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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) paid herself more than $22,000 in mileage reimbursements from her campaign account last year. Boebert’s campaign defends the reimbursements but three ethics experts who reviewed the money transfers for the Denver Post say they raise questions. “To justify those reimbursements, Boebert would have had to drive 38,712 miles while campaigning, despite having no publicly advertised campaign events in March, April or July, and only one in May. Furthermore, because the reimbursements came in two payments — a modest $1,060 at the end of March and $21,200 on Nov. 11 — Boebert would have had to drive 36,870 miles in just over seven months between April 1 and Nov. 11 to justify the second payment.”
Sen. David Purdue (R-GA) has made 2,596 trades during his Senate term — about as much as the next five most active traders in the Senate combined, the New York Times reports. Many trades were in companies with stakes in policy matters before committees he served on.
50% to 24%
A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds that a majority think Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) should resign, 50% to 24%, and that his approval numbers have plummeted since revelations last week about his stock sales in the wake of the coronavirus.
Federal political committees have spent more than $20 million at businesses owned by President Trump since the 2008 cycle, according to OpenSecrets. “Roughly 99% of that money has come since the start of the 2016 cycle, when Trump announced his bid for president and began spending campaign money at his own properties.”
“I’m not sure if this is contempt or sanctions. I’m not sending anyone to jail yet but it’s good to know I have that ability.”
— U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim. “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos faces potential sanctions or a finding she’s in contempt of court for continuing to collect on the debt of former students at bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc., going so far as seizing their tax refunds and wages,” Bloomberg reports.
Bayou Brief: “Over the course of seven years, from 2006 to 2012, two pharmacies in rural northeast Louisiana, owned by Republican gubernatorial candidate and Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Clinic Pharmacy of Mangham and Adams Clinic Pharmacy of Winnsboro, doled out 1,478,236 doses of powerful opioids. … The pharmacies are 12.5 miles away from one another, and the two communities have a combined population of approximately 6,000 people. Despite the surge in opioid prescriptions, the region’s population has actually decreased during the previous twenty years.”
“A real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner has received $90m in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since he entered the White House as a senior adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump,” the Guardian reports. “Investment has flowed from overseas to the company, Cadre, while Kushner works as an international envoy for the US… The money came through a vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven that guarantees corporate secrecy.”
“The Transportation Department under Secretary Elaine Chao designated a special liaison to help with grant applications and other priorities from her husband Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky, paving the way for grants totaling at least $78 million for favored projects as McConnell prepared to campaign for reelection,” Politico reports.
The EPA’s inspector general recommended recovering nearly $124,000 in improper travel expenses by former EPA chief Scott Pruitt, the Washington Post reports. “The findings, issued nearly a year after Pruitt resigned amid controversy over his spending, travel and ties to lobbyists and outside groups, highlight the fiscal impact of his penchant for high-end travel and accommodations.”
An NBC News review of those who donated to the Trump inauguration “found at least 14 major contributors to its inaugural fund who were later nominees to become ambassadors, donating an average of slightly over $350,000 apiece. Though the Trump administration says the business acumen of these nominees qualifies them to represent the U.S. abroad, six of the 14 nominations have languished for months in the Republican-controlled Senate. One nomination has stalled for about two years.”