From U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn's campaign spokeswoman, Catherine Mortensen:
Congressman Lamborn's opponent is complaining about trips where 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 education himself on critical issues.
The five trips complained of in 2011 consisted of the following:
• the Congressman attended the Heritage Foundation’s annual conservative retreat for members of the Republican Study Committee at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley;
• as the co-chair of two Israel caucuses in Congress, the Congressman made two trips in support of Israel. On one trip to Israel, he met with key Israeli government officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussed current peace negotiations and Israel's foreign policy, and toured defense facilities including the Iron Dome Missile Defense System. As a member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, Lamborn saw firsthand our US dollars invested into our key ally’s missile defense system;
• the other trip to Budapest, was as co-chairman of the International Israel Allies Caucus, where he met with pro-Israel legislators and parliamentarians from around the world;
• the trip to Lexington, Kentucky, which lasted less than 24 hours, featured the congressman delivering the keynote address to a coal industry conference. He was given this venue because of his chairmanship of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee within the House Natural Resources Committee;
• the fifth trip was to Panama to meet with Panamanian officials, including President Ricardo Martinelli, the week after Congress passed a historic and vital Free Trade Agreement with Panama.
If the Congressman were not participating in events like these, he would no doubt be accused of not doing his job.
——— ORIGINAL POST: May 5, 11:24 A.M. ———
I love campaign season. Why, you ask? Because of ads like the latest to come out of the Republican primary in the 5th Congressional District.
Recap: U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn wants a fourth term; businessman Robert Blaha wants a first.
From a press release from the Blaha camp:
Robert Blaha, a conservative Republican candidate for Colorado's 5th Congressional District, announced today the launch of his "Lamborn's Perks Galore" radio and television campaign. The ads are in response to incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn's abusive use of Washington loopholes that enable him and his wife to trot around the globe to exotic locations, with an assortment of private groups paying the fare.
Federal documents reveal Doug and Jeanie Lamborn have hauled in over $100,000 in expense-paid travel, fancy hotel accommodations, and lavish meals since Doug Lamborn was elected in 2007. Doug and Jeanie Lamborn took three trips to West Palm Beach, along with trips to Amsterdam, Germany, Ottawa, Turkey, Simi Valley, Panama, Budapest, Turkey, and two trips to Israel.
To back up these claims, the Blaha campaign has the documents hosted on therealdouglamborn.com. It's launched a radio ad and a TV ad, too.
A fed-up, sassy old lady narrates the ads, chastising Lamborn for jet-setting and staying at fancy hotels,
all on the taxpayers' dime. The ads rehash the criticism of Lamborn's use of earmarks and failure to get legislation signed into law. And, as it has become the motif for the Blaha campaign, the TV ad features the fact that Blaha can drive a car.