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Colorado congresswoman repays personal campaign expense, experts say FEC may still act

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 1:22 PM MDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Republican Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s campaign is drawing attention after it used campaign money for her personal expenses — business rent and utilities.

In August, the Federal Elections Commission [FEC] sent a letter to Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s campaign treasurer raising questions surrounding four Venmo transactions.

The campaign admits each covered personal expenses.

Gray Television’s Washington News Bureau asked spokesman for Congresswoman Boebert about the expenses, totaling $6,650. He said in an email, “The funds were reimbursed months ago when Rep. Boebert self-reported the error.”

Gray Television’s Washington News Bureau also reached out to the FEC to confirm whether the money was paid back and whether it still has outstanding questions about the payments.

The FEC said it can’t comment.

Campaign finance experts, like Craig Holman says, self reporting and reimbursements don’t necessarily mean Boebert is in the clear.

Holman said, “She’s [Boebert] got a pattern of omissions when it comes to financial disclosure reports, and I think the FEC is going to take a look at that.

In August, news broke that Boebert did not disclose almost a half million dollars her husband made in the energy industry. Ethics and campaign finance laws require candidates and members of Congress to disclose how immediate family members make money so voters know about potential conflicts of interest.

Holman, who is a lobbyist for campaign finance and ethics reform and adjunct professor at George Washington University, said the FEC may consider Boebert’s past disclosure issues in determining whether she intentionally misused campaign money.

Holman said, “I’ve got a feeling the FEC is not going to be satisfied just with the reimbursement, and they’re going to level some financial penalties against her.”

Holman also said ultimately it will political appointees on a split FEC panel who decide whether to fine the Boebert campaign.

The FEC has the authority to fine the campaigns double the amount of the money spent… so in this case that’s up to 13 thousand- three hundred dollars.

Congresswoman Boebert declined to be interviewed for this story.

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