You’re pretty much begging to be investigated if you claim that you drove around the Earth 1-1/2 times in seven months during a pandemic and took a $21,000 mileage reimbursement from your campaign. And then paid off a state tax lien for about the same amount shortly after receiving those funds.
That’s the current reality for Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. The nonprofit watchdog group Campaign for Accountability has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against the recently sworn in member of Congress over the massive mileage reimbursement she took from her campaign in November 2020.
The gun-toting Boebert had been slapped with eight tax liens by the state of Colorado for failing to pay unemployment insurance premiums since opening her Rifle, Colo., Shooters Grill restaurant in 2013. It was only two weeks before the November election – and after the mileage reimbursement – that Boebert paid off the debt.
There’s a curious correlation between the timing of the mileage reimbursements she reported on her campaign finance disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission and the timing and amounts paid to satisfy the state tax liens. County records show that Boebert, a Trump acolyte who campaigned on a law and order platform, paid three of the liens, totaling $553.50, on Feb. 13, 2020. Two weeks later, on March 31, 2020, she claimed mileage reimbursements of $1,059.62.
The Campaign for Accountability alleges that Boebert’s campaign did not keep adequate records of the her expenses and has been unable to substantiate the mileage reimbursement.The campaign declined several requests from Colorado media outlets to provide evidence of her travel.
“Rep. Boebert’s mileage claim doesn’t pass the smell test,” CFA Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith said. “It’s also quite a coincidence that the amount she reimbursed herself is just a little more than the $19,000 in liens she repaid in October 2020.”