I didn’t see this story pass through any of my usual channels, but I’ve been buried in work lately, so if this is redundant, apologies in advance. Romney’s campaign is charging reporters ridiculous rates for their food and travel:
Nine news organizations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times have sent a letter to the Romney campaign asking for more details about charges. It’s normal after a political campaign for the campaign office to bill media outlets for expenses such as food, travel and hotels. But several charges from the Romney campaign are so excessive that they raised a few eyebrows.
For example, on one occasion each reporter was charged $812 for a single meal and to wait in a holding area; on another occasion each reporter was charged $461 for a meal and a hold. News outlets were also billed $745 per reporter for a viewing party.
I’ll confess, I always wondered how this stuff was handled, I think I just assumed any serious campaign would pay for the news corp to tag along (which obviously raises ethical questions, but who talks about such things in 2012?). The whole letter is worth reading, especially the part that rings of fraud in my mind:
We have similar concerns about ground transportation costs, which at times exceeded $1,000 a day and were far higher per capita than what the campaign charged during the primaries—despite the larger numbers of reporters, photographers and television crews travelling and dividing the costs. 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.
I guess they were paying a premium to be riding around with such limited edition branding.