Representative Lauren Boebert isn't the first controversial Colorado politician to reimburse herself an excessive amount for travel — in this case, $22,259 for a reported 36,868 miles driven since April. In doing so, she's following in the well-worn tire tracks of 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes.
Maes surprised the Colorado GOP by winning the primary, then was largely abandoned by the party after questions were raised about his record, capped by a $17,500 fine for campaign-finance violations connected with a mileage reimbursement of nearly $45,000 over a sixteen-month period from 2009 into 2010. Maes was soundly defeated by Democrat John Hickenlooper in that November's election, garnering only 11 percent of the statewide vote, less than a third of the ballots collected by Tom Tancredo, himself a former Republican congressman who left the GOP to run as an American Constitution Party candidate for governor that year.
Boebert, never one to shy away from the spotlight brought by controversy, defended her actions on her personal Twitter account, doubling down on the mileage claim and spinning the numbers like a tire stuck during mud season. “My district is one of the largest in the country,” she tweeted. “Glad the media wrote a story about the hard work I put into my campaign.”
But as members of the media have pointed out, Boebert’s predecessor, Republican Scott Tipton, represented the same territory in Congress — which he perhaps needed to travel a little more if he wanted to secure the primary nomination in 2020. Tipton was reimbursed $12,255 for all expenses accumulated over his five two-year terms; Boebert claimed almost twice that much for just eight months.
And where, exactly, did Boebert go when so much of the state was shut down? An eagle-eyed informant allegedly sent us what he spied on a single page of an open mileage log sitting on the passenger seat of a gunmetal 2016 RAM 1500 with a bumper sticker that said “This is 1776” parked in front of Shooters Grill in Rifle. Could this be a piece of Boebert's mythical mileage log?
- October 6, 2020: Drove around all day waving at everyone I saw, slowing down to point at my campaign sign. I still can’t believe I beat Tipton. When I went to yell “Hell no” at Beto (can I claim that 400-mile round trip?), I was just trying to sell more T-shirts on my restaurant website, and now I could become one of a select few charged with guiding America into its future. You know, instead of being charged with disorderly conduct or reckless driving or whatever. (Mileage: Didn’t keep track. Need to write this down next time. Maybe 100?)
- October 7, 2020: Have to look more educated, so I drove around the parking lots of all the colleges and universities in the state so when the lamestream media asks, I can honestly say that I went to several institutions of higher learning. When they ask where, I can answer resolutely: all of them. (Mileage: I tried to keep track, but I can’t read what I wrote. It was a lot, though. I think I underclaimed yesterday, so today let’s say 15,000.)
- October 8, 2020: Went to the shooting range. Put Nancy Pelosi’s face over all the targets. Marjorie Taylor Greene was right — it does inspire better aim! (Mileage: 26x2=50 something)
- October 9, 2020: Had to drive Jayson to a bowling alley in Denver for league play, as he’s no longer allowed to bowl in Glenwood Springs since that whole exposing-himself-to-women stuff back in 2004. Like I tell him now every time I drop him off at the lanes: Keep it in your pants! It’s these small moments, the little jokes, that make this whole crazy thing we call marriage work. (Mileage: 196x2=392. I finally got a calculator!)
- October 10, 2020: Drove over to get groceries, had to come all the way back because not even Walmart will let anyone in without a mask these days. Stupid sheeple. My plan when I go back is to enlighten everyone about how masks are just a tool of control for the Democrat Party, and take it off proudly in the checkout line. Everyone will clap. And then vote for me. This is a great idea. Must mention this to campaign manager. (Mileage: 18x4=72)
- October 11, 2020: Went to OfficeMax to buy this mileage log. Will need to backdate everything since April so I can claim it. Over 50 cents a mile? Yes, please! Our new friend Donald was right. This politics thing is a gold mine. (Mileage: 3x2=697)