Sparks flew in the Democratic primary contest for U.S. Senate Wednesday as the campaign of Braddock, Pennsylvania, Mayor John Fetterman accused rival Katie McGinty of, ahem, inaccurately stating in a candidates’ forum that she didn’t accept any campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry.
A Fetterman campaign video (above) shows an edited excerpt from a forum in Pittsburgh last week, in which candidates were asked if they’d “accepted any campaign contributions from the following organizations — the National Rifle Association, Pennsylvania’s Life PAC, and the oil and gas industry.”
McGinty clearly said “no,” and, on Wednesday, the Fetterman campaign provided a list of 85 contributions to her this year from lawyers, consultants and others it said were associated with the oil and gas industry. The contributions totaled $126,000.
McGinty’s defense is in part technical — she said the question at the forum was about “organizations” in the industry, not individuals. McGinty communications director Sabrina Singh admitted some individual donors have industry connections, but said Fetterman’s list exaggerates the number, including people who really aren’t advocates for the industry at all, including former Pennsylvania Environmental Secretary John Hanger.
“Katie McGinty’s proven record on the environment earned the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters, and is the strongest voice against Sen. Pat Toomey’s failed energy and climate policies,” Singh said. “It’s unfortunate that rather than uniting to defeat Toomey, some are instead peddling the misleading Republican talking points of groups trying to prop him up.”