COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (CBS/AP)
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:
Posted by KO