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Fact Checker: Christina Bohannan targets Mariannette Miller-Meeks over oil and gas industry contributions. Was she right?
House candidate Bohannan makes claim during televised debate last month
As Americans grapple with inflation driving up everyday expenses, Christina Bohannan, an Iowa City Democrat campaigning to represent Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, criticized her opponent for not doing enough to curb rising costs at the gas pump.
In an Iowa PBS debate that aired last month, Bohannan, a state representative, claimed U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican from Ottumwa and LeClaire, took “nearly $60,000” in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. The two are vying for the 1st District seat in the Nov. 8 general election.
“My opponent Mariannette Miller-Meeks voted against a bill to hold the oil and gas companies accountable for corporate price gouging after taking tens of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry,” Bohannan claimed.
Bohannan’s campaign team pointed to Miller-Meeks’ vote in May on the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act. This proposal would have given the president the authority to issue an energy emergency proclamation making it illegal for companies to boost fuel prices to “unconscionably excessive” levels.
Additionally, it would expand the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to investigate alleged price gouging in the industry. Any penalties would be directed toward funding weatherization and low-income energy assistance.
Miller-Meeks was among 203 House Republicans who voted against it. It passed in the House with all but four Democrats backing the measure.
As for the campaign contributions claim, OpenSecrets, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks data on campaign finance and lobbying, monitors interest group spending on political campaigns for each member of Congress.
For oil and gas contributions to Miller-Meeks, OpenSecrets reported $56,348. Third quarter campaign finance reports will be released later this month, so this number doesn’t include any possible oil and gas industry contributions received after July 14.
That figure encompasses contributions from all of her campaigns. Of that amount, OpenSecrets reports Miller-Meeks has received $37,946 from the oil and gas industry during her 2022 congressional bid. A total of $15,902 was from her 2020 campaign. She’d also run three unsuccessful campaigns against Dave Loebsack, the Democrat who previously represented Iowa’s 2nd District covering much of the southeastern quadrant of the state.
Bohannan was correct that Miller-Meeks voted against a measure that aimed to stop price gouging by the oil and gas industry while receiving nearly $60,000 in campaign contributions from the industry, thought those contributions spanned her campaigns.
The Fact Checker team checks statements made by an Iowa political candidate or officeholder or a national candidate/officeholder about Iowa, or in advocacy ads that appear in our market.
Claims must be independently verifiable. We give statements grades from A to F based on accuracy and context.
If you spot a claim you think needs checking, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Fact Checker team are Elijah Decious, Erin Jordan and Marissa Payne. This Fact Checker was researched and written by Marissa Payne.