, a retired two-star Air Force general and Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District
, which includes El Paso County, called a news conference today to lash out at incumbent Doug Lamborn
Lamborn told the Gazette
he missed a bunch of Veterans Affairs Committee
hearings over the last couple years because he was forced to choose among hearings of other committees on which he serves. "Sometimes three will meet at the same time," Lamborn was quoted saying in the daily's story that ran in today's editioin. "There is a constant allocation of time."
Standing next to a sign that said "Congressman Lamborn missed 58% of the meetings of the Veterans Affairs Committee," Halter lashed out at Lamborn.
He noted Lamborn failed to attend hearings that discussed veteran wait times for care. "He didn't even show up," Halter said. "I'm a vet who served 32 years and I am deeply troubled. This is exactly what is wrong with Washington. How does he come back to the district and tell 100,000 veterans he is looking out for them?"
Halter says if elected he will hold monthly meetings in the district on veterans issues and get to know the Veterans Administration leaders so he can follow up with them on specific constituent needs.
Such as the one expressed by Julie Radcliffe
, who said she happened by the news conference outside the VA clinic on Spruce Street and stopped when she saw Halter's sign.
Radcliffe told reporters when she, a Navy veteran, contacted Lamborn's office to try to cut red tape stalling her treatment for an ailment that hasn't been clearly diagnosed, but she didn't hear back. Later, she was told that Congress can't interfere with the VA, she said.
When Halter was asked by a reporter what he would say to Lamborn, he said, "Get off your butt and do something. It's time for you to get engaged. Doug Lamborn has had eight years of failure, and it's time for him to go."