In the few weeks in office as the U.S. Congressional Representative for Colorado’s sprawling 3rd District, Lauren Boebert has elicited a tidal wave of media attention along with deep concerns from critics, many of whom are calling for investigations into her ties to right-wing groups that were instrumental in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Among those calling for an official look into her associations, alleged and otherwise, are a host of county commissioners from around the district, including San Miguel County and Boebert’s home county, Garfield. She’s upsetting people.
Her first upset was that of her opponent Scott Tipton in the Republican primaries leading up to the 2020 election. Tipton, who had served for almost 10 years in Washington D.C., was thought nearly invincible in a district whose constituents live in rural ranch and farm land, mountain town communities, and larger urban areas such as Pueblo, Grand Junction, Durango and Glenwood Springs. Boebert’s campaign was light on policy, but high in right-wing rhetoric that appealed to Trump supporters and gun rights enthusiasts. It also contained a whiff of conspiracy theory as she alluded to the legitimacy of QAnon.
For a district with far-ranging issues such as those surrounding water, the effects of climate change, the pandemic and eventual post-pandemic economic recovery, San Miguel County Commissioner Hilary Cooper is concerned that Boebert is not truly representing the district’s needs.
“The only thing she talks about is her gun,” Cooper said. “I don’t care about that. We need her to work for us, and she’s not working for us.”
A long list of the district’s elected officials signed off on a recently penned open letter calling for an investigation into Boebert’s actions and associations related to the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol. Cooper’s name joins that of her fellow commissioners Kris Holstrom and Lance Waring, as well those of Mountain Village Mayor Laila Benitez, Telluride Mayor DeLanie Young and some, but not all, members of each of those town’s councils.
That letter, addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top elected officials was published in the Daily Planet Jan. 17.
“As individuals who hold elected offices within the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado we are writing to express our condemnation of Representative Lauren Boebert based on her association with the right wing groups that supported the insurrection of the Capitol Building on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. We have heard overwhelmingly from our constituents, therefore her constituents, that there is deep concern about her actions leading up to and during the protests that turned into a violent and deadly mob,” the letter begins.
The letter further expresses deep concern about Boebert’s ties to right-wing hate groups and asks that her involvement in the Jan. 6 attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol be thoroughly investigated. The list of signatories from council members, mayors and county commissioners across the 3rd District is nearly as long as the text of the letter.
“It’s increasingly obvious she was involved in the insurrection,” Cooper said. “It’s incredibly troubling.”
San Miguel County Democratic Party Chair Dan Chancellor agreed.
“Her actions are pretty reprehensible,” Chancellor said. “Endangering the lives of her colleagues is outrageous.”
At issue are allegations that Boebert used social media to alert the mob of Pelosi’s whereabouts as the Capitol was being overrun, and whether a tour group Boebert led the day before included representatives of groups who stormed the building the next day. Boebert has claimed the tour group was comprised of family members.
Chancellor’s concerns go further, saying her approval of QAnon while on the campaign trail — a group whose theories the New York Times has described as “baseless” — is not representative of the needs of the district. His view of QAnon, which, in part, alleges Hollywood elites kill babies and consume their blood, as well as touting the existence of a so-called “Deep State” that runs pedophile rings, he said, is the stuff of “Grade B horror movies.”
“If you were watching something like that you’d laugh,” he said. “It’s idiotic … unbelievably stupid.”
Chancellor’s name appears on the cover letter of a petition being circulated by the Garfield County Democrats, a petition that, much like the open letter from District 3 elected officials, is calling for Boebert’s alleged ties with “white nationalist groups.” It, too, is addressed to Pelosi and other high-ranking elected officials.
The petition’s text reads in part: “As constituents of Representative Lauren Boebert (CD3), we respectfully urge you to investigate Rep. Boebert with regard to her connections to the white supremacist groups that instigated the insurrection in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
“We are alarmed by statements made by Rep. Boebert prior to the insurrection which surely served to help pro-Trump extremists feel justified participating in the violent and racist events of that day. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned by the fact that Rep. Boebert has continued to post content which undoubtedly incites the fury of dangerous white nationalist groups.”
The petition had garnered more than 5,000 signatures as of press time Thursday afternoon.
Cooper said the FBI has initiated an investigation into the events of that day.
“They’ll look at all the evidence and consider it,” Cooper said.
Boebert’s alleged role in the Jan. 6 violence has led to the resignation of her communications director, Ben Goldey.
“Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office,” Goldey told Axios. “I wish her and the people of Colorado’s Third District the best.”
Boebert has also had legal action brought against her for blocking a constituent on Twitter in the wake of criticisms directed at her job performance so far.
Bri Buentello, who brought the suit, is a former Democratic state representative who lives in Pueblo.
“Buentello is a concerned citizen, and constituent of Boebert, who has tweeted criticism of Boebert,” says the lawsuit, filed by powerful Denver civil rights lawyer David Lane, as reported in the Colorado Sun. “Boebert responded to Buentello’s valid criticism by following the lead of her authoritarian hero — Donald Trump — and blocked Buentello from viewing her Twitter account, replying to her tweets or otherwise engaging with those who interact within the replies to her tweets.”
Though local elected officials are dismayed with Boebert’s activities and her inability to focus on the district’s pressing issues to date, Cooper, for one, is not surprised.
“We knew what we were getting,” she said. “It’s not a very good start.”