In a beguiling juxtaposition, Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn is set to hobnob with the country’s elite far-right movers and shakers at a fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans this weekend. The invitation to the swanky affair, hosted by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Focus on the Family exec Tom Minnery, describes Lamborn’s Republican primary opponents as “sore losers,” and even worse, “moderates.”A basic guest room at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans is priced at $519 tonight – a far cry from the $25 Sunday combo fundraiser/Italian dinner/karaoke/town meeting/swimming event that the freshman Lamborn held in his own district last October.
The New Orleans fundraiser is taking place during a gathering of the Council for National Policy, the shadowy organization formed in 1981 by Tim LaHaye and whose members read like a who’s who of the far right: James Dobson, Don Hodel, Grover Norquist, Pat Robertson, Robert Bork, Lou Sheldon, Tom DeLay, Bob Jones III, Phyllis Schlafly and Holland Coors and Jeff Coors, just to name a few.
The group meets regularly to set the Christian right-wing agenda nationally and plot how to pay to implement legislation in various states. (The press is never invited, though in October it was widely reported that some members, meeting in Salt Lake City, discussed whether to mobilize efforts to get behind a third-party candidate for president if the Republicans nominated someone like John McCain.)
In addition to Bachmann and Minnery (a longtime member of the Council for National Policy) tonight’s Lamborn fundraiser is being hosted by Colorado state Sen. Dave Schultheis and former Colorado Senate President John Andrews — both of whom are also longtime CNP members.
Here is the invitation to the event:
Members and Guests of the Council for National Policy are cordially invited to a reception honoring US Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-CO5
Friday, March 7, 5-6 p.m.
Crescent View Room Ritz-Carlton Hotel New Orleans
Suggested Donation $250
Hosts: US Rep. Michele Bachmann, State Sen. John & Donna Andrews, State Sen. David & Sandra Schultheis, Amb. Henry & Bobbye Cooper, David Keane, Tom Minnery, Ray & Gail Moore, Rod & Sherri Martin
Congressman Lamborn will discuss terrorism on the CNP Law & Justice panel earlier Friday. He is a co-founder of the House Caucus on Missile Defense. As a freshman in 2007, he topped the Congressional Quarterly rankings for voting against the Democrats more consistently than any other member, and he earned a 100 percent rating from the Club for Growth.
First elected from Colorado Springs in 2006, Doug Lamborn faces a tough primary this year against two sore-losing moderates whom he defeated last time. We as hosts would like to have you know this outstanding conservative and join us in supporting him.
RSVP on this email. Make checks to Lamborn for Congress. To donate by mail, write to Lamborn Committee, 1410 Grant #D-315, Denver CO 80203.
It’s not the first time that Andrews, who was term-limited from office in Colorado and has since taken up the cause of trying to term-limit judges, has lashed out at Republicans Jeff Crank and Bentley Rayburn, who both lost to Lamborn two years ago in a bitter, six-way primary to replace retiring Rep. Joel Hefley.
In a posting at his Web site, Backbone America, Andrews took issue last August with Crank and Rayburn’s decision to re-challenge Lamborn.
Calling for party “unity,” Andrews termed this year’s race “Diaper War IV” — and accused Crank and Rayburn of being “brooding also-rans.”
This week, Patrick Davis, who has been advising Crank on his campaign this year, said he was “surprised” when the Lamborn/CNP fundraiser invitation crossed his desk.
“I didn’t think he ran in those circles,” David said.
And actually, Davis, the former political director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee who currently lives in Colorado Springs, said he was invited to speak at the Council for National Policy’s confab this weekend about his most recent efforts to promote Mike Huckabee for president. He couldn’t make it, he said, because he has dad duty.
As for the 5th Congressional District race, Davis said he “wouldn’t be surprised if the criticisms get sharper and more personal” over the next several months.
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at The Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org