U.S. Rep. Makes 'Threatening' Calls To Critics

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn



A local couple is complaining that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn left them two threatening voice mails after they wrote a letter criticizing his fundraising.

Jonathan Bartha and Anna Bartha told The Denver Post that Lamborn said there would be "consequences" if they did not withdraw their letter.

"We felt very threatened and intimidated, and quite frankly, scared," Anna Bartha said. "It was just not anything we would ever anticipate an elected official would pursue or a way that an elected official would conduct himself."

The Post reported that when asked whether his messages were threatening, Lamborn said: "No, that is ridiculous. My hope, I failed, but I had hoped to meet with them privately and confidentially because lying is a serious matter."

Asked what he meant by consequences, Lamborn said: "When someone tells a lie, it just has bad consequences."

No comment was available from the couple Sunday. A person who answered the phone listed in their name said they did not live there.

There was no immediate response to a message left at Lamborn's Washington office.

The Barthas' letter to The Woodmen Edition criticized Lamborn for accepting $1,500 in campaign contributions from the gambling industry. Federal records confirm the donations were accepted, but Lamborn said he returned them. He did not say when, and The Post said there is no federal record of them being returned.

Lamborn's voice mails urged the couple as "brothers and sisters in Christ" and implored them to call him back to discuss their "blatantly false" letter.

Jonathan Bartha is employed by Focus on the Family. His wife, a board member of Falcon School District 49, worked for two months as a scheduler for candidate Jeff Crank during a bitter, six-way Republican primary race for the 5th Congressional District seat.

Lamborn has written an open letter to the chairman of the GOP in El Paso County, Greg Garcia, asking him to investigate the letter.

Text Of Jonathan And Ann Bartha's Letter, Which Appeared In The Woodmen Edition, August 24


We are conservative Republicans and believe in the individual freedoms granted to us by our Founding Fathers. However, there are moral limits that caring individuals can embrace without sacrificing the value of personal fiscal responsibility.

Recently, we have discovered that earlier this year 5th District Congressman Doug Lamborn accepted a $1,000 campaign contribution from International Game Technology PAC. IGT is one of the largest manufacturers of gambling equipment in the world. Last summer, Congressman Lamborn also accepted a $500 campaign contribution from the operator of Bronco Billy's casino of Cripple Creek.

As a congressman who ran of a platform of fiscal responsibility and traditional family values, we're hard pressed to understand why he has accepted money from an industry that tears at the social fabric of our country.

Congressman Lamborn also showed a lack of discretion earlier this legislative session when he voted against Sen. Wayne Allard's (R-Colo.) bill to stiffen penalties against the practice of dog fighting. (He was the only member of the Colorado delegation to do so.) This bill passed by an overwhelming margin and has been signed into law by President Bush.

Evidence of assertions in our letter:

  • $1,000 IGT contribution (http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_give/2007_H6CO05159)
  • $400 contribution from Marc Murphy of Bronco Billy's Casino (http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_ind/CO0420745/H.R.137)
  • Title: To amend title 18, United States Code, to strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting, and for other purposes. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR00137:@@X)

    Jonathan and Ann Bartha

    Text Of Two Voice Messages That Rep. Doug Lamborn Left On The Home Telephone Of Jonathan And Anna Bartha, As Reproduced In The Denver Post:

    FIRST MESSAGE: "Hello, this is Doug Lamborn calling for either Jonathan or Anna. Something very serious has happened. There was a letter to the editor that you both put in your names to the editor of the Woodmen Edition and there is something that is blatantly false in that letter.

    "I would like to get together with you and show this to you and appeal to you as a brother and sister in Christ. You didn't give me that opportunity but I am happy to overlook that and deal with you on that level because I think that is the right thing to do and show you where you made a blatant, wrong statement.

    "Now there are consequences to this kind of thing, but I would like to work with you in a way that is best for everyone here concerned. So please call me at your earliest convenience. It is now 2:40 (p.m.) on Saturday afternoon.

    SECOND MESSAGE: "Hello, this is Doug Lamborn again, I'm finishing up my message from a moment ago. I got cut off. It is critical that you get back to me as soon as possible on this because I'll be going back to Washington here in a few days and I have to make sure that this is resolved one way or another. And like I said I'd rather resolve this on a Scriptural level but if you are unwilling to do that I will be forced to take other steps, which I would rather not have to do. So please call me. This is essential. Call me by tonight, Saturday night and we can get together sometime Sunday afternoon."
  • Posted by KO

    The Associated Press and CBS News contriburted to this report.