U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert has accused her predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, of failing to transfer active inquiries made by constituents to her office, but it is a charge Tipton’s district director denied Tuesday.
Boebert introduced a bill Friday that would ensure open casework from constituents seeking assistance from the federal government is transferred between representatives when one is voted out of office.
In a news release announcing the bill, Boebert said her predecessor “signed a form and checked a box declining to pass along inheritable casework to her office.”
She said her bill would ensure that “political retribution” would not get in the way of people receiving help from their representatives.
“It’s time to put people before politics and make sure that personal feelings and bitterness don’t prevent public servants from helping people they were elected to serve, many of whom are expecting their aid in resolving serious issues with the federal government,” Boebert said in a news release.
Constituents seeking help in dealing with the federal government can reach out to their representative who can advocate on their behalf. Representatives take on these requests for help as casework and ensure that constituents receive the proper benefits or assistance they need.
In her release, Boebert says casework can vary in form, from retirees struggling to get full benefits from Social Security to ranchers having issues dealing with federal land management agencies.
Boebert’s claims that her predecessor, Tipton, declined to pass along open casework to her office were refuted by Brian McCain, Tipton’s former district director.
“Congresswoman Boebert’s claim is not true,” McCain wrote in an email to The Durango Herald.
McCain said that when Tipton lost in the primary election to Boebert, Tipton’s office tried to resolve all open cases before the end of October. Any open cases that could not resolve by that time were transferred before the general election to the office of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., he said.
McCain said such measures were taken before the general election because they “did not want anyone to fall through the cracks during the post-election scramble.” There were about 12 cases left open that were passed on to Bennet, he said.
All constituents with open cases after October were notified that their cases were passed on to the senator’s office, and they each agreed that was the best idea, McCain said.
“I made multiple attempts to contact Congresswoman Boebert’s team to ensure a smooth transition and share information on possible constituent issues that would need to be addressed,” McCain said. “I received no response during the remainder of my time as district director. To put it simple, we had no casework files or data to turn over at the end of our term.”
McCain said Tipton entered Congress as a freshman representative with the same resources.
“The majority of Congresswoman Boebert’s staff have prior Congressional experience. Two of her district staff were previously with Sen. (Cory) Gardner’s office,” McCain said. “They understand how this works and should have no problem providing constituent services throughout the district.”
Boebert was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
Grace George is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, D.C.