Truth Test: Democratic challenger Peter Clemens goes after incumbent Republican Rep. Rob Bishop

Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 13:36:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The challenger in Utah’s First Congressional District is investing in television advertising that takes aim at incumbent Republican Rep. Rob Bishop.

Democratic Nominee Peter Clemens’ ad makes two claims.

Claim #1: Bishop is "considered one of the most absentee lawmakers in Washington."

The independent, non-partisan website monitors congressional activity, including the percentage of votes cast and votes missed by individual legislators.

An excerpt from their site states: “From Jan 2003 to Sep 2016, Bishop missed 693 of 10,053 roll call votes, which is 6.9%. This is much worse than the median of 2.3% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.”

We find claim #1 to be fact.

Claim #2: Bishop gets more than 92 percent of his campaign money from outside of Utah.

We went to the nonpartisan, non-profit watchdog site They show Bishop receiving 93 percent of his campaign donations from outside of Utah, and 99 percent from outside of his district.

We find claim #2 to be fact.

Fox 13 News called and emailed Congressman Bishop’s campaign for a response but didn’t hear back by the time this report aired.

UPDATE: Congressman Bishop's campaign manager, Andy Pierucci, provided these responses the following day:

"While Congressman Bishop has been in Congress, he has sent kids on missions and had them return, attended funerals and celebrated anniversaries with his wife. Representing the people of the first congressional district is incredibly important to Congressman Bishop and, of course, so is his family. Additionally, not all votes are equal. A vote to approve the journal is not the same as a vote to repeal Obamacare or a vote to for the NDAA."

"Congressman Bishop has always raised fewer funds than most members of Congress. He nearly always raises less than any other member of the Utah delegation and that has been consistent. He dislikes raising campaign money and would much rather spend his time talking with the people of the first district. He is raising about the same amount from within the district that he has in past years. This election cycle there has been an increase in the amount of money coming from out of state. If he gets donations from out of state without having to ask constituents to take it out of their pockets, that doesn’t hurt his feelings and it certainly doesn’t influence his behavior. Money will never dictate how Congressman Bishop votes."