She paid out more than $22,000 to herself from campaign account; sum far surpasses predecessor’s reimbursements. Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, left, shakes hands with her supporter Patti Shear of Grand Junction during a campaign event in Collbran, Colorado on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert paid herself more than $22,000 in mileage reimbursements from her campaign account last year. Boebert’s campaign defends the reimbursements but three ethics experts who reviewed the money transfers for The Denver Post say they raise questions. Candidates for federal office can legally reimburse themselves for miles driven in personal vehicles using the Internal Revenue Service’s mileage rate, which was 57.5 cents per mile for 2020. The Republican congresswoman from western Colorado wrote two checks totaling $22,259 from her campaign coffers for mileage between January and mid-November. To justify those reimbursements, Boebert would have had to drive 38,712 miles while campaigning, despite having no publicly advertised campaign events in March, April or July, and only one in May. Furthermore, because the reimbursements came in two payments — a modest $1,060 at the end of March and $21,200 on Nov. 11 — Boebert would have had to drive 36,870 miles in just over seven months between April 1 and Nov. 11 to justify the second payment. “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. Boebert’s former campaign manager and her finance director declined to comment or provide evidence Boebert drove nearly 39,000 miles last year. In a statement, her campaign defended the reimbursements, saying Boebert ran a grassroots campaign and traveled often. “She traveled to every nook and cranny of the district to speak with and hear from the people about their concerns. They say showing up is 90% of the battle and Lauren always showed up. Her aggressive travel schedule is a big reason she won,” the statement said. Boebert’s reimbursements to herself in one year eclipse her predecessor’s reimbursements over 10 years. Republican Rep. Scott Tipton reimbursed himself $9,797 from campaign coffers for all travel expenses — including airfare — during a decade representing the same district. He also reimbursed himself $9,575 from his office account for mileage in that time period.

via denver post: Rep. Lauren Boebert’s mileage reimbursement “raises red flags,” ethics experts say

Lauren Boebert (cropped).JPG
By <a href=”//” title=”User:Jeffrey Beall”>Jeffrey Beall</a> – <span class=”int-own-work” lang=”en”>Own work</span>, CC BY 4.0, Link