Allegations about Lauren Boebert continue to spread, despite lack of evidence
The same political group that helped overturn U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s reelection bid in North Carolina is now taking aim at Colorado’s West Slope provocateur, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert.
While the political action committee – American Muckrakers – spread a video in which Cawthorn was identifiable, its claims against Boebert, of Silt, are much more tenuous.
One rumor of an ATV accident in Utah holds a kernel of truth, though Boebert’s spokesman disputes major details. Other allegations, including that of working as a paid escort, appear based entirely on anonymous and heavily redacted sources. The Denver Post could not find any information or witnesses to support those claims. Some news outlets have run with the story, though, and the allegations continue to circulate widely on social media.
David Wheeler, a former Democratic candidate for the North Carolina Senate, said he couldn’t reveal his sources but said voters can look online and hear the audio recordings and read the text messages he’s collected.
“They can make up their own minds on whether they think it’s true or not,” Wheeler told The Denver Post.
He then called on Boebert to directly and specifically refute the allegations.
But one political scientist questioned whether American Muckrakers will have much of an effect on Boebert’s bid for a second term at all.
Even an ethics complaint submitted by the committee to Colorado’s Attorney General has yet to gain much traction. State officials are still investigating whether the congresswoman broke any laws by cashing in on large amounts of mileage reimbursements from her own campaign.
Others, like comedian Toby Morton, take a more traditional — albeit modernized — approach to attacking the character of far-right-wing politicians by creating websites bearing their names and highlighting aspects of their personal, professional and political lives.
Morton’s websites take aim at Republican U.S. representatives Devin Nunes (who resigned this year), Elise Stefanik, Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan and, of course, Boebert.
“We both want her out of there,” Morton, a Colorado native and former South Park writer, said of American Muckrakers. “They have their approach and I have mine.”
Rather than making allegations against Boebert, Morton’s site mostly uses her own words, tweets and comments against her.
Through it all, though, Boebert appears to maintain a firm hold on her sprawling West Slope district, which also covers Pueblo. To date, she has raised and spent more money than all of her challengers combined, campaign finance data shows.
She tweeted an apparent response to some of American Muckrakers’ allegations Tuesday evening:
“Fact Check: Not true.
Fake News. Four Pinocchios.
Y’all need Jesus!” she wrote.
Like Boebert, American Muckraker’s main weapon of choice is Twitter. Although the congresswoman boasts 1.4 million followers to the committee’s 26,000.
The committee launched the account @FireBoebert a year ago, soliciting any and all tips that might harm her and Cawthorn’s reelection efforts.
Among the evidence the committee gathered and published was a video of a naked Cawthorn grinding against another man.
Cawthorn lost his primary election in May and American Muckrakers turned its focus toward Boebert.
“We built a coalition & fired Madison Cawthorn in May 2022,” the Twitter bio currently reads. “Now, it’s Lauren Boebert’s turn to be fired.”
American Muckrakers first made waves in Boebert’s campaign earlier in June, publishing allegations about an all-terrain vehicle crash in 2020, just weeks before she ousted incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in the district’s primary election.
The committee claims that a drunken Boebert bailed out of the vehicle’s driver’s seat moments before a crash, leaving her sister-in-law, son and dog still inside. The allegations are paired with a recorded phone call, supposedly with that sister-in-law, confirming the details. She did not, however, respond to multiple calls or text messages from The Denver Post.
There was a crash, Boebert spokesman Ben Stout confirmed. But it was in 2019, not 2020. And the congresswoman hadn’t been drinking. Plus aspects of her sister-in-law’s injuries were heavily exaggerated or flat-out false, he said.
Among other things, American Muckrakers also alleged that Boebert had been an escort, a claim that Stout dismissed as “totally false.”
“If it’s true, release the evidence,” he said.
While the allegations spread rapidly on social media, especially Twitter, Donald Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University questioned whether they’ll have any effect on Boebert’s campaign.
“Before you get up in arms, if you’re a supporter (of Boebert), or get your hopes up, if you’re an opponent, be advised the ingredients of an actual impact aren’t apparent,” Green said.
Perhaps the most substantial ingredient would be if Republicans in former President Donald Trump’s political camp turned on Boebert in any noticeable way, Green said. They haven’t.
“In the case of Cawthorn, that was the crucial element,” Green said. “It wasn’t just the Never Trumpers saying nasty things about him. Even supporters of Trump started to wonder if this guy was going to be a millstone around their neck.”
Instead, those Republicans might start rallying behind Boebert instead, defending her against the claims, Green said. Short of that, eyewitnesses coming forward to corroborate the claims or new and substantial allegations, Boebert’s campaign appears unlikely to suffer from the allegations.
Wheeler said his efforts aren’t meant to tell voters what to do.
“Our job is to get information out about Lauren Boebert that has not been properly exposed,” he said. “We’re focused on information and facts about Lauren Boebert that we think voters ought to know.”
Morton, who is from Evergreen, said he’s not under any illusion that his websites are going to change the world, but he hopes they do encourage unaffiliated voters to go against Boebert. His website, thelaurenboebert.com, describes her as racist and a sympathizer of the right-wing conspiracy group, QAnon. It also brings attention to Boebert’s criminal record and that of her husband, alongside other aspects of her professional and political life.
Plus, Morton said, he enjoys the work.
“I did it because it was fun and it made me laugh,” he said. “I’m still going to keep doing it even if it doesn’t do anything.”
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