Lamborn, Rayburn petition onto ballot

May 28, 2008

Two Republican 5th Congressional District candidates petitioning onto the primary ballot have completed their efforts.

Rep. Doug Lamborn turned in nearly 3,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's Office last week.

Today, Bentley Rayburn will submit more than 2,600 signatures.

To be placed on the ballot, candidates must submit 1,000 signatures of registered voters in the six-county district.

Rayburn spokesman Mike Hesse said notable signers include Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera, Buena Vista Mayor Cara Russell, Attorney General John Suthers, former State Sen. Ron May and former State Reps. Barbara Phillips and Bill Sinclair.

A third candidate, Jeff Crank, will attend the district assembly Friday, where he is expected to garner a majority of delegates to gain top line on the ballot.

Crank accuses Lamborn of violating mail rules

Crank's campaign alleges Lamborn violated franked-mail rules by sending a "shiny piece of taxpayer-financed literature" within the 90-day period prior to an election, which isn't allowed under House rules.

But Lamborn campaign spokeswoman Kristen Hainen said no rules were broken, and the mailing is consistent with Lamborn's goal to keep constituents informed.

The 90-day window closed May 14, but several voters say they received Lamborn's mail May 21 or 22, Crank's campaign said in a news release.

"When it comes to spending taxpayer money on propaganda to prop up his campaign, Doug Lamborn takes a blue ribbon," Crank's campaign manager Alan Philp said in a news release.

Lamborn spent $135,606 on franked mail last year - more than other Colorado members of the U.S. House.

Philp said Lamborn should reveal when the piece was mailed, how much it cost and to whom it was sent. He also called for Lamborn to reimburse taxpayers for the mailing from his campaign funds and noted Lamborn is on track to spend $500,000 on taxpayer-funded mailings and tele-townhall meetings in his first two years in office.

Hainen said Lamborn just wants to keep constituents informed.

"Congressman Lamborn considers it his duty to make certain his constituents know the kind of work that is being performed on their behalf and the votes he is casting in Washington," she said in a statement.

In the franked brochure in question, Lamborn outlines his support of cutting taxes and increasing domestic energy production.

Hainen also said each House office is given a budget within which it must operate. "Other members may have other priorities, but Congressman Lamborn considers communication to be extremely valuable and makes it his highest priority," she said.

Groups back 47

The Colorado Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and four other business groups endorsed Amendment 47, Colorado's Right to Work Amendment.

Also endorsing the measure are the Western Colorado Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Grand Junction Area Realtor Association and the Western Colorado Contractors Association, all based in Grand Junction.

The Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs also backs the amendment as does the Brush Chamber of Commerce.

Amendment 47, which will be on November's ballot, would make it illegal to force nonunion workers to pay union dues.
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