Not unlike Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is a far-right MAGA Republican who has gone out of her way to court controversy since being sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2021. The 35-year-old Boebert, a QAnon supporter and conspiracy theorist, is running on a pseudo-populist platform in her 2022 reelection campaign. But journalist Abigail Weinberg, in an article published by Mother Jones on May 12, demonstrates that Boebert's image as a "straight-talking small-town business owner" is a sham.
"A close look at Boebert's past reveals cracks in the narrative she's built," Weinberg explains. "And for several people who worked at her restaurant and know her personally, Boebert's American dream has been more like a 'nightmare.'"
Boebert owns Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado.
"Former Shooters employees tell me that, in the early years of Boebert's fame, people visited the restaurant from across the country, and that the dining room was often packed with tourists on summer days," Weinberg reports. "But they also say that the reality of working at Shooters was far removed from the lighthearted atmosphere shown on TV. In fact, five former Shooters employees tell me that Boebert frequently failed to pay her employees on time. Two of the former workers wished to remain anonymous because they feared retaliation; another did not want to be named and publicly associated with Boebert."
A big part of Boebert's hyper-MAGA narrative is that she had a tough working-class upbringing and that Democratic policies did nothing to help someone like her. But according to Weinberg's sources, the Shooters owner has a history of not treating her employees well.
A former Shooters waitress told Weinberg, "The second the restaurant blew up, her head blew up — and it became something entirely different. And I got to meet a new version of her that is a monster."
Weinberg reports, "Multiple employees say that they were paid in cash, either out of the register or from Boebert's husband's wallet, without any taxes deducted. While many workers were struggling to make ends meet, they say Boebert spent exorbitant sums on breast implants, private schooling for her sons, and a new Cadillac Escalade. They describe her as alternately absent, showing up only when news crews were at the restaurant, or demanding."
Another former Shooters employee told Weinberg, "If she would come into the restaurant, everyone just knew we were just gonna have a bad day, because she would just walk around and nitpick."
Josh Boyington, who worked as a cook at Shooters before leaving in 2017, alleges that Shooters was losing money in the late 2010s. Boyington told Weinberg, "Shooters don't make no money. I left because I don't even think we were topping $500 a day."
Weinberg managed to get Boebert on the phone. But when the far-right MAGA congresswoman found out that Weinberg writes for Mother Jones, she hung up on her.
But Boyington was glad to talk to Weinberg, saying that while he agrees with many of Boebert's right-wing views, he has issues with her as a person.
Boyington told Weinberg, "She's an easy person to love if you don't know her. It's just, once you get to know her, you just don't love her."