GOP Bitchfest Continues
I am so loving this.
On Saturday, Howie Klein will be hosting a visit from Jay Fawcett (CO-05) in his Blue America column (11am PT/2pm ET). The race for the seat, formerly held by 20 year GOP incumbent Joel Hefley, is now becoming quite dramatic and could become competitive:
Since Lamborn edged former Hefley aide Jeff Crank in a six-way primary on Aug. 8, a number of party leaders, including elected officials, have begged Hefley to run again because of concerns about how Lamborn conducted his primary campaign, said Littleton and another party activist, who asked to remain anonymous.
A Lamborn spokesman said the campaign was not aware of the possible write-in effort, but after learning about it from a reporter Monday, Lamborn attempted to reach Hefley.
In announcing his retirement in February, Hefley said that he had done enough in Washington, D.C. He has reconsidered, those close to him say, because of his displeasure with Lamborn’s nomination.
The only question remaining is whether the 71-year-old will make such a controversial move in the twilight of his career. The former rancher was in Oklahoma for a cousin’s funeral Monday and was unavailable for comment.
“It’s really been a concerted effort of many behind the scenes to make this happen,” Littleton said. “Looking at this, I don’t see how Joel can not do this.”
Shortly after announcing he would not seek an 11th term, Hefley endorsed Crank. Crank and Lamborn engaged in a bloody political battle that included third-party mailings accusing Crank of being a tax hiker and an advocate for the “radical homosexual lobby,” charges Lamborn either leveled or refused to renounce.
Lamborn, a state senator, won the primary by 892 votes and is set to face Democrat Jay Fawcett in a district that leans heavily Republican. Thirteen Republicans have publicly announced their support for Fawcett, and others have complained behind the scenes about Lamborn’s primary campaign.
Radio stations pulled two ads by an organization that backed Lamborn because their truth was questioned, and the Federal Election Commission is investigating a complaint Lamborn illegally collaborated with outside groups.
Lamborn maintains that he campaigned on his record during 12 years in the Legislature and that he simply highlighted unflattering parts of opponents’ records. He has said also that he had nothing to do with mailers from outside groups.
Hefley, you’ll recall, was the head of the House Ethics Committee when it found Tom Delay guilty of three violations. He was subsequently given the boot from the job by Dennis Hastert for his crimes, and was the only Republican to vote to repeal the measures that allowed DeLay to keep his House leadership position after he was indicted. It amuses me no end that the same tactics that are getting Liddy Dole in trouble in the Chafee race in Rhode Island may sink them here — I guess defaulting to race-and-gay baiting tactics is okay when you’re running against Democrats, but not so good when they’re being used against other Republicans. Who knew.
There’s no way to know how this will affect Jay Fawcett’s chances yet, but it certainly can’t hurt. And as Markos says, it proves the value of the 50 state strategy and putting up candidates in every race whether they seem competitive at the outset or not.
You never know what those crazy GOP bastards are going to do next, and right now they seem fixated on eating their own.
Please stop by on Saturday and urge Jay on. He’ll also be joined by Bill Winter, his fellow Colorado House candidate who is taking Tancredo on. Howie Klein has more.