Boebert Watch: Time to Give the Keyboard a Rest?

Lauren Boebert: only one of seven, but right now the squeakiest  wheel.
Photo Illustration Thomas von Bohlen
Lauren Boebert: only one of seven, but right now the squeakiest wheel.
Can there ever be too much coverage of Representative Lauren Boebert, the pistol-packin’ mother of four from Rifle who demands that she be allowed to carry her Glock everywhere in Washington, D.C., including the floor of the House, and who keeps shooting from the lip about everything from the "rigged" election to "big tech" restricting GameStop stock trading? Such pronouncements keep making headlines, but one reader recently suggested: “You need to cover our representatives that are doing positive things. Not this crazy person.”

Easier said than done. On January 25, we emailed the press secretaries of the other six Colorado representatives — Diana DeGette (CD1), Joe Neguse (CD2), Ken Buck (CD4), Doug Lamborn (CD5), Jason Crow (CD6), and Ed Perlmutter (CD7) — and asked what "positive things" they'd been up to in the first days of this congressional session. We didn't get any official responses that day, although we did start an active game of telephone tag with Jane Fillion of DeGette's office.

We emailed again on January 26. This time, Ashley Verville responded from Perlmutter’s office with a quote from the Congressman:

“I appreciate President Biden and Vice President Harris doing what they said they would do and immediately getting to work on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on a critical vaccine distribution strategy," Perlmutter offered. "Additionally, reversing some of the harmful directives of the previous administration by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and WHO, repealing discriminatory policies such as the Muslim travel ban or transgender military ban, and providing additional protection for Dreamers. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, it’s clear additional relief is needed for families, businesses, communities, and our healthcare system as well as more efficient production and distribution of the vaccine. I will remain focused on helping state and local governments backfill lost tax revenue due to the pandemic, passing the SAFE Banking Act to allow cannabis businesses to work with financial institutions, and working with the Biden-Harris administration as we rebuild our economy and tackle big issues such as infrastructure, housing, climate change and immigration.”

Our email box was empty on January 27. So on January 28, we sent follow-up queries to the press secretaries of every rep other than Boebert and Perlmutter. This time, Sally Tucker sent a response from Neguse’s office:

“Yesterday, Congressman Neguse reintroduced Ally's Act, his bill to ensure that private insurance companies cover specialized hearing devices. The bill is inspired by 11-year-old Ally, who wrote his office last year to share the issue and the need for a fix. Today Congressman Neguse is reintroducing his national pre-registration bill — the Next Generation Vote Act — to ensure pre-registration for 16 & 17 year-olds, as well as his resolution calling for a national strategy for biodiversity.

"In the first week of Congress, Congressman Neguse was selected by Speaker Pelosi to lead debate on the House floor around the electoral college certification process, he was one of four members tasked with this duty. Also…Congressman Neguse was selected as one of 9 house impeachment managers to prosecute the case against former President Trump in the Senate.”

And on January 29, we finally connected with Fillion:

“Just over a week into the new session, Speaker Pelosi asked Rep. DeGette to serve as one of the nine impeachment managers who are now responsible for presenting the House's case to impeach President Trump when the trial in the Senate gets underway next month. Since taking on the responsibility of being an impeachment manager, DeGette has spent a large amount of time preparing for trial.

"In addition to serving as an impeachment manager, DeGette is also focused on ending the pandemic and speeding up distribution of the vaccine. As chair of House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigation panel — which oversees FDA and CDC — DeGette will be leading a hearing next week on the ongoing efforts to distribute the vaccine and determine what more can be done to get more people vaccinated sooner.

"She’s also, among other things, working to re-introduce her Colorado Wilderness Act to permanently protect approximately 660,000 acres of wilderness in 36 distinct areas across Colorado, as well as a bill to strengthen the COVID-19 testing infrastructure.”

While another Westword reporter had been talking with Crow's office about his actions regarding ICE and the Aurora detention center, we never heard anything from Buck or Lamborn.

The silence from those Republican reps stood in stark contrast to the activity coming out of Boebert's office; even though her communications director had resigned less than a week into the session, the press releases kept flying...and Boebert kept tweeting. On January 27, she delivered this barb to David Hogg, survivor of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, via tweet:

click to enlarge Cyberbullying: Now, that's true courage. - TWITTER
Cyberbullying: Now, that's true courage.
There’s a lot in Boebert’s message with which to take issue, not the least of which is a Colorado representative attempting to make political hay out of ridiculing a victim of gun violence who's working tirelessly to make change from within the system. The shootings at Columbine are not so far removed from our state consciousness, nor should they ever be; the "face to face" questioning Boebert refers to was a 2019 encounter between Hogg and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who might be the only person on the planet who can make Boebert seem reasonable.

Still, there's the inherent hypocrisy of Boebert claiming that an activist with Hogg’s dignity in action is only “tough” when he’s not behind a keyboard...from the safety of her iPhone on Twitter. Time to give the keyboard a rest, Congresswoman?

So bear with us while we report on things that we wish weren’t true, for which we share a deep dissatisfaction and impatience and sorrow.  We’ll also keep reporting on Colorado’s politicians, both Democrat and Republican, who are sincerely working in the best interests of their constituents. But even while good and important work goes on, Boebert’s gonna Boebert.

Until Coloradans decide they’ve had enough.