Romney Campaign Uses Ethically Challenged, DC Lobbyist to Peddle Campaign Message
CONCORD - Earlier today, the Romney campaign returned to the Granite State after a three month hiatus to hold a press conference in Exeter, NH with ethically challenged, Washington, DC lobbyist John H. Sununu.
In response to the Romney campaign's return to New Hampshire, DNC Member Kathy Sullivan released the following statement:
"Mitt Romney's choice of surrogate today also speaks volumes about just how out of touch Mitt Romney is with middle class Americans. John "Where's My Jet" Sununu is a Washington, DC lobbyist with a questionable ethics record who like Mitt Romney, thinks he can play by a different set of rules than working families. Sununu, while serving in George HW Bush's White House repeatedly misused government resources for his own benefit. Sununu took a government-funded limo to attend a stamp auction at Christie's, the high end auction house and improperly used military aircraft for personal and political travel. Sununu's repeated misuse of government resources prompted a review of government travel policies."
"Mitt Romney and John Sununu think that they can play by a different set of rules than everyone else, which makes Sununu the perfect spokesperson for a candidate who's campaigning on a platform where millionaires and billionaires pay a lower tax rate than hard-working middle class families."
Nothing says I understand hard working Americans like John "Where's My Jet" Sununu
SUNUNU USED CORPORATE JETS FOR HIS PERSONAL TRAVEL
Sununu Used A Government-Paid Limousine And A Corporate Jet To Attend A Stamp Auction In New York. "As one aide explained, Sununu is in such demand to attend political functions around the country that he has no trouble finding someone to provide him an aircraft. Another official said Sununu's attitude toward the corporations that provide the planes is: 'As long as they pay, that's fine.' Beneficial spokesman Bob Wade said his company initially was asked to provide a round-trip chartered flight for Sununu to attend the New Jersey GOP fund-raiser last Wednesday night. The event was held at Hamilton Farm, a facility that Beneficial owns in Bedminster, N.J., a town in the horse country of western New Jersey about an hour's drive from New York City. After the company chartered an aircraft for Sununu, Wade said, White House officials said he would use it to return to Washington but not to go to New Jersey. Instead, Sununu traveled in a government-provided limousine first to New York City, where he attended the stamp auction. It was not clear how he then traveled to New Jersey. The limousine returned to Washington without a passenger. A New Jersey state party official, who declined to be identified, said he was told by the White House: ''Don't worry about getting him here,' just take care of the return trip.'' Wade said that Beneficial's Washington representative, Gary Perkinson, flew to New Jersey aboard the chartered jet alone, and returned with Sununu. He said Perkinson did some corporate business while he was in the New Jersey area, but he acknowledged that Perkinson would not have flown in a chartered plane had Sununu not requested one." [Los Angeles Times, 6/18/91]
Sununu Solicited Corporate Jets For Personal Travel. "Ever since the White House cut back on John H. Sununu's use of military aircraft for leisure and political travel, the controversial chief of staff has been soliciting free trips aboard jets provided by American corporations, White House officials said Monday. In the latest instance, Beneficial Corp., a consumer credit firm headquartered in Peapack, N.J., provided a chartered jet for Sununu to return to Washington from a New York stamp auction and a New Jersey GOP fund-raiser last Wednesday night. Officials said other corporations are being asked to do likewise whenever Sununu makes similar trips. Sununu pays nothing for these corporate flights, which are perfectly legal. Beneficial officials said they expect to receive only partial reimbursement from the New Jersey Republican Party for Sununu's flight last week. In turning to corporations, Sununu is one of a growing number of top Administration officials who have come to rely on American business to provide air travel for trips that previously would have been funded by the government or paid for out of their own pockets." [Los Angeles Times, 6/18/91]
- Sununu Denied That Using Corporate Jets Was A Conflict Of Interest, Claimed They Were Necessary For Him To Stay In Touch With The White House While Traveling. "Although others have been criticized for flying on corporate jets, officials said Sununu sees no potential conflict of interest in accepting travel accommodations from corporations, even those with intense interest in changing government policies. Beneficial, for example, has been actively involved in battling banking industry reforms proposed by the Bush Administration. Sununu has said that he must rely on corporate jets in order to remain in constant touch with the White House. 'I have to be able to communicate, to work on sensitive papers, to coordinate the White House activities, even while I'm traveling,' he said on Sunday." [Los Angeles Times, 6/18/91]
- White House Official: "Sununu Doesn't Play By Your Rules Our Rules Or Washington Rules. He Plays By His Rules And He's Not Going To Change." "But Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), after he was told of Sununu's flight at the expense of Beneficial, said, 'I think it's a mistake; that's why you have conflict of interest laws.' Frank added, 'What would be so terrible about flying in a regular plane like a normal person?' White House officials said Sununu is unlikely to be swayed by such criticism. 'Sununu doesn't play by your rules, or our rules, or Washington rules,' one official said. 'He plays by his rules and he's not going to change.'" [Los Angeles Times, 6/18/91]
JOHN H. SUNUNU WAS ACCUSED OF IMPROPERLY USING MILITARY AIRCRAFT FOR PERSONAL OR POLITICAL TRAVEL
1991: The Bush Administration Defended Chief Of Staff John H. Sununu's Travels Aboard Military Planes, Despite Many Of The Trips Appearing To Be For Personal Or Partisan Reasons. "The Bush Administration on Sunday defended Chief of Staff John H. Sununu's wide-ranging travels aboard military planes, but two congressional Democrats called for an accounting of Sununu's trips. The White House said that the trips were 'in accordance with official authorization,' even if some appeared to be for personal or partisan political reasons." [Los Angeles Times, 4/22/91]
1991: John H. Sununu Usually Flew In C-20 Jets. "According to Pentagon records, Sununu usually flies in a C-20, the sleek, 12-passenger, twin-engine jet that is the military version of the Gulfstream III corporate jet. The Air Force keeps several C-20s at Andrews Air Force Base for such VIPs as Barbara Bush. President Bush himself flies aboard a C-20 when he is bound for airports too small to accommodate his jumbo jet, Air Force One." [Los Angeles Times, 4/22/91]
- The Pentagon Estimated That It Cost $3,945 An Hour To Fly The C-20 Air Force Jet That John H. Sununu Used, Excluding The Cost Of The Five-Member Crew."The policy is intended to enable Mr. Sununu to be in constant, secure voice contact with the White House if the need arose. But his use of military aircraft for personal and political trips has created a furor, even though Mr. Sununu paid the normal commercial coach fare for the flights, plus $1. The Pentagon estimates that it costs $3,945 an hour to fly the C-20 Air Force jet that Mr. Sununu uses, excluding the cost of the five-member crew." [The New York Times, 4/25/91]
Trips For Which John H. Sununu Used Military Aircraft: The Indianapolis 500 Auto Race, A Charity Ski Event In New Hampshire, And Political Fundraisers For Incumbent Governors In Kansas And Nebraska. "Among the trips Sununu made on military aircraft, the newspaper reported, were those to the Indianapolis 500 auto race, a charity ski event in New Hampshire and political fund raisers for incumbent governors in Kansas and Nebraska. By comparison, two of Sununu's predecessors during the Reagan Administration each made fewer than 10 such trips--over a period of six years, according to the news magazine." [Los Angeles Times, 4/22/91]
JOHN H. SUNUNU'S TRAVELS ABOARD MILITARY JETS PROMPTED A REVIEW OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES
As A Result Of John H. Sununu's Travels Aboard Military Jets, President George H.W. Bush Had The White House Launch A Review Of Government Travel Policies. "President Bush said today that the White House would review the Government policy that allowed John H. Sununu, the White House chief of staff, to use military aircraft for personal and political business, as well as on Government matters. ... This disparity between cost and payment, when the aircraft was used for personal or political business, evoked criticism on Capitol Hill and in the news media, which also questioned the appropriateness of using military aircraft on visits to ski resorts in Aspen and Vail, Colo." [The New York Times, 4/25/91]