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RELEASE: Sununu, Ayotte, & Mowers Still Choosing Dark Money, Corporate Special Interests over N.H.

Concord, N.H. - Long beneficiaries of dark money and reliable votes for corporate special interests, prominent New Hampshire Republicans including Governor Chris Sununu, former Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Matt Mowers are opposing the For the People Act, the largest anti-corruption bill in a century.

Chris Sununu Opposes H.R. 1, Which would Prevent Politicians From Using Their Offices to Benefit Themselves and Their Families -- Just Like He’s Done As Governor. As Governor, Sununu awarded special tax treatment to the resort town where he and his family own a ski resort -- and let out-of-state ski patrollers get the COVID vaccine first, while denying vaccines to teachers and New Hampshire students. Sununu’s latest budget would cut his own taxes while defunding education and Child Protective Services. H.R. 1 codifies rules preventing lawmakers from taking action to benefit their families and themselves financially.

Chris Sununu Opposes H.R. 1, Which Would Require Federal Inaugural Committees to Disclose Their Expenditures. Sununu steered lobbyist and corporate dollars from his own inaugural fund to himself, his family, and his political advisors. H.R. 1 would require federal inaugural committees to disclose their expenditures and not make expenditures unrelated to the inauguration.

Chris Sununu Opposes H.R. 1, Which Would Restrict The Use of LLC’s to Fund Federal Campaigns. Sununu exploited a loophole that allowed him to use shell company LLCs to accept campaign cash above legal limits from his donors. As governor, Sununu vetoed a bill that would have closed the LLC loophole and stopped wealthy individuals from skirting campaign finance law. H.R. 1 would restrict the ability to use LLC’s to fund federal campaign activity.

Chris Sununu Opposes H.R. 1, Which Would Impose New Restrictions on Federal Lobbyists -- Like His Father and Brother. Both Sununu’s father and brother have worked as federal lobbyists, and as an Executive Councilor, Sununu voted to give private prison contracts to his family’s lobbying client. H.R. 1 would impose new restrictions and disclosure requirements on federal lobbyists. Kelly Ayotte Opposes H.R 1, Which Would Ban Lawmakers From Sitting on Corporate Boards. Ayotte has joined a number of corporate boards since leaving office, including The Blackstone Group, earning more than $1 million a year. Ayotte was featured in a 2019 report from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics on “shadow lobbyists” who leave government and join the private sector, where they then seek to influence their former colleagues without registering as lobbyists. H.R. 1 would ban lawmakers from sitting on corporate boards.

Kelly Ayotte Opposes H.R.1, Which Would Move Toward Ending the Dark Money that Flowed to Her 2016 Campaign. When Ayotte ran for Senate in 2016, she benefited from $41M in super PAC spending, which was possible because of the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case which opened the doors for unlimited dark money in politics. H.R. 1 would move toward ending Citizens United, which would prevent super PACS from using millions of dollars to influence our elections.

Matt Mowers Opposes H.R. 1, Which Could Force Him to Register as a Lobbyist for Big Pharma and Opioid Corporation Mylan. When he left the Trump administration to become a shadow lobbyist, Mowers’ corporate clients included big pharmaceutical companies that in turn bank rolled his failed campaign. Specifically, he consulted for a Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company called Mylan, which at the time was the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical company. Mylan artificially inflated the cost of epipens and sold them at $600, despite the fact they only cost a few dollars to manufacture. Mylan also fueled the national opioid crisis that has hit New Hampshire especially hard. H.R. 1 could force Mowers to register as a lobbyist for this big pharma group.

“New Hampshire Republicans like Chris Sununu, Kelly Ayotte, and Matt Mowers have come out against this legislation because they all stand to personally gain from shady backroom deals and the big dark money groups that H.R. 1 would crack down on,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley. “Sununu, Mowers, and Ayotte oppose H.R. 1 because they want to maintain the status quo that only serves to benefit them, their corporate special interest backers, and Washington Republicans at the expense of all Granite Staters.”

Among other provisions, H.R. 1 would:

  • Require Presidents and Vice Presidents to release their tax returns

  • Make it illegal for lawmakers to take action to benefit their or their family members’ financial interest

  • Block lawmakers from using taxpayer dollars to settle lawsuits with their employees

  • Require Congressional employees to disclose outside income

  • Close loopholes that allow foreign corporations and foreign nationals to spend in American elections

  • Invest in cybersecurity and traditional security to protect American elections

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