Monday, April 23, 2018

Doug Lamborn promises he'll appeal in effort to get onto primary ballot

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 5:17 PM

click to enlarge Michael Franciso, left, and Michael Kuhn, one of the plaintiffs that brought the lawsuit to remove Lamborn from the ballot, talk with reporters after the Colorado Supreme Court ruling. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Michael Franciso, left, and Michael Kuhn, one of the plaintiffs that brought the lawsuit to remove Lamborn from the ballot, talk with reporters after the Colorado Supreme Court ruling.
UPDATE:

From Rep. Doug Lamborn's campaign spokesperson Dan Bayens:
Today we took action in federal court by filing a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction with the federal court for the District of Colorado in Denver.

We believe that the part of Colorado law that requires petition gatherers to be residents of the state is manifestly unconstitutional, and controlling case decisions here in Colorado and courts around the country have agreed with that assessment. Citizens who either signed the petitions for Congressman Lamborn or who plan to vote in the 5th District in the Republican primary should not be deprived of their rights by an unconstitutional election law.

We are also seeking to keep Congressman Lamborn's name on the ballot while this matter is decided.
This statement then prompted a lengthy statement form five El Paso County Republicans who challenged Lamborn's petition. Spokesperson Kyle Fisk says in an emailed statement:
A coalition of interested parties, including the five plaintiffs from the original suit, as well as various state legislators, will be filing a motion to intervene in this federal lawsuit and defend Colorado law. This group has a vested interest in upholding the law as it clearly complies with the US Constitution and will vigorously work to defend the state statutes in question. It’s a pity that Doug Lamborn refuses to comply with the order of the Colorado Supreme Court, who has the final say in the interpretation and application of state election law. We sincerely wish that one who is charged with writing and passing laws would have more respect for the laws of our state.

Until 2:45 this past Monday afternoon Doug Lamborn had no problem with Colorado law as it stood for decades. In fact, he has declared multiple times that he followed the law. He claimed to have spoken to the company who collected the petitions and was assured that all laws and regulations were followed. We now know that was not the case as proven in Court.

Doug Lamborn has said that courts shouldn’t decide elections. Let us be clear. The Court did not decide an election. The Court determined that Lamborn’s campaign broke the law, committed petition fraud and should not be allowed to appear on the Republican Primary Ballot. That is the role of the judiciary. When you break the rules these are the consequences.

Until 2:45 PM this past Monday Doug Lamborn had said lawsuits shouldn’t determine ballot access. Yet, now that it has been proven that his campaign broke the rules and violated Colorado law he’s changing his mind on the role of lawsuits. Now that he won’t appear on the ballot and is on the outside looking in, we are witnessing a stunning reversal where Mr. Lamborn is now the one asking the Courts to intervene and place him back on the ballot. The inconsistency is staggering.

We believe the requirements for petition circulators is fully constitutional. So does the Colorado Secretary of State, as his office argued in their briefs before both the District Court and Supreme Court in the Kuhn v Williams case. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with Secretary Williams and Attorney General Coffman to defend this unwarranted attack upon the laws of Colorado.

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UPDATE:
Bill Rhea, a retired judge from Texas who's on the primary ballot for the Republican nomination in the 5th Congressional District, says he believes Lamborn should be placed on the ballot.

In a statement provided to the Indy, Rhea says, in part:
The key issue in that federal court proceeding will be whether circulators are involved in “core political speech” in their activity of collection ballot access petitions. If so, the 10th Circuit precedent, particularly in YOTL v. Savage (2008), almost certainly would control and the incumbent would prevail. “Core political speech” is very clearly involved in the circulation of referendum initiative petitions (which was involved in the YOTL case). I believe it is highly likely that the federal court(s) will also hold that ballot access petitioning will fall into the same category. 
Here's his entire statement:
——————ORIGINAL POST 5:17 P.M. MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2018—————————-

The attorney who brought an action to have Doug Lamborn removed from the primary ballot met with reporters on April 23 to essentially take a victory lap after the Colorado Supreme Court deemed 269 signatures collected by an out-of-state circulator ineligible on Lamborn's petitions.

Michael Francisco told reporters, "In this expedited appeal under section 1-1-113(3), the Supreme Court addresses whether the Colorado Secretary of State may certify incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn to the 2018 Republican primary ballot for Colorado's 5th Congressional District. Relying soley on the Colorado Election Code, the Supreme Court concludes he may not."

Lamborn released a statement saying, "We are disappointed by the outcome and we believe it was wrongly decided. We are immediately bringing an action in federal court to overturn the part of Colorado law that deprives voters who have petitioned to have Congressman Lamborn on the ballot of their Constitutional rights."

But Francisco said such a federal lawsuit would have to ask the nation's highest court to rule Colorado election law unconstitutional.

"Today, the Supreme Court has unanimously overturned the District Court ruling and declared that Mr. [Ryan] Tipple [a petition circulator] was not a resident of Colorado and, therefore, ineligible to collect petition signatures," Francisco said. "His 269 signatures on behalf of primary candidate Congressman Doug Lamborn have been declared invalid."

He also said Lamborn had the choice to go through the Republican assembly process to gain a spot on the June 26 primary ballot, but instead went the petition route. Digging at Lamborn, Francisco noted, "It's a pity that Mr. Lamborn cares to little about election fraud in our state. The dismissiveness with which Doug Lamborn has treated this case is indicative of the dismissiveness with which he has treated Colorado election law."

Other Republicans who have qualified for the ballot include El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, state Sen. Owen Hill, retired Texas judge Bill Rhea and former mayor of Green Mountain Falls Tyler Stevens.

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