Lauren Boebert joins a long list of GOP representatives with shady histories

Lauren Boebert joins a long list of GOP representatives with shady historiesMarch 9, 2021

If Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is the most QAnon-addled lawmaker in Congress, and North Carolina’s Madison Cawthorn is the shadiest grifter, then Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is perhaps the best (??) of both worlds: a gun-worshipping conspiracy enthusiast who, it turns out, may have been slightly less than forthcoming about the compelling personal narrative she used to get themselves elected in the first place.

At issue is Boebert’s repeated claim that she spent seven years volunteering and mentoring women at the local jail in Garfield County, Colorado — a line that wormed its way into her stump speech at least four times in the past year, according to ColoradoNewsLine.com. And while it’s true that Boebert did spend some time counseling inmates in the facility, public records obtained by ColoradoNewsLine.com show only nine instances of her volunteering at the jail — all between 2014 and 2016, with the bulk taking place in that last year, rather than over the seven-year spread she likes to tout.

Making matters worse, the same public records request also showed that Boebert claimed to have never been arrested when asked on a volunteer registration form prior to working at the jail. In reality, she has been arrested — twice. The first time was in 2015 for causing a scene at a music festival, where she allegedly shoved her way toward a group of suspected underage drinkers, to tell them that they hadn’t been read their Miranda rights and therefore weren’t under arrest. Those charges were later dropped, but only after a warrant was issued for her after she failed to appear for two separate court hearings.

She was then arrested a second time in 2017, four months after she rolled her truck into a ditch and was charged with reckless driving. As in 2015, the charges were eventually dropped in exchange for a guilty plea for an unsafe vehicle charge, but only after she once again failed to appear for a court date and was issued a warrant. This time she actually spent some time — a matter of hours — in the very same Garfield County Jail at which she would later volunteer. Indeed, her limited time at that facility was itself part of her campaign pitch, as Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario ended up endorsing her 2020 run, explaining that “People are allowed to change and to grow up — whatever.”

But time spent mentoring prisoners, and time spent in prison aside, the records obtained by ColoradoNewsLine.com also show that Boebert claimed to have no “personal relationship (relative, friend, ex-relative) with anyone who is now or has ever been incarcerated in the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility” despite her husband Jayson Boebert’s 2004 arrest in Garfield County for indecent exposure. He reportedly spent four days in jail as a result. (Notably, a teenaged Lauren was listed as a witness to the incident, which involved Jayson allegedly exposing himself to a group of women at a bowling alley, and chose to marry Jayson after his arrest.) Jayson was then arrested again that same year for a misdemeanor harassment charge against Lauren, whom he was now dating. He reportedly spent time in jail following that incident, as well.

Neither Boebert nor the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office responded to ColoradoNewsLine.com’s requests for comment.

Of course, being arrested, fudging your volunteer history, and occluding a loved one’s personal history is not in and of itself a career-ending sin. But it does speak to a growing trend within the far-right wing of the GOP — which is moving increasingly mainstream — wherein campaigns energized by compelling narratives are later discovered to be bogus. Is that enough to end the political careers of Boebert, Cawthorn, and the like? Given the rising popularity of Greene, probably the most odious of the three, it seems decidedly unlikely.

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