Depending on the day, it often feels like there are countless topics to discuss when it comes to Rep. Lauren Boebert, our very own gun-toting, QAnon-loving, Donald Trump-lackey freshman representative of Colorado. As Daily Kos previously covered, eyes were on Boebert after her income disclosure reports revealed that her husband, Jayson Boebert, apparently failed to disclose more than $400,000 in income from energy consulting in 2020, with another $400,000 the year before that. Now, Boebert’s campaign filings are once again making headlines.
According to new filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Boebert paid rent and utilities with campaign funds, as reported by The Denver Channel. If that sounds like a violation of federal campaign finance laws to you, you’re right! The filings show Boebert reimbursed her campaign in four payments, including two for $2,000 each and two more at $1,325 each, totaling $6,650, made in May and June of 2021. Why were the payments originally made, and to whom? Let’s look at what we know—and what we don’t—below.
The payments were reportedly made to Jon Pacheco, whose address is listed as the same property as Boebert’s gun-themed restaurant (yes, really), “Shooter’s Grill.”
At this point, we don’t know a whole lot more. FEC officials have already reached out to the campaign for clarification about the July campaign finance report, and according to Jake Settle, a spokesperson for Boebert who spoke to Forbes about the incident, the payments have been described as a “personal expense.” That lines up with how the Venmo payments were identified on the report, as “Personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error.” This description also notes the expenses have been reimbursed.
However, as reported by Business Insider, simply reimbursing the expense is not necessarily the end of the road. While the spokesperson did not specifically comment on Boebert’s situation, they told the outlet that campaigns can still face legal action if they use funds for personal reasons, even if those funds are later reimbursed.
In addition to her husband’s before-mentioned energy sector consulting income, Boebert also raised some eyebrows regarding reporting her gas mileage expenses, at first claiming she drove more than 38,000 miles in just three months while on the campaign trail. To put this distance into perspective, that would be like driving across her home state of Colorado more than eight times per month. She also claimed more than $20,000 in reimbursement expenses, significantly more than her predecessors, as reported by The Denver Post at the time. Boebert maintained that her driving around and meeting folks face to face is what made her popular with constituents.
More information about the rent and utility payments, at least, may come out in the campaign’s next finance report, which is due in October.