Media Outlets Contest Big Expenses Billed by Romney Campaign

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 01:46 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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Following what was an often contentious working relationship between the campaign Mitt Romney and the press corps, nine news outlets wrote an open letter challenging a number of expenses incurred while traveling and covering the Republican campaign.

BuzzFeed originally reported the story, noting it has been standard of campaigns for some time to charge news outlets the cost of travel and meals. However, this year, the bills seemed exorbitantly high.

“For example, on Oct. 11, each reporter was charged $812 for a meal and a rented 'holding' space, where the press waited before moving to the next event. On Oct. 18, the bill for a similar set of expenses was $461,” BuzzFeed reported.

The outlets are requesting the campaign break down specific charges.

The letter was sent to Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, as well as senior advisers to the campaign. One anonymous campaign aide told BuzzFeed the bills were not overinflated deliberately; they are simply the result of a severely mismanaged campaign.

“Indeed, reporters on the trail grew accustomed to having five or six catered meals offered to them every day, with long tables full of food awaiting them at each campaign stop. The meals often went untouched and were sometimes consumed by campaign staff. It remains unclear whether those aides shouldered some of the costs of the meals,” BuzzFeed reported.

Those who signed the letter included a number of notable media personalities: Cathleen Decker, Campaign 2012 Editor at the Los Angeles Times; Jerry Seib, Washington Bureau Chief at The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires; Richard Stevenson, Political Editor at New York Times; Paul Singer, Politics Editor at USA Today; David Millikin, Director for North America at Agence France-Presse; Kevin Merida, National Editor at the Washington Post; Beth Fouhy, Senior Editor, Politics and National News at Yahoo; McKay Coppins, political editor at BuzzFeed, and Richard McGregor, Washington Bureau Chief at Financial Times.

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