Utah's Bishop Gets More Campaign Donations From Outside The State Than Any Other House Member | KUER 90.1

Utah's Bishop Gets More Campaign Donations From Outside The State Than Any Other House Member

Jul 20, 2016

A new analysis of campaign fundraising shows Utah Congressman Rob Bishop has been raising a larger share of money from outside the state than any other lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is known for touting the high value of local voices in national decisions. But new data from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics suggests that out-of-state interests are having an outsized impact impact on his campaign war chest.

The Rob Bishop for Congress campaign received 92.6 percent of its donations in this election cycle from out of state. The only other House member on the top-ten list is House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Bishop says the infusion of non-Utah donations is a result of his role leading the House Natural Resources Committee.

“I am still getting the same amount of money I always have from the district,” says Bishop, who says he hates fund-raising. “Now there are a lot of other sources that are adding to it, which changes the percentages.”

Bishop introduced his Public Lands Initiative bill last week, and he says it shows he’s still focused on Utah issues.

But Bishop’s challenger in the November election says just 1 percent of the incumbent’s campaign funds come from inside the First District. Democrat Peter Clemens says local voters don’t have the Republican’s ear.

“As the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and author of the PLI,” says Clemens, “Congressman Bishop is uniquely positioned to sell his influence to the highest bidder.” 

The Center for Responsive Politics’ top-ten list for out-of-state donations also includes Utah’s Republican senators. Both Senator Mike Lee and Senator Orrin Hatch have received over 88 percent of donations from out-of-state contributors.