Former Staffer Sues Colorado Congressman For Rampant COVID A**holery
Unlike the Coloradans who have to suffer having him as their congressional representative, we had largely forgotten about US Rep. Doug Lamborn, who hasn't been mentioned in Wonkette for a while. Leastwise not since 2011, when Lamborn was so upset about what a terrible president Barack Obama was that he said being associated with the 44th president was like being stuck to a "tar baby," not that he meant it in a racist way or anything. In 2012, Lamborn saw no need to apologize to a witness against mountaintop removal coal mining, simply because she'd been grilled about "child pornography" by Capitol Police after she submitted a professional photo of a 5-year-old being bathed in polluted orange water. (No, it was not pornographic. Bathing in mining waste is obscene, to be sure, but not porn.)
More recently, Lamborn also made our list of Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election, but that's hardly even much of a distinction in the House anymore.
In conclusion, what a dipshit, the end! Oh, hold on: There's the actual new news about Rep. Lamborn, which is that he's being sued by a former staffer who says Lamborn's "reckless" attitude toward COVID-19 created a dangerous environment in Lamborn's Washington DC office, and that Lamborn exposed his staff to the virus.
The suit alleges the congressman flouted U.S. House safety rules, ignored warnings about unsafe conditions, and required staff to provide personal favors and tasks for the congressman's family.
The suit also accuses the congressman of sleeping in his congressional office in D.C. after he knew his staffers were exposed to the coronavirus.
Well that's not good! The complaint, by Lamborn's former military aide Brandon Pope, says that the congressman was a right tosser when it came to following public health guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus.
Lamborn did not require employees in the District Office to wear masks, claiming that he would not allow House Leadership to dictate how he ran his office, and he did not permit all employees to social distance. Worse, when Lamborn and other senior members of his staff became infected with COVID-19 in the fall of 2020, Lamborn refused to implement or follow reasonable and responsible COVID-19 protocols.
Pope's suit alleges Lamborn called the virus "a hoax" during staff meetings in April 2020. By October 2020, a series of employees would become infected with COVID-19, according the suit. Lamborn reportedly tested positive in November 2020, according to the suit and multiple media reports.
Well then, guess he showed Nancy Pelosi she couldn't boss him or his office staff into protecting their health. We bet Lamborn took some kind of satisfaction from knowing that he remained the master of his own fate, and that of the hirelings who had to breathe in his respiratory particles.
The suit also alleges that Lamborn continued to sleep in his office in October even after some of his staff had contracted the virus. But doesn't Mr. Pope understand that Republican members of the House refuse to waste taxpayers' money on "hotel" or "apartment" when they have a week of voting to do? Clearly the cost of "treatment for COVID-19" was a far better use of the American people's money.
Pope claims he was fired on December 7 last year after bringing up his concerns about the office's infamous safety problems. Lamborn also allegedly told another staffer he "did not care" if people in his office got infected; presumably because the virus was a hoax in the first place.
Why yes, there's more! The lawsuit also alleges that:
• After Lamborn's Washington office closed because of an outbreak, his chief of staff told employees not to tell anyone they had been in close contact with people who tested positive for the virus
• Employees were not allowed to work from home or isolate after their bosses were in contact with several infected staffers
• Both Lamborn and his wife claimed the pandemic was a hoax "being used to alter the course of the congressional and presidential elections"
Beyond the COVID stuff, there are other allegations of unethical behavior in the lawsuit. Lamborn is said to have made staff run errands for him and his family, including "loading furniture," which might explain why so many office jobs want you to be able to lift 50 pounds. Staffers were also allegedly pressured to use their own time and office-work time to do campaign work like prepping mailers, and they were expected to buy Christmas and birthday presents for Lamborn and his wife.
And then there's Lamborn's large adult son, whom staffers were required to help with job applications and interview preparation. Our favorite bit is that the suit alleges Lamborn allowed his son to live in a basement storage area of the US Capitol for several weeks while the lad was relocating to Washington.
We're thinking there's not much of a market for Republican Congressional Living magazine.
Lamborn's office has issued the standard denial, saying in a statement that
The workplace safety allegations made by Mr. Pope are unsubstantiated and did not result in the termination of his employment. Congressman Lamborn looks forward to full vindication as all facts come to light.
Perhaps his office will insist it was actually someone else entirely who took up residency in that basement storage area in the Capitol.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.