RIFLE, Colo. (KDVR) – Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign reimbursed her more than $20,000 for driving nearly 37,000 in about seven months, according to federal campaign reports.
The Federal Election Commission filings show that Boebert’s campaign reimbursed her $21,199.52 for mileage between April and Nov. 11, 2020. Candidates use the IRS mileage rate, which is 57.5 cents per mile. That means Boebert drove 36,869 miles in about seven months.
“It definitely stands out,” said Doug Spencer, a campaign finance expert and professor who’s visiting the University of Colorado Law School as Distinguished Faculty Fellow at The Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law. “I think the best baseline to compare her travel to (is) the people who’ve come before her.”
Scott Tipton represented Colorado’s Third Congressional District for 10 years before Boebert.
FEC filings show his campaign reimbursed him $9,797.72 for travel during the decade he was in office and campaigning. That’s less than half of Boebert’s reimbursement for seven months.
Boebert’s opponent in the general election, Diane Mitsch Bush, was reimbursed almost $850 for travel during the campaign.
To put the 36,869 miles in perspective, it amounts to 64 round trips between the ends of the district, Grand Junction and Pueblo, nearly one and a half trips around the Earth and almost one-sixth of the distance to the moon.
“I think it’s fair to expect that different members of Congress will travel different amounts,” Spencer said. “And I think that Congresswoman Boebert has a reputation for getting around her district quite a bit. So, it wouldn’t surprise me to see her travel expenses be higher, perhaps, than her predecessor.”
There are no public reports than an ethics complaint about the reimbursement has been filed with either the FEC or the House Ethics Committee.
Boebert responded to the reports on her personal Twitter page Wednesday.
Regarding the mileage reimbursement, Boebert’s campaign told FOX31:
“Mrs. Boebert ran as a grassroots candidate. 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. Colorado’s Third Congressional District encompasses more than 47% of Colorado and nearly 50,000 square miles. It should also be noted that posts on her campaign Facebook page represent a small sampling of her actual campaign calendar. She did not post every meeting, fundraiser or campaign event that required travel on social media.”