NH Dems Call on Sununu to Recuse Himself From Executive Council Decision to Give $40K In Taxpayer...
Concord, N.H. -- Today, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley is calling on Chris Sununu to recuse himself ahead of tomorrow’s Executive Council meeting, where the Council will vote on the Sununu administration’s request to grant $40,000 in taxpayer funds for a digital advertising campaign that will benefit the Sununu-owned Waterville Valley Resort.
“Sununu should recuse himself from any and all decisions to direct taxpayer funds to the Waterville Valley Resort Association,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Chris Sununu still has a financial interest in the business dealings of Waterville Valley Resort, and he should remove himself from any deliberation about this request to give taxpayer dollars to his family’s ski resort.”
Sununu is requesting that the Executive Council award the Waterville Valley Resort Association $40,000 to fund “Digital Advertising” that would primarily promote Sununu’s business. This request is made under the NH Division of Travel and Tourism’s Joint Promotional Program – a grant program that funds organizations’ advertising efforts that promote tourism in New Hampshire. The Waterville Valley Resort Association is a nonprofit set up to promote tourism in Waterville Valley, where the Sununu family business is the primary employer. Governor Sununu was formerly a member of the Association’s Board of Directors.
Sununu’s $40,000 grant is funded with taxpayer dollars. It is also more than double the Joint Promotional Program’s median grant of $18,185 and much larger than the Program’s average grant of $28,758.22. It is one of the largest grants given by the Program this year.
Chris Sununu still has a financial stake in the ski resort that will benefit from the grant. According to the Associated Press, Sununu “maintains an ownership interest in Sununu Holdings, which owns Waterville Valley Holdings” the holding company of the resort. As of his most recent financial disclosure from this year, Sununu reported a financial interest in Sununu Holdings and an unspecified income of at least $10,000.
When Sununu was on the Executive Council, he recused himself on three separate occasions when the Council was voting on Joint Promotional Program grants or nominations that could benefit Waterville Valley — and he should hold himself to the same standard as governor.
May 15, 2013: Sununu Recused Himself From The Confirmation Of A Joint Promotional Program Screening Committee Member Because It Would Benefit the Waterville Valley Resort Association.
October 29, 2014: Sununu Abstained On The Confirmation Of A Joint Promotional Program Screening Committee Member Because It Would Benefit the Waterville Valley Resort Association.
August 26, 2016: Sununu Recused Himself From A Vote Awarding Joint Promotional Program Grants Because It Would Benefit the Waterville Valley Resort Association