but one can dream can’t they?).

    And finally, whak kind of “investigation” could be conducted?  I can imagine Stephanie Tubbs-Jones sitting in the hearing thinking,” so the Bartha’s pissed of Lammy…he called and left them a BS message…WTF are we sitting here for?!  Meeting adjourned.”

    Of course the Ethics Committee has no business looking into Lammy’s “threat.”

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