Money

Is Mitt Romney's Campaign Team Gouging Press Corps with ‘Exorbitant Charges’?

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Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s press corps received unexpectedly high bills for expenses while following the campaign trail, and is now collectively contesting those expenses with Romney campaign officials.

Nine news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today, sent a joint letter detailing the contested costs to Romney’s former campaign manager Matt Rhoades and some senior advisers on Monday.

The news outlets, which have reported on quite a few campaign trails and understand the usual costs of following a candidate during a national election, wrote that they were surprised about “what appear to be exorbitant charges for food, filing centers/holds and ground transportation.”

The letter points out specific, unexpectedly high charges: “Some examples: $745 per person charged for a vice presidential debate viewing party on Oct. 11; $812 charged for a meal and a hold on Oct. 18; $461 for a meal and hold the next day; $345 for food and hold Oct. 30.”

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The press corps also mentions that ground transportation costs exceeded $1,000 per day at times, which was a higher cost than Romney’s campaign charged in the primaries.

To combat the charges, the press corps is asking the campaign officials for details on charges over $200. A few outlets, according to the letter, have already alerted American Express to contest the charges.