Ten days ago, freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign launched a wildly negative pre-emptive attack on her newly-filed primary opponent state Sen. Don Coram, broadcasting early her campaign’s well-grounded fear of a qualified Republican opponent. Much to the delight of Boebert’s detractors, Coram has demonstrated in this initial exchange of rhetorical fire that he has no intention of sitting passively while Boebert unleashes the trademark factually-challenged rageaholism against a fellow Republican that has typified her time in the public spotlight so far.
An examination by the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby today of Boebert’s allegations regarding Coram’s supposed “multi-year $25 million scheme to line his own pockets,” which were featured in a somewhat controversial above-masthead advertisement in that paper, debunks Boebert’s screeching broadside with very little effort:
Part of her campaign, which is running in newspaper ads and radio spots, says that one of the bills Coram helped pass, a bill he along with every other lawmaker in the House and Senate voted in favor of, created a new crowdfunding program designed to help get investment money for startups.
One such company was known as Paradox Ventures, of which Coram owned a minority share.
Boebert’s ads claim he made $25 million off of a CBD company in 2017 that amounted to $50,000 per acre of hemp crops, of which he had 500 acres.
Actually, Coram only had 20 acres of hemp, and the venture company went defunct two years ago because the endeavor produced no profits, Coram’s campaign said.
In short, Boebert’s entire attack on Coram is fictional. There was no $25 million, and the suppositions used to justify that completely speculative figure have no basis in reality.
But by trying to make this fictional ethics case against Coram, Boebert opened the door to revisiting very real ethics questions Boebert faces right now–and Don Coram didn’t hesitate to point out the obvious.
“If I wanted to make a million dollars, maybe I should try ‘consulting’ for an oil and gas firm for $500,000 a year and lie about it on public filings,” Coram said, referring to Boebert’s husband, Jayson. “That seemed to have worked out for others in this race.” [Pols emphasis]
We’ve written at some length in this space about Boebert’s strategy we call “hugging her scandals,” purposefully attacking others along lines that would seem on the surface to invite charges of hypocrisy. Examples of this strategy include Boebert’s abortive attempt to join the January 6th Select Committee as anything other than a suspect, and visceral smears against LGBT people to distract from decidedly immoral behavior by members of her own family. For Boebert to attack Coram for money Coram never made while refusing to answer questions about the questionably huge payouts her family has received from the oil and gas industry is…well, it’s audacious. As we’ve said for some time, it’s quite risky.
What was lacking before was an opponent to throw the hypocrisy back in Boebert’s face.
Now Boebert has one, and it could change the game.