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Complaint alleges Rep. Boebert illegally spent campaign funds leading up to 2022 election


Complaint alleges Rep. Boebert illegally spent campaign funds leading up to 2022 election

May 05, 2023 | 6:30 pm ET
By Lindsey Toomer
Complaint alleges Rep. Boebert illegally spent campaign funds leading up to 2022 election
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert speaks Sept. 10, 2022, during Club 20 Western Colorado Candidate Debates held at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Boebert debated her opponent Adam Frisch a Western Slope Democrat. (William Woody for Colorado Newsline)

A political action committee advocating against big money in political elections filed a complaint against U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert that alleges she illegally spent $60,000 on her 2022 campaign. 

End Citizens United filed the complaint with the Federal Election Commission Thursday claiming Boebert, a Silt Republican, used campaign funds on calls and texts that were not accurately reported. The group asked the FEC to investigate “this apparent violation” and fine Boebert and those involved the maximum amount permitted by law. 

“Congresswoman Boebert used her leadership PAC as a personal bank, but unfortunately for her, this practice is illegal under federal law,” End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller said in a statement. 

The complaint says that the We the People Leadership PAC, a PAC supporting Boebert, reported on Nov. 18, 2022 a disbursement of $53,760 to Telephone Town Hall Meeting, Inc for “get out the vote” calls and messages. That came after an earlier reporting of $6,221.73. The same day as the leadership PAC’s initial reporting, Lauren Boebert for Congress also reported paying $4,623.22 to the same communication company.

“The timing of the purchases, and the fact that they were made to the same vendor her campaign used, clearly illustrates that she was attempting to bypass federal law in order to either influence her own race or another campaign. The FEC should launch an investigation into this corrupt scheme and hold Congresswoman Boebert accountable,” Muller said.

Federal law says if a leadership PAC pays for communication coordinated with a candidate, it’s considered an in-kind, or non-monetary, contribution for the candidate. Contributions of this kind from a leadership PAC are limited to $5,000 per candidate per election. 

“Given the proximity of the communication to the election, the cost of the disbursement, and the purpose of the disbursement … it seems likely that the text messages and voter contact phone calls mentioned candidates or political parties and may have run in Boebert’s congressional district,” says the complaint from End Citizens United, which works to elect Democrats. “The fact that Boebert’s principal campaign committee paid the same vendor, on the same date — October 28, 2022 — for text message advertising, further suggests that the leadership PAC’s disbursement was either a contribution to Boebert’s campaign or an independent expenditure in support of Boebert and other candidates.” 

The leadership PAC did not report any independent expenditures or in-kind contributions during the 2022 election cycle, according to the complaint. 

Boebert has been subject to campaign finance complaints before, one directed to Colorado’s attorney general and another to the FEC, which dismissed it.

“This is another bogus complaint from a Democrat-controlled political action committee. Once we actually receive the complaint, that was leaked to the press and never sent to us, counsel will respond.” a spokesperson for Boebert said in a statement. “Having said that, because the allegations in the story were a matter where we received a legal opinion prior to taking action, we are confident there is nothing here and this is another baseless attack.”

The End Citizens United complaint was first reported by Newsweek.

Boebert represents the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses the Western Slope and the southwest corner of the state, sweeping east to include Pueblo, Otero and Las Animas counties.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:20 a.m., May 8, 2023, to include comment from a spokesperson for Boebert.