Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was thrown out of a theater in Denver in September while attending a performance of Beetlejuice: The Musical. Boebert was reportedly vaping in the theater, taking photographs, and engaging in consensual touching with her date.
Shortly afterward, Boebert revealed that she was no longer seeing her date, a man identified as the owner of a bar in Aspen. He is reportedly a Democrat whose bar hosted gay-friendly and drag events.
Now, just as the Beetlejuice affair seemed set to fade into the past, there’s a potential campaign finance controversy afoot. According to Politico, Boebert’s campaign spent $317.48 at that very bar, Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar, back in July. Politico reported on it, citing campaign finance disclosures.
The expense was described as “event catering.”
Is this illegal? Almost certainly not. It’s a fairly small amount of money, and campaign finance laws do not prohibit campaigns from spending money at a business owned by a man who is romantically involved with the candidate. It’s also not entirely clear when Boebert and the bar owner started dating. It is possible that they met for the first time at the July event.
It’s more of an example of hypocrisy. Boebert has often been critical of drag shows and LGBTQ-friendly policies. Her patronage of such a venue may be of interest to some of her donors.
President Joe Biden has announced plans to visit Boebert’s district and stop at CS Wind, the largest wind tower manufacturer in the world.
Biden’s visit will be about “mobilizing companies to invest in clean energy industries and create good-paying jobs in communities across the country, including Colorado’s third congressional district,” the White House announced.
According to The Hill, Biden specifically mentioned CS Wind as being in Boebert’s district, noting that Boebert had voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, which helped build its plant.
Boebert’s re-election campaign is thought to be in some trouble. She won the closest congressional campaign in the country in 2022, against Democrat Adam Frisch. Frisch is running against her again and has run up massive advantages in fundraising. He pulled in $3.4 million in campaign cash in the third quarter, which is more than some major Senate candidates raised.
Only one poll has been released of the race so far, and Frisch’s campaign bankrolled it. However, that didn’t stop Boebert from raising money off the poll, which showed Frisch leading the race by 2 points.
“If we don’t turn things around quickly, we could lose this seat to the Democrats. I can’t believe I’m saying those words, but I need you to understand how dire this situation is. [Frisch’s] latest internal polls have him beating us by two points,” Boebert said in the campaign email in late August, the Aspen Daily News reported.
“If the Election were held today … Lauren would lose,” the email added, although such gloom and doom is a common feature of campaign finance email campaigns by both parties.
Back in Washington, Boebert defended Matt Gaetz, her fellow GOP hardliner, amid calls to expel Gaetz from Congress.
“My colleagues would be sorely mistaken to take a childish, vengeful route and try to expel my friend @MattGaetz for standing up to failed leadership,” Boebert wrote last Wednesday on X, after Gaetz instigated the process of removing former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Boebert had been part of the group opposed to McCarthy’s run for the speakership, although she voted against the motion to remove him.
Also, Boebert mocked her fellow Republicans for their inability to choose a new House speaker.
“Colorado’s Bigfoot could get 217,” Boebert said on X, referencing recent reports of Bigfoot sightings in that state.
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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.