Colorado’s Boebert discloses husband’s work for energy firm

Political
Lauren Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and masking policies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert’s husband made $478,000 last year working as a consultant for an energy firm, information that was not disclosed during Boebert’s congressional campaign and only reported in her financial disclosure forms filed this week.

In paperwork filed with the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the Republican congresswoman reported that her husband, Jayson Boebert, received the money as a consultant to “Terra Energy Productions” in 2020, and earned $460,000 as a consultant for the firm in 2019.

Boebert did not report the income last year, when she stunned the political world by ousting incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton during the GOP primary in Colorado’s sprawling 3rd district, which stretches from ski resorts to energy-rich basins in the state’s west. Boebert went on to win the general election in the Republican-leaning district.

Ethics and campaign finance laws require candidates and members of Congress to disclose sources of their immediate family’s income, along with major investments and assets, to let voters evaluate potential conflicts of interest. Boebert has been a defender of the energy industry, which is very active in her district.

Boebert’s disclosure of additional household income came as the Federal Elections Commission this week asked her campaign for information about a series of campaign transactions. The FEC sought explanation of why the campaign sent Boebert $6,000 via Venmo in four separate transactions on May 3 and June 3. The campaign told the FEC the transactions were errors and have been refunded.

In her previous filing, Boebert reported her income as coming from a gun-themed restaurant she and her husband run in Rifle, Colorado, and an affiliated smokehouse. Boebert also listed “Boebert Consulting — spouse” on the candidate form, but listed her husband’s income source as “N/A.”

Kedric Payne, a former deputy chief counsel in the Office of Congressional Ethics who now works at the Campaign Legal Center, said Boebert should have fully disclosed the sources of her husband’s income last year.

“The spouse is supposed to disclose the source of all earned income and this doesn’t add up with what was in the prior filing,” Payne said,

“Mr. Boebert has worked in energy production for 18 years and has had Boebert Consulting since 2012,” Ben Stout, the congresswoman’s deputy chief of staff, said in an email. “For any other questions regarding the congresswoman’s finances, I’d refer you to the disclosure she filed.”

There is no company called Terra Energy Productions registered with the state. But Terra Energy Partners, a Houston-based firm that boasts it is “one of the largest producers of natural gas in Colorado,” has a heavy presence in Boebert’s district. The company did not return a call for comment.

Boebert has become a partisan lightning rod during her brief time in Congress, insisting on her right to bring a gun onto the floor of the House, voting to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in two states and maintaining a fiery presence on social media.

Her disclosure form reports that her restaurant, Shooters Grill, lost $143,000 in 2019 and $226,000 in 2020. Her candidacy was partly driven by her protest against lockdowns during the start of the pandemic last year, which she argued threatened businesses like hers.

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