092220-Lauren Boebert 2-CPT

Christopher Tomlinson

Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Shooter’s Grill in Rifle had amassed a total of $19,552 in unpaid unemployment insurance premiums.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert amended her campaign finance reports this week that itemizes some of the reimbursements she received for mileage costs.

But the changes the Silt Republican made indicate that her campaign reimbursed her $2,152 more than she paid herself a week after winning the election in November, which had already raised eyebrows among her critics.

Instead of showing a single mileage reimbursement of $21,199, the revised report shows she was paid $17,280 for mileage, $866 for cab rides between Sept. 27 and Nov. 7, $2,152 for hotel stays and $3,053 for an unknown “travel reimbursement.”

That totals to $23,351.

Those reimbursements don’t include the $1,059 she gave herself for mileage in March, the $7,918 she received in September for undisclosed reasons, or the $714 she paid herself for Uber costs while in Washington, D.C., between Nov. 24 and Dec. 31.

Altogether, Boebert reimbursed herself more than $32,000, according to her campaign finance filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Boebert has maintained that she drove around the expansive district a lot, but the revised reimbursements makes it harder to account for how she could have driven more than 30,000 miles during that time, as she has claimed. That’s more than enough to circumnavigate the Earth.

Some analysis from other media outlets showed that it could be possible, but only if Boebert returned home after each public appearance. The existence of hotel stays, however, indicate she didn’t return to Silt after all of those trips.

With Boebert’s revised filing, it now shows that she gave herself about $5,000 more than her predecessor, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, had reimbursed himself during his entire 10 years in Congress.

Boebert has claimed that she did drive those miles, saying that some trips took longer because of last summer’s wildfires.

She also said she had to purchase new tires for a newly purchased vehicle because of all that driving, though her campaign filing doesn’t show any expense for such a purchase.

Her records also indicate that she reimbursed Lx Fangonilo, executive director of the Colorado Republican Party, $437 in mileage reimbursements on Dec. 11, more than a month after the election.

Boebert’s campaign could not be reached, but earlier this month she defended the mileage reimbursement on a Denver radio station, saying, “I drove tens of thousands of miles all throughout the district. I was somewhere new every single day.”

Her critics, however, continue to question those reimbursements and other financial issues, such as how Boebert could justify listing a financial loss in her financial disclosure reports to the FEC, but still afford a $550,000 home, new vehicles and income from a recently discovered oil and gas lease.

“Hiding personal finances is illegal, and always intentional,” said former state Rep. Bri Buentello, D-Pueblo, who has filed suit against Boebert for blocking her on Twitter and now is co-chair of Rural Colorado United, an anti-Boebert PAC. “Reimbursing yourself with tens of thousands of dollars and no receipts is just stupid.”

At about the same time the congresswoman was reimbursing herself travel costs, she also was paying off liens against her Rifle restaurant, Shooter’s Grill.

She’s had eight liens filed against her by the state for failure to pay premiums on her unemployment insurance, according to documents obtained by The Daily Sentinel from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Those records show that dating as far back as 2013, she owed $19,552 in unpaid premiums, including $5,380 in penalties and $3,556 in interest.

Boebert paid off the first two liens ($455) in February 2020.

On Oct. 22, the department released four other liens after she paid another $18,440 to the department, meaning she still owes $657 in unpaid premiums, interest and penalties.