How many miles does an average person drive per year? According to AAA, the average American drives 12,500 miles per year. That number drastically reduced in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and multiple nationwide stay at home orders.
Unlike most average Americans, freshman GOP Representative Lauren Boebert states she traveled over 36,000 miles in less than seven months resulting in tax payers reimbursing her over $20,000.
Nonprofit watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability, has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Boebert, requesting an investigation into her excessive mileage reimbursements the candidate received from her 2020 campaign.
At issue are two mileage reimbursement payments to Boebert from her campaign: one on March 31, 2020, for $1,059.62, and another, filed Nov. 11, for $21,199.52.
It’s the second payment that’s raising eyebrows. At the federal reimbursement rate of 57.5 cents per mile, Boebert would have had to drive 36,868 miles in seven months to justify the amount.
That amount of mileage is equivalent to driving around the world one and a half times. To add further suspicion on the reimbursement, Boebert’s campaign did not keep records of the candidate’s expenses and has been unable to substantiate the mileage reimbursement.
In comparison, FEC records show Scott Tipton, the Republican who held the seat before Boebert ousted him in 2020, only reported around $10,000 in campaign travel expenses over the decade he held office, including airfare.
Adding to the intrigue: Colorado Newsline reports Boebert’s gun-themed restaurant, Shooter’s Grill, owed nearly $20,000 for several years’ worth of back taxes, related to unpaid unemployment insurance premiums. The liens were paid off in the weeks before the Nov. 3 election.
Mileage reimbursement is an unusual issue for a politician to become entangled because there is a simple solution: a candidate could voluntarily offer an explanation and proof for the expenses.
The issue with Boebert is that her campaign refuses to supply mileage logs, address the FEC complaint, or explain how the tax liens were paid off. If Boebert is expelled from Congress for misuse of campaign funds, this will be her last road trip as an elected official.