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Journalists have been asking U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) for documentation to support a reimbursement of $22,259 for mileage driven during her successful election campaign last year.
Boebert said she might provide her proof with journalists “if I liked them.”
“Maybe if I liked them, I would throw them a little something,” Boebert told KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky Wednesday morning.
Apparently, she does not, as she declined recent requests from The Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter and Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) Andrew Kenney and Caitlyn Kim to provide it.
Following up on information first uncovered by ColoradoPols, The Post calculated that Boebert needed to have driven 38,712 miles during the 2020 campaign to justify the reimbursement, and The Post and CPRwere unable to figure out how she could have reached that number of miles. They analyzed Boebert’s travel schedule and other public information.
Boebert said on the radio that the Glenwood fires caused her to put extra miles on her vehicle, beyond what would be expected based on her schedule.
“We had to take the long way,” said Boebert, due to the fires. “To get from Rifle to Edwards, which should be a 40-minute drive, it took us nearly seven hours to get around it. I mean, absurd. It was like, ‘Can we cancel this event? No, we can’t. We are going to be with these people. They set this up an event for us. We will make a way when there is no way.’”
Boebert’s mileage total is an outlier among elected officials.
“This highly unusual amount of mileage expenses raises red flags and the campaign should feel obligated to provide answers,” said Kedric Payne, a former investigator for the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body in Congress that examines misconduct allegations, told The Denver Post.
Pressed gently by Kaminsky, Boebert said, “I drove tens of thousands of miles all throughout the district. I was somewhere new every single day.”
“I am doing the work of the people. I had to make those connections. And really, I under-reported a lot of stuff,” she added.
She said she and her campaign driver, now a co-worker, put “more than 30,000 miles” on her vehicle.
“I was able to do a lot of work, while she did the driving,” said Boebert.
“I drove the tires off my car,” said Boebert, explaining that she had to buy a “whole new set of tires” for her car.
A left-leaning nonprofit government watchdog group has filed a complaint against Boebert based on her mileage reimbursments with the Federal Election Commission.
Editor’s note: This article was first posted on the Colorado Times Recorder on Feb. 10. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on Friday delved into the timing and the details of Boebert’s recent payment of a stack of state liens on her Rifle restaurant for unpaid unemployment insurance.