“Although presidential campaigns traditionally pay the up-front cost for journalists traveling with the candidates and bill their employers later, news organizations have been shocked in recent weeks to get sky-high bills from Mitt Romney's camp for the cost of feeding reporters on the trail,” the New York Daily News writes. “In a letter to the Romney campaign published by Buzzfeed, nine major news companies said the bills they received ‘far exceed typical expenses on the campaign trail.’ The tab for one day in October included $812 per reporter to eat a single meal and then ‘hold’ in a rented space before going to another event. On other days in October, the members of the cash-strapped news industry were charged $461 and $345 apiece for a single meal and seat in a ‘holding room.’”
And: “One Romney aide told Buzzfeed, which also signed the letter, that the campaign wasn’t trying to rip off the media, but had simply mismanaged its expenses.”
Buzzfeed: “One campaign aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the bills were not artificially inflated, but rather the product of a generally mismanaged campaign. The aide said the advance team — which was tasked with arranging meals and accommodations for the press — failed to communicate with other elements of the campaign and consistently spent more money than necessary. Indeed, reporters on the trail grew accustomed to having five or six catered meals offered to them every day, with long tables full of food awaiting them at each campaign stop. The meals often went untouched and were sometimes consumed by campaign staff. It remains unclear whether those aides shouldered some of the costs of the meals.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s approval rating dipped to just 36% in the latest Quinnipiac poll. He’s up for reelection in 2014.
The Detroit Free Press: “With the shock of the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school still fresh on the nation's conscience and protests and vigils by clergy and others closer to home, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have allowed Michigan gun owners with extra training to carry concealed weapons in schools, day care centers, churches and stadiums.”