Republican Gov. Chris Sununu raised almost half-a-million dollars to fund his inauguration celebrations, bringing in hefty $25,000 checks from Eversource Energy, health care corporation Centene and Concord law firm Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, records show.
Two months after Sununu’s final inaugural gala ended, more than $240,000 remained in the fund, according to filings. And in March, Sununu tapped the money to cover a trip to Washington D.C., where he attended a pro-Lebanon advocacy group’s gala.
While state law sets stringent contribution caps and spending guidelines for election campaigns, the statute is surprisingly silent on inaugural funds. It means governors-elect have little restriction on how much they can raise from lobbyists or corporations and few regulations limiting how they can spend the money.
“There probably should be more formal requirements with regards to what can happen with it,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican.