ICYMI: Union Leader: Democrats request Sununu inaugural committee payment records
Concord, N.H. - The New Hampshire Democratic Party has requested all records possessed by Governor Sununu and/or any member of his staff in a Right to Know request submitted to the Governor's Office on Monday. The request is in response to a Union Leader report from December 15 on Sununu's friends and family receiving thousands of dollars from the inaugural committee. The Right to Know request includes, but is not limited to: emails, travel vouchers, reimbursement forms, receipts, and/or text messages related to payments from The Sununu Inaugural Celebration, Inc. Statement from NHDP Executive Director Amy Kennedy: "Granite Staters deserve answers about the disturbing reports that Chris Sununu is using his inaugural committee funds to enrich himself, his family, and his lobbyist friends. If these payments were really for 'official duties' as the Governor's legal counsel claimed, the public has a right to know exactly what these corporate special interest funds are being used for."
Union Leader: Democrats request Sununu inaugural committee payment records By: Todd Feathers
The New Hampshire Democratic Party has requested receipts, travel vouchers, and other documentation of large payments Gov. Chris Sununu and members of his staff received from his nonprofit inaugural party committee.
The Right-to-Know law request comes after the Union Leader reported Sunday that the governor, his family, and close advisers received more than $165,000 from The Sununu Inaugural Committee, a 501c(4) nonprofit that was funded by donations from corporations and lobbyists with business before Sununu’s administration.
“Granite Staters deserve answers about the disturbing reports that Chris Sununu is using his inaugural committee funds to enrich himself, his family, and his lobbyist friends,” NHDP Executive Director Amy Kennedy said in a statement. “If these payments were really for ‘official duties’ as the governor’s legal counsel claimed, the public has a right to know exactly what these corporate special interest funds are being used for.”
The NHDP’s request asks for all records of payments from The Sununu Inaugural Celebration Inc, including emails, text messages, travel vouchers, reimbursement forms and receipts.
“Our office just received their request (Monday) and we are reviewing it,” said Ben Vihstadt, a spokesman for the governor.
Since its creation in 2016, the inaugural committee has paid Sununu $39,360 for what expenditure reports describe only as “expenses” or “travel.” A company owned by his sister, who is the chairman of the committee, received more than $50,000 and Paul Collins, the committee’s treasurer and Sununu’s senior adviser, received nearly $48,000.
Nonprofit tax and government ethics experts said the payments raise the specter of conflicts of interest and improper benefits.
Collins and Sununu’s legal counsel, John Formella, declined to provide the Union Leader documentation of the payments or detailed explanations of them. All the money was used for the governor’s inaugural parties or to pay for official functions of the governor’s office that taxpayers would otherwise have footed the bill for, they said.