This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Democrat Peter Clemens is attacking seven-term incumbent congressman Rob Bishop for his heavy reliance on out-of-state donations, saying it shows "he thinks he doesn't need to listen" to Utahns to get elected.
Clemens on Monday released his first campaign video, which for now will be available only online because Clemens cannot yet afford to put it on cable TV. Bishop has out-raised Clemens by a 7-1 margin so far.
"Rob Bishop has taken over 92 percent of his campaign contributions from political action committees and dirty energy companies who are not even from Utah," Clemens says in the video. "He thinks he doesn't need to listen to you to get reelected."
He adds, "Dirty energy companies have undue influence over Rob Bishop and their enormous contributions to his campaign show that they want him to continue his pay-to-play support for their sweetheart deals."
Clemens asserts the election is important because "we need to take back control of our natural resources from outside corporations who are buying Rob Bishop and our elections."
Bishop is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees energy development on public lands.
Federal Election Commission records show that in this election cycle, about 96 percent of the $727,313 raised by Bishop through June 30 has come from out of state.
An analysis by OpenSecrets.org shows that by industry, Bishop's largest donations this cycle have been from oil and gas, $112,783; casinos and gambling interests, $61,000; law firms and lawyers, $50,000; and defense and aerospace, $37,000.
Clemens, an Ogden medical doctor, said he has raised just over $100,000. Online FEC records show he raised $44,720 through June 30. All of it came from individuals, with none from political action committees.
Those disclosures were filed belatedly on Tuesday, after the FEC had sent a notice of failure to file on time warning he could face penalties. Clemens campaign said the delay was caused by a mix-up amid the departure of a company that had been keeping his financial records.
Clemens said the video for now will be available only on his campaign website and his Facebook page. "We also will most likely be utilizing it eventually as an ad on cable TV," he added.
In response to the video, Andy Pierucci, Bishop's campaign manager, said, "Money does not define how Rob votes nor with whom he speaks."
He added, "Rob is a consistent Utah conservative who reflects the values of the 1st Congressional District. That is why last week's UtahPolicy.com poll showed he has such strong support in the district. Rob is constantly speaking with and meeting with his constituents. He is proud to represent them and take their solutions back to Washington."
The UtahPolicy.com survey showed Bishop leading Clemens by 54 percent-24 percent margin. It polled 209 likely voters, and had a margin of error of 6.9 points.
Clemens said his campaign did a poll that surveyed nearly 800 people instead, and it showed Bishop with a lesser 54-34 percent margin.
He said his poll also showed that Bishop had only a 42 percent favorability rate. He said that relatively low level of enthusiasm for Bishop shows "there's a lot of room for me to cut into whatever lead he has."
Clemens adds that he plans to soon start a "listening tour" in all counties in the 1st District.