Advertising attempts to link political donations to political decisions

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — Nationally, Republicans are pushing inflation as the Democrats’ fault. This ad attempts to subvert the argument against Republicans.

Source: State Rep. Christina Bohannan (D-Iowa City) runs against Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-02) in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Her campaign runs an ad on TV9 arguing that the first-term MP’s policy decisions on inflation are tied to donations to her political campaign.

To claim: “Prices keep going up and my opponent won’t do anything about it, maybe because she’s too beholden to big oil and pharma”

Analysis: It should be noted that the on-screen text makes a slightly different claim that “Mariannetee Miller-Meeks took over $1 million from special interests in Washington.”

According to Center for Responsive Policywhich is a nonpartisan nonprofit that tracks political spending, the congresswoman accepted donations from 538 political action committees (PACs) across all different industries worth approximately $1,004,975 .

The campaign said it specifically uses data from ideological and industry PACs. Center for Responsive Policy since 2007, when she first ran for congress. These numbers exceed $1 million.

However, these donations specifically from big oil and pharmaceutical companies are less than $1 million. Rep. Marionette Miller-Meeks, according to the Center for Responsive Policy received a total of $38,840 individuals and political action committees (PACs) related to oil and gas during this election cycle.

An analysis of the MP’s TV9 FEC data, especially its two active campaigns, shows that most of those donations were $10,000 and under. These donations from pharmaceutical companies are even more modest, ranging from $500 to $3,500 of about 9 companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

These donations have accrued over Miller-Meeks’ political career as she ran for Congress several times before being elected in 2020. The Center for Responsive Politics said she received $137,660 from groups and individuals associated with energy and natural resources from 2007 to 2022. She also received $564,754 from individuals and PACs related to the health sector, which also includes health professionals.

Rep. Miller-Meeks and Rep. Bohannan both received donations from PAC leadership, which receives donations from oil and pharmaceutical companies.

Although not in the ad, the campaign said it was referring to Miller-Meek’s vote against the bill known as the Cut Inflation Act. According the a congressional research service, the bill makes changes to the tax code, allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for certain drugs, and funds numerous climate initiatives.

Conclusion: The narrator’s statement and the on-screen text contradict each other, misleading the viewer. The announcement also gives no evidence of how these donations influence Rep. Miller-Meeks’ policy positions. That’s why this ad gets a D.