Monday, June 2, 2008

Andrews: Leave Doug alone!

This is kind of amusing, John Andrews over at Politics West spends an entire post arguing that so long as Doug Lamborn continues to receive passing marks from the various GOP special interests he shouldn't face a primary. Apparently in John Andrews world Congressmen are not elected to represent their districts but rather are there simply to carry water for far-right interest groups.

As a freshman, Lamborn has compiled one of the most stellar conservative records in the US House or Senate, bar none. Club for Growth ranked him in their top 5 out of 535 members in the two bodies. National Journal rates him No. 1 among all House Republicans in consistently voting against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.

He co-founded the House Caucus on Missile Defense and battled his way onto the diminished GOP side of the Armed Services Committee.

His endorsements for reelection, in addition to the Club for Growth, include National Federation of Independent Business, National Pro-Life Alliance, National Right to Work, Concerned Women for America, Republican National Coalition for Life, and the Minutemen Civil Defense PAC.

Notice that Andrews cannot list a single accomplishment nor any action taken on behalf of Lamborn's constituents. Quite literally his entire argument is that a laundry list of conservative special interests like Lamborn and thus all challengers should just back off. It's a patently ridiculous argument.

This is a representative democracy and Doug Lamborn has been elected to represent the interests of Colorado's 5th Congressional District. Being beholden to far-right special interests isn't a sign that one is a productive Congressman, it's a sign that you're little more than a partisan hack. If the people of the 5th CD would prefer that their Congressman actually represent them and not special interests that is their right and John Andrews should get out of the way and learn a thing or two about how democracy works.

Let's be clear, Lamborn's constiutents have questions about the behavior of this so-called "fiscal conservative" since he entered Congress. The Colorado Springs Gazette reported in April that,

Rep. Douglas Lamborn, fighting for a second term, spent the most of any Colorado member of the U.S. House on taxpayer-paid constituent mailings last year. A Republican who touts fiscal restraint, Lamborn spent $135,606 - roughly $40,000 less than the other six members combined.Both of Lamborn's challengers for the GOP nomination in the 5th Congressional District called his mail bill excessive and hypocritical.

The practice of sending taxpayer sponsored mail may not seem like a big deal but when your constituents are concerned that you've done nothing to represent them seemingly small issues like this raise bigger questions. Lamborn's constituents have been receiving high gloss pamphlets detailing his positions on issues, much like one would receive from a candidate during a campaign. Many in Lamborn's district are concerned about the perception that their Congressman is spending their tax dollars on propaganda for his re-election and sucking up to special interests instead of representing the people of the 5th CD.

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