Several news organizations are claiming that Mitt Romney’s campaign overcharged them for campaign expenses of reporters who traveled with the Republican presidential nominee.
A letter was sent to the campaign and signed by executives from The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Financial Times, and other organizations, reports UPI.
The letter was initially published by BuzzFeed, whose editor, McKay Coppins, also signed it. Some of the signers also stated that they will be contesting the campaign’s charges with American Express. The letter reads in part:
“We’ve dealt with numerous campaigns over the past decades and understand that we pay a premium to travel with a candidate. But recent invoices from your campaign have raised serious questions about the charges you have forwarded to us for travel with Mitt Romney.”
The Republican presidential nominee reportedly spent more than $1 billion during what has been called the most expensive presidential campaign in US history. The campaign still owes a reported $1 million or more.
BuzzFeed notes that the outlets are all requesting that the Romney campaign provide a specific price breakdown for the charges for every event that cost them at least $200. The letter was sent to Romney’s former campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, and senior advisers Kevin Madden, Stuart Stevens, Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom, and Russ Schriefer as well as others.
They cited several times when a meal and a hold (of a seat or spot) cost between $345 and $812, adding:
“These costs far exceed typical expenses on the campaign trail. Also, it was clear to all present that the campaign’s paid staff frequently consumed the food and drinks ostensibly produced for the media. Were any of the costs of these events charged to the campaign itself, to cover the care and feeding of its staff?”
The media outlets are also contesting transportation costs, which some days exceeded $1,000. They added, “One news organization contacted two of the bus agencies used by the campaign; it was clear from their reporting that the costs you charged us far outdistanced what you paid for the transportation.”
It is unclear how and/or if the Romney campaign will respond to the letter from media outlets claiming that they were overcharged for traveling with the Republican nominee.