Twelve years in office and Doug Lamborn is being given a break for petition signatures gathered illegally? He should know better! Plus, if he’s really committed to Colorado state laws and processes, then why has he undermined the system by pursuing federal action after the Colorado Supreme Court already determined that he could not be kept on the ballot? Lamborn’s desire to overrule Colorado state law using the federal government worked. The federal judge rejected Colorado law concerning petition circulators to put Lamborn back on the ballot. This overreach of the federal government made it possible for Lamborn to run in the primary … Isn’t that one of the core issues we as conservatives are trying to eliminate, the overreaching hand of the federal government?
Here’s the backstory: In April, a group of Republican voters from Colorado Springs filed a lawsuit against Doug Lamborn suggesting that 327 of his signatures to get on the ballot were collected illegally by circulators who were not residents of Colorado, not properly registered to vote, and not properly affiliated with the Republican Party in Colorado. From the start, 514 of the 1,738 signatures he originally submitted were invalidated by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
When the lawsuit was first brought forward, the Secretary of State and lower district court decided to brush the issue under the rug and accept the signatures saying one of the petitioners in question had the intent to live in Colorado and an affinity for Colorado making him a resident. So, according to their ruling, you can just have a desire to move to Colorado and that’s enough to make you a resident, our population just skyrocketed! Sorry, but just because you name your kid, “Breckenridge,” and plan to move back to Colorado eventually does not change your current residency status from California to Colorado.
Knowing that the law was still not being upheld, the voters then took the issue to the Colorado Supreme Court. After reviewing the issue, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the district court’s ruling saying that the court neglected to implement the proper tests for Colorado residency. According to the state law, Lamborn could not be placed on the 2018 primary ballot.
Here’s a section of the state supreme court’s case opinion released after they reached the verdict:
“The supreme court concludes the district erred when it focused on the challenged circulator’s subjective intent to move back to Colorado, rather than the test set forth in section 1-2-102, when determining the challenged circulator’s residency. In applying the correct test to the essentially undisputed facts here, the supreme court concludes that the challenged circulator was not a resident of Colorado when he served as a circulator for the Lamborn Campaign. Accordingly, the supreme court reverses the district court’s ruling to the contrary. Because the challenged circulator was statutorily ineligible to serve as a circulator, the signatures he collected are invalid and may not be considered. That causes the Lamborn Campaign’s number of signatures to fall short of the 1000 required to be on the Republican primary ballot. Therefore, the supreme court holds that the Secretary may not certify Representative Lamborn to the 2018 primary ballot for Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District.”
After this ruling, Lamborn was still grasping to keep hold of the 5th District seat; so, he decided that our state law and the state supreme court’s decision to uphold the law irrelevant; so, he took the issue to a federal judge. Well, he got what he wanted. Colorado State law was deemed unimportant and neglectable by the federal ruling. He’s back on the ballot.
Lamborn plans to represent us, yet he doesn’t abide by the laws of Colorado … technicality or not, the law is the law, and Lamborn should know better. As stated in The Denver Post, “Despite serving 12 years in the Colorado legislature and another dozen in Congress, Doug Lamborn this week somehow failed basic democracy.” The Post also criticized Lamborn for hiring a campaigning company as opposed to “standing outside grocery stores and ball fields himself and with campaign staffers and volunteers to collect signatures to gain a spot on the June 26 primary ballot …” Essentially, they called him lazy and clearly losing popularity because he struggled to get the mere 1,000 valid signatures.
After the federal judge ruling, the plaintiffs released a letter saying:
“The candidate [Doug Lamborn] who decried the idea of a judge determining this debate had to pursue the radical option of having a federal judge throw out Colorado law in his desperate attempt to return to the ballot that he was removed from by a unanimous Colorado Supreme Court order. The so-called conservative who supposedly championed states rights, sacrificed the sovereignty of Colorado when he forced a federal judge to endorse petition fraud and overturn a unanimous decision of the Colorado Supreme Court and make it possible for him to be returned to the ballot, in spite of the proven fraud his campaign perpetrated on the voters of Colorado.”