U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert paid herself greater than $22,000 in mileage reimbursements from her marketing campaign account final 12 months. Boebert’s marketing campaign defends the reimbursements however three ethics consultants who reviewed the cash transfers for The Denver Publish say they increase questions.
Candidates for federal workplace can legally reimburse themselves for miles pushed in private autos utilizing the Internal Revenue Service’s mileage fee, which was 57.5 cents per mile for 2020. The Republican congresswoman from western Colorado wrote two checks totaling $22,259 from her marketing campaign coffers for mileage between January and mid-November.
To justify these reimbursements, Boebert would have needed to drive 38,712 miles whereas campaigning, regardless of having no publicly marketed marketing campaign occasions in March, April or July, and just one in Might. Moreover, as a result of the reimbursements got here in two funds — a modest $1,060 on the finish of March and $21,200 on Nov. 11 — Boebert would have needed to drive 36,870 miles in simply over seven months between April 1 and Nov. 11 to justify the second fee.
“This extremely uncommon quantity of mileage bills raises crimson flags and the marketing campaign ought to really feel obligated to supply solutions,” mentioned Kedric Payne, a former investigator for the Workplace of Congressional Ethics, an unbiased physique in Congress that examines misconduct allegations.
Boebert’s former marketing campaign supervisor and her finance director declined to remark or present proof Boebert drove almost 39,000 miles final 12 months. In an announcement, her marketing campaign defended the reimbursements, saying Boebert ran a grassroots marketing campaign and traveled typically.
“She traveled to each nook and cranny of the district to talk with and listen to from the folks about their considerations. They are saying exhibiting up is 90% of the battle and Lauren at all times confirmed up. Her aggressive journey schedule is a giant purpose she gained,” the assertion mentioned.
Boebert’s reimbursements to herself in a single 12 months eclipse her predecessor’s reimbursements over 10 years. Republican Rep. Scott Tipton reimbursed himself $9,797 from marketing campaign coffers for all journey bills — together with airfare — throughout a decade representing the identical district. He additionally reimbursed himself $9,575 from his workplace account for mileage in that point interval.
For additional comparability, U.S. Rep. Don Younger, who represents the biggest district within the nation — the whole state of Alaska — reimbursed himself $9,965 for all journey, together with airfare, from his marketing campaign account final 12 months.
The Publish catalogued all 80 public occasions Boebert hosted throughout the huge 3rd Congressional District final 12 months — as recorded on the “Occasions” tab of her Facebook page — and used international positioning software program to calculate the space pushed to, from and between them — assuming Boebert attended each occasion on the schedule and started and ended every day at her residence in Silt.
Boebert, a prolific in-person campaigner, traveled 17,623 miles between public occasions final 12 months, based on the Publish’s evaluation. In its assertion, the marketing campaign mentioned the Fb occasions had been solely “a small sampling” of her marketing campaign calendar and didn’t embody each “assembly, fundraiser or marketing campaign occasion.”
Boebert’s funds had been publicly disclosed in Federal Election Commission filings and first published by the Democratic blog Colorado Pols. No formal complaints concerning the reimbursements have been publicly reported. Each the FEC and Workplace of Congressional Ethics have jurisdiction if there was a violation.
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