Did the Romney campaign charge reporters $812 for lunch?

    One reason I’m glad the election is over is that I don’t have to cover tedious presidential candidate visits. Worse is having to follow a candidate for a long stretch. Still worse is being ripped off by the candidate you’re covering. 

    One reason I’m glad the presidential campaign is over is that I don’t have to go through the tedious process of covering presidential candidate visits, which typically involve spending three to five hours to cover a standard 20-minute stump speech with no news.

    Worse than that is having to follow a candidate for a long stretch, which involves an exhausting travel routine and far more wasted time covering the same 20-minute speech again and again.

    Still worse is doing that and being ripped off by the candidate you’re covering.

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    According to the website Buzzfeed, nine news organizations, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have written the Mitt Romney campaign complaining about excessive charges for meals and travel during the campaign.

    The letter cites $812 charged for a meal and a “holding space” for the media to wait for the next event on October 18th. And it says the organizations were charged $745 per reporter for a lavish vice-presidential debate watching party that nobody asked for. There are other examples.

    The organizations said it was “clear to all present that the campaign’s paid staff frequently consumed the food and drinks ostensibly produced for the media.”

    Buzzfeed quotes one unnamed campaign source as saying the bills were not artificially inflated, but rather the product of a generally mismanaged campaign.

    The news organizations are asking for an itemized accounting for any charge over $200. You can read the text of the letter here.

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