Prior to the GOP’s narrow takeover of the U.S. House in the 2022 midterms, Colorado’s then-freshman all-purpose blowhard Rep. Lauren Boebert ostentatiously refused to pass on requests for so-called “earmarks,” otherwise known as specific funding appropriations for numerous projects in her district, decrying Democratic leadership for engaging in a process she condemned as corrupt. At the same time, Boebert rushed to take credit for funding allocated to projects in CD-3 carried by Colorado’s Democratic lawmakers–despite voting against the legislation that appropriated the money.
After Republicans retook control of the House last year, the GOP House conference voted overwhelmingly to keep “earmarks,” thus putting Boebert is a difficult position that she resolved by simply asserting that Republicans had “fixed earmarks.” In March, the Grand Junction Sentinel reported that Boebert’s office was accepting appropriations requests. To our knowledge, Boebert hasn’t had the opportunity to vote on any of those newly acceptable requests that made it into legislation, and simply accepting requests doesn’t entitle Boebert to any credit if she votes against the bill containing them.
But as readers know, neither eschewing earmarks nor voting against appropriations bills containing funding for CD-3 projects has ever stopped Boebert from demanding credit for them. Again, these are line-items that in many cases Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Senators and Democratic majority members of Congress are responsible for winning, after which Boebert swoops in for wholly undeserved credit.
Today, in a letter to the editor of the Grand Junction Sentinel, Sen. John Hickenlooper took the gloves off in responding to Boebert’s flip-flop on to bringing home the proverbial bacon for her district–deservedly, since Boebert demands credit for what is in many cases Hickenlooper’s efforts and (most importantly) votes:
Rep. Lauren Boebert recently announced in this paper that she had reconsidered and now supports Congressionally Directed Spending, or earmarks as they’re sometimes known. She defended this change of heart by saying that she helped “fix” the process by stripping out “corrupt, vote-buying behavior” that supposedly marred the program over the past two years. (That didn’t stop her from taking credit for these projects once they were passed into law without her support.)
Maybe the $1.4 million for the city of Grand Junction to build affordable housing was the problem. Or the $1 million to build the Glenwood Springs South Bridge project to provide crucial emergency routes and improved access — funding that was apparently only corrupt when someone else requested it, because she submitted the exact same project for consideration this year. Or money to shore up disaster response efforts in Monte Vista, establish a comprehensive medical care program in Pueblo, and develop a new engineering degree program at Adams State University in Alamosa? You get the idea, and these are only a few of the $60 million in projects over two years we were able to fund across Rep. Boebert’s district. She steadfastly voted against all of them… [Pols emphasis]
The simple truth is that earmarks, Congressionally Directed Spending, or whatever you want to call it, help Colorado get our fair share of federal funding. The funds we requested are our priorities because they are your priorities. We stand behind every single one of them and will keep fighting tooth and nail to make sure Colorado — all of Colorado — gets its fair share every single year. I won’t break the law or my values for this state, but I’ll do damned near everything else to make sure we get the help we need. I’m glad Rep. Boebert has come around and I look forward to working with her to support all the great work Congress is trying to do for Colorado. But it doesn’t make sense to call the last two year’s worth of projects corrupt without telling these communities which of them didn’t deserve the money. [Pols emphasis]
Hickenlooper goes on to link to “every project we’ve funded across Colorado’s 3rd District over the last two years — despite Rep. Boebert’s opposition.” It’s a long list, but our brief examination failed to turn up anything nefarious. Many of these line-items are projects that Boebert has praised, with the usual convoluted excuses about voting against them after helping insert them into bills that passed without her help. There is absolutely no good reason for Democrats to allow Boebert to get away with this deception any longer now that she’s one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in Congress.
The gauntlet at last is thrown. Time for Boebert to stop stealing the credit for other people’s work.