We wanted to take note of a story this week from Briana Bierschbach and Hunter Woodall of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that sounded familiar even before Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was mentioned. Don’t stop us if you’ve heard this before, because we already know that you have:
Since launching his first campaign for the Second District in January 2020, Republican Second Congressional District candidate Tyler Kistner has reimbursed himself a total of more than $26,000 from his campaign accounts for mileage, which equates to roughly 46,000 miles, or around 84 miles per day through early July of this year. That’s the same as driving the width of the United States more than 16 times.
“Forty-six thousand miles is an awfully high number. Even if you’ve included driving out of state for things, that’s a lot,” said Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer and FEC expert at Washington, D.C., firm Harmon Curran. “There are plausible explanations for a high mileage reimbursement rate, but 46,000 is extremely high.”…
As we first reported last December, Boebert reimbursed herself for a ridiculous amount of “mileage” allegedly accrued during her 2020 campaign for Congress — money that suspiciously matched the amount that she needed in order to pay off a lien on her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado. Boebert’s mileage reimbursements worked out to about 37,000 total miles driven in about a 9 month period…which the Star-Tribune dutifully noted:
Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert faced scrutiny from ethics experts this year after she reimbursed herself more than $21,000 between April and early November of 2020, which would have equated to driving roughly 37,000 miles during that time period, which is more than the circumference of the planet. [Pols emphasis]
“I’m trying to think of a plausible explanation it would be so high,” said Kappel of Kistner’s nearly 46,000 miles over his two campaigns. “I’m having a hard time coming up with something.”
Kistner claims to have driven about 9,000 miles more than Boebert, though that was over a longer period of time; in terms of objective absurdity, Boebert’s mileage claims still garner the blue ribbon.
You might say that Boebert has been an inspiration to other Republicans across the country. Most people might say it differently.