News outlets contest Romney team's charging of expenses during 2012 campaign
News outlets have sent letters to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign officials contesting expenses billed to their reporters during 2012 campaign.
Nine news outlets that covered the election sent a joint letter on Monday to Romney campaign officials.
BuzzFeed, which is among the outlets that signed the letter, first reported on the dispute last week.
The outlets are requesting that the campaign provide a specific price breakdown for every event that cost them 200 dollars or more.
"Some of our organizations have alerted American Express that we are contesting these charges," until then, the letter reads.
The letter was sent to former campaign manager Matt Rhoades, and senior advisers Kevin Madden, Stuart Stevens, Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom, and Russ Schriefer, among others.
"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 letter read.
"We are not quibbling over charter flights or hotel bills. We are focused on what appear to be exorbitant charges for food, filing centers/holds and ground transportation," the letter added.
"The 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," it read.
"Were any of the costs of these events charged to the campaign itself, to cover the care and feeding of its staff? We would like to see how exactly the costs were determined for any specific event above USD 200, including the amounts you were charged and to whom you in turn assessed charges," it added.
According to the report, in order to travel with the candidate, reporters were required to agree to costs in advance without knowing specifically what those costs were.
The trade-off in any such agreement is that the campaign will not exceed the normal bounds of propriety in charging news organizations. In this case, that is seriously in question.
The media outlets that sent the letter included Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Agence France-Presse, Washington Post, Yahoo, BuzzFeed and Financial Times.