On Tuesday, a PAC Called “American Muckrakers” sent out a press release claiming that Lauren Boebert had two abortions and worked as an escort / sugarbaby in her younger years. This was kinda-sorta picked up by real media outlets (here’s the MSN story). I read the supporting evidence on the PAC’s fireboebert.com website, and I think the whole thing is probably bogus. The sole “proof” offered up is screenshots of text messages with an anonymous informant.
That said, the other accusations on the site are better supported and more damning. They include 21K miles of travel claimed by Boebert against her campaign, which was coincidentally the amount of a tax lien against her restaurant. Her husband Jayson also supposedly makes $450+K/year from Terra Energy Partners, but Terra denies he works for them. Jayson, who was arrested for exposing his penis in public, worked as a roughneck and well site supervisor, and now helps manage their restaurant that has health code violations and had $20K in unpaid taxes, doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would be paid $450K for his insights. Where did that cash come from?
Judging from the biographies of its founders, American Muckrakers is a Republican PAC. They’re the group responsible for the video of Madison Cawthorn being groped by another man, which is in part being credited for Cawthorn’s primary loss. I’d call them the flip side of the Lincoln Project. Consultants like the Lincoln Project are somewhat respectable, creating attack ads that are out in the open and run for most of the campaign. Muckraker-type consultants are down in the dirt — they’re the ones who send out targeted racist mailers or launch robocalls near the end of the campaign.
I’m sure lots of Republican consultants are full service, providing Lincoln and Muckraker attacks. So, my attitude towards the Lincoln Project is to hate the sinner but love the sin. I do enjoy some of their videos. But I sure as hell won’t give them money or pretend they’re not bottom feeders.
Muckraker-type attacks are an interesting window into what they think is the mindset of Republican voters. With Cawthorn, they chose to portray him as gay. With Boebert, they chose to paint her as a “slut.” These are the tropes that Republicans think have traction with the base, and they probably do. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being gay, doing sex work, or having abortions. The issue, obviously, is the hypocrisy of being gay while espousing hatred for gays, wanting to keep sex work criminalized after having been a sex worker, and wanting to deny abortions to women after having a couple yourself. The Muckrakers would claim that it’s the hypocrisy they’re attacking, but the reality is that they’re attacking the thing itself.
Anyway, I’m not going to give the Muckrackers the credit they’re claiming for the fall of Cawthorn. He was clearly in the sights of House leadership after making claims about coke-fueled orgies on Capitol Hill. DC Republican closet cases can’t have their extracurriculars discussed in public. Intra-party criticism, plus the fact that he’s a useless, callow numpty, probably contributed just as much to Cawthorn’s fall as that video.
I doubt that the weak sauce “wanton woman” attacks are going to bring down Boebert. CO-3 survived redistricting as relatively red (R+6) Western Slope district, and Boebert has raised $4.3 million already. The good news is that a couple of Democrats have raised good money (one raised $1.7 million as of the last report). As far as I’m concerned, we’re more likely to get a pickup in CO-3 with Boebert as the candidate rather than the bog-standard “sensible Republican” who’s her main primary opposition. She’s a grifter who doesn’t do shit but run her mouth. That should be enough to beat her if she can be beaten.