FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sheridan Brown
SUNUNU CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS PUT ONLINE
WITH CALL TO DISCLOSE DARK MONEY DONORS
Searchable Database and Analysis of Sununu Donors Available at NHnotforsale.com
Grantham, NH – (10/11) For the first time ever, a New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate’s complete donor data has been made available online in a searchable database. It’s not because the state has improved campaign finance reporting requirements, but rather because of the efforts of Sheridan Brown—a Grantham attorney and former Republican political operative.
The newly-launched website includes a database of all contributions to Gov. Chris Sununu that is searchable and filterable—not only by the basic data provided in the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s required paper filings, but using additional data added by Brown identifying industry categories and whether funds are from corporate or individual contributors.
The site also includes a call for Sununu to return “dark money” he has accepted from foreign (out-of-state) Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) whose donors are not disclosed to the public. It includes an email form to contact Sununu with that request.
Sununu is not the first candidate to take advantage of the “LLC Loophole” that allows wealthy donors to donate more than the individual maximum contribution by using multiple LLCs under their ownership to make separate contributions.
Sununu reported most of his mysterious LLC contributions in his late October campaign filing last election. Brown expects a similar set of contributions will appear on Sununu’s campaign finance report at the same time this year—due next Wednesday.
The site also includes a detailed and fully footnoted analysis of the process by which Sununu’s Regulatory Reform Steering Committee rolled back environmental regulations at the behest of Developers—Sununu’s biggest industry category of donors, which has provided $250,000 in campaign funds to date.
Brown, an active conservation advocate who left the Republican Party in March 2016, has grown frustrated by the increasing influence of money in campaigns and the negative impacts that has upon natural resource protection and expanding clean energy production. He hopes that letting people “follow the money” in New Hampshire might lead to better policy outcomes related to campaign finance and the environment.
Creating the database and website took Brown dozens of hours, as scanned paper campaign finance reports—the only kind required by State law—had to be converted to digital formats and then checked and edited line-by-line to correct any errors in the new database. Brown is continuing to research the entities who have contributed to Sununu, adding details beyond what is available in campaign finance reports so that it is possible to analyze geographic, industry, and other trends.
Brown was motivated by recent news reports of Chris Sununu joking about taking corporate contributions. On September 13, as reported by NHPR at the time, Sununu told a crowd of Republicans “I laugh at the Democrats when they say, ‘we don’t take corporate money,’ because no business would ever support you.”
Brown said: “I hope citizens will look at the site and not be as amused by massive corporate influence over New Hampshire’s elections as Chris Sununu. Keep in mind that this is the same Governor who just cited fairness in elections as a reason for imposing new voting eligibility requirements upon out-of-state college students. Yet he has $1.2 million in out-of-state contributions, and many of them are of questionable origin.