I don’t often chase tweets … but when I do, it’s because I sincerely hope they go into the Congressional Record. In her continuing efforts to outdo fellow Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene for sheer loathsomeness, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado went on a rant Wednesday ostensibly protesting the treatment of her colleague, dentist-turned-seditionist Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, after the latter was censured for tweeting an anime clip that depicted him brutally killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Boebert, however, had remarkably little to say about Gosar, expending the bulk of her comments to attack House Democrats on unrelated subjects.
In a flailing rant delivered from the House floor, Boebert accused Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who she described as a member of the “jihad squad,” of paying Omar’s now-husband Timothy Mynett’s consulting company, E Street Group, from her campaign for work on her 2018 election and 2020 reelection efforts. The majority of those funds were paid prior to the couple’s marriage in March of 2020. A right-wing lobbying front group known as the National Legal and Policy Center had filed an Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint alleging the payments were improper due to the brimming relationship between Omar and Mynett, but the complaint was essentially moot due to the FEC losing its voting quorum as a result of the inaction of the Trump administration properly staffing the agency. As noted by a former FEC general counsel interviewed for The Washington Post, there would be nothing improper about such payments as long as genuine campaign work was performed, which by all evidence it was in Omar’s case.
And while such a heartfelt demonstration of concern for alleged campaign finance violations is laudable coming from anyone who has so closely aligned themselves with the former Trump administration, the fact is that such allegations had exactly zero relationship to Gosar’s censure. Boebert, obviously playing to the right-wing media in what has become the standard tactic for most House Republicans, would know that, but nonetheless found an uncalled-for opportunity to smear Omar with an ethnic slur as well as a criminal accusation.
Omar’s reply was succinct:
Omar’s reference to Boebert’s husband as a “pervert” stems from the arrest and sentencing in 2004 of Jayson Steven Boebert, now Lauren Boebert’s husband, where he exposed himself to two young women in a bowling alley (one of them, according to the incident report, was sixteen years old). He pled guilty to the offense of “public indecency and lewd exposure” (Lauren Boebert was with him at the time, although the two were not yet married) and was sentenced to four days of jail and two years’ probation.
As reported by Zachary Petrizzo writing for Salon, Jayson was arrested again that year (and convicted) for physically assaulting his future wife, Lauren. It’s not clear whether she was pregnant when her future husband attacked her, but Boebert gave birth to a child later that year.
The couple were married in 2007, and, as Petrizzo notes, Jayson Boebert is now a highly paid consultant for the natural gas industry. According to Petrizzo, Lauren Boebert, who “serves” on the House Natural Resource Committee overseeing that industry, failed to disclose her husband’s work in required finance filings.
So it’s not entirely clear whether Boebert’s rant was an attempt to deflect away from these revelations about her and her husband’s own finances (she also apparently paid herself $30,000 in mostly “mileage reimbursements” prior to even taking office); whether it was a clumsy attempt to pivot from her own reputed involvement with the Jan. 6 insurrection; or whether it was simply an opportunistic chance to yet again smear Omar (a perennial target of the right and Fox News) to distract from the fact of Gosar’s ignominious censure. Or all three of these.
In the end, it probably doesn’t matter. Gosar stands censured and has been removed from his committee memberships. Boebert is still a bigot married to an acknowledged sex offender and batterer. The people in both of their districts are getting the representation they voted for. And Omar’s tweet won the day.