Knifing of Lamborn bodes ill for Colorado GOP this fall

    Editor's Note: Hefley had to file for his write-in by 5pm Tuesday, and did not do so, ending the maverick comeback bid, according to an update on the Gazette website. But the outgoing congressman's spite for his duly nominated GOP successor, quoted in the update, only validates the concerns expressed below.

By Dave Crater (

Today’s Colorado Springs Gazette carries an article outlining why Joel Hefley, with many in the Colorado Springs, Denver, and Washington Republican establishments who are encouraging him on, is considering a write-in bid for Congress against Republican nominee Doug Lamborn.

We should all understand this development with crystal clarity: this behavior by Republican political insiders, and its history in Colorado that has lasted for most of the Bill Owens administration, is why the Colorado GOP lost dazzlingly throughout the state in 2004, losing both houses of the state legislature for the first time in 40 years, a congressional seat, and a Senate seat, and why it is now -- in my opinion -- headed for dazzling defeat this coming November.

Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal’s report on national gubernatorial races, which, based on polling data from nationwide sources, shows Bill Ritter leading Bob Beauprez by 8 percentage points. This lead by Ritter over Beauprez has been consistent throughout the summer and from every source. The Journal notes, “Colorado is unusual: despite a GOP registration edge, the state has been kind to Democrats in recent elections.”

Translation: A political party whose elite class persecutes its best grassroots heroes, while at election time posturing righteously in defense of everything those heroes have personally sacrificed to advance, is a party destined for ruin. If you are a Colorado Republican, what the state’s Republican elites are doing to Doug Lamborn should concern you. If it doesn’t now, it is sure to concern you in November, when, in addition to the governor’s mansion and the state legislature, the GOP already stands to see its Congressional delegation reduced by another seat if Rick O’Donnell loses his tight race with Ed Perlmutter to replace Beauprez in CD 7.

The Republican edge in Colorado’s congressional delegation was 5-2 in 2004. It dropped to 4-3 after the 2004 elections, when John Salazar won CD 3, Ken Salazar won the Senate race, and Republicans lost both the state House and Senate. That number stands to drop to a 3-4 Democrat majority if O’Donnell loses, and if Joel Hefley, Peggy Littleton, and the Republican establishment are successful in opposing or deposing Doug Lamborn as the Republican nominee in CD 5, handing Democratic candidate Jay Fawcett a gift, the Democrat majority would rise to 2-5.

To recount the history for you: Doug Lamborn has been a conservative hero in the state legislature for 12 years. Many Republican insiders do not like this, just like many in the British political establishment did not like Winston Churchill in the years leading up to WW II, and helped get Churchill defeated immediately after the war in 1945, and just like many in the Republican establishment did not like Ronald Reagan challenging Gerald Ford for the GOP presidential nomination in 1976, and helped get Reagan defeated on the way to their own defeat by Jimmy Carter in November of 1976. In the process, the GOP establishment blamed Reagan, and the British establishment blamed Churchill, for everything from dishonesty and sleaze to naked personal ambition -- the very things of which they themselves were self-evidently guilty.

So the situation is very simple: if you want to see the Colorado GOP continue to collapse, help the GOP establishment attack Doug Lamborn in CD 5 and other conservative heroes around the state while calling for party unity when it is their turn or their buddy’s turn to stand for election. On the other hand, if you want to see the Colorado GOP regain its philosophical and moral roots without having to endure another November drubbing to learn that lesson, now might be a good time to contact Republican leaders and tell them to stop working against a 12-year Colorado hero and their own party’s nominee.