Opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of The Flume

Congressional District 5 (CD5) has been considered Colorado’s most conservative district since its creation in the 1990s. Doug Lamborn has represented the district since 2007 and his policy positions have been reliably conservative: supporting education vouchers, tax cuts and the oil and gas industries. He has continued to advocate for repeal of the Affordable Care Act instead of supporting the universal access to healthcare that most Americans want.

In contrast, the Democratic Party supports using public funds to improve public education for all, a fair and equitable tax system and fighting climate change by reducing our reliance on oil and gas.

So what is the problem with our congressional representative in this “safe” Republican district? In a democratic republic, Democrats and Republicans disagree on policy and argue about what’s best for Coloradoans in the marketplace of ideas.

Candidates with the most votes win the argument. Unfortunately, in CD5, those arguments are won in the primary by about an eighth of the voters in a district of over 800,000. The biggest problems with our representation in CD5 are not with policy positions, but with hypocrisy, entitlement and incompetence.

In February, Doug Lamborn was complaining about El Paso County not getting its fair share of the state vaccine supply. While his website encourages people to follow CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19, he is being sued by a former staffer for disregarding those safety protocols in his own Congressional office. While touting support for limited government, he apparently has no problem enriching himself with campaign and government resources.

In addition to paying his wife and himself he has been accused of (and essentially admitted to) allowing his son to live in a closet in the basement of the Capitol (because the District of Columbia real estate market is so tight). There is evidence he used congressional staff (paid with taxpayers’ money) as his personal servants to run errands and help his son apply for jobs.

The Denver Post calls this behavior an embarrassment. I call it despicable and an indication of his true character.

Over the last four years, Lamborn has become a true Donald Trump acolyte. He was named an honorary chair of Trump’s reelection campaign. Just before the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol, he joined other Congressional Republicans in an effort to overturn the election results. He continues to push “The Big Lie” that is dividing the Republican Party and assaulting democracy. In doing so, Lamborn is violating his oath to uphold the Constitution.

How has this behavior benefited voters in Congressional District 5? Despite Lamborn kissing the ring, Trump ignored Air Force recommendations and yanked the Space Force headquarters from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Ala.

In this Republican majority district, the only election that counts is the primary. Every two years since 2007, Lamborn has been selected by a small fraction of the CD5 voters, leading to a lack of accountability and his growing sense of entitlement. It is true that this small group of Republican voters could choose a worse candidate (see District 3, Lauren Boebert, for an example), but it is time for a change. Republicans deserve better. We all deserve better.

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