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Gatsas: Sununu's contributions from Eversource executives 'troublesome'

By Union Leader staff
September 08. 2016 6:28PM
Chris Sununu, left, is being accused of “selling out to Eversource” by Republican gubernatorial opponent Ted Gatsas, right. (JIM COLE/AP POOL PHOTO)

MANCHESTER — Republican gubernatorial candidate and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas is accusing his GOP primary opponent, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, of “selling out to Eversource” after campaign finance reports released on Wednesday revealed what Gatsas called “a last-minute flood of campaign donations” from Eversource executives.

Campaign finance reports filed with the Secretary of State show that Sununu accepted $18,950 in contributions from 25 individuals who work for Eversource over the last two weeks.

“Councilor Chris Sununu has dutifully parroted Eversource talking points on the campaign trail, and the last-minute flood of campaign donations from Eversource executives is troublesome,” said Gatsas.

The contributions include a $2,000 check from James Judge of Hanover, Mass., CEO and President of Eversource Energy. New Hampshire’s campaign finance law sets $2,000 as the maximum contribution allowed from an individual once a candidate has declared.

The second-highest donation, $1,500, came from Leon Olivier, an Eversource Energy executive vice president. The other 23 donations range from $1,000 to $200.

Sununu recently told the Union Leader he supports the Northern Pass, a hydroelectric project that is high on the list of Eversource priorities. “Northern Pass is going to happen and I believe it should,” Sununu said.

Gatsas has called for regulators to release more details about the power purchase agreement between Hydro-Quebec and Eversource, which reserves 10 percent of the electricity from Northern Pass for New Hampshire.

“As governor, I would hold Eversource accountable and negotiate lower rates by keeping 30 percent of the power from Northern Pass in New Hampshire for Granite State residents and small businesses,” said Gatsas.

Sununu’s campaign spokesman David Abrams said Sununu’s position on Northern Pass has nothing to do with campaign contributions.

“Chris Sununu is and always has been a voice for his constituents,” he said. “Mayor Gatsas is searching high and low for something, anything to distract voters from his record of failing the people of Manchester.”

Eversource spokesman Martin Murray said there is nothing unusual about Eversource employees showing support for political candidates, and that Gatsas has been a recipient as well.

“It’s a personal decision, but we encourage our Eversource employees to take part in the political process in accordance with all applicable laws,” said Murray. “There have been employee contributions to Mr. Sununu’s campaign this election cycle. In the past there have also been contributions of support to Mr. Gatsas as well, from both employees and from our employee political action committee.”

“In all cases, we follow the letter and the spirit of the law when it comes to campaign finance rules and regulations,” he said.

Sununu donations from Eversource: 
Name
Town
Amount
Donation date
William Akley
Wantagh, N.Y.
$500
Aug. 30
Dwayne Basler
Old Lyme, Conn.,
$250
Aug. 28
Gregory Butler
Glastonbury, Conn.
$1,000
Aug. 30
Christine Carmody
Canton, Mass.
$1,000
Aug. 30
Robert Coates
Fiskdale, Mass.
$500
Aug. 30
Penelope Conner
Medfield, Mass.,
$1,000
Aug. 30
Stephen Driscoll
Marshfield, Mass.
$250
Aug. 29
Douglas Foley
Hanover, Mass.
$500
Aug. 30
Kathleen Freeman
Wayland, Mass.
$250
Aug. 30
Craig Hallstrom
North Andover, Mass.
$1,000
Aug. 30
Michael Hayhurst
Canton, Mass.
$500
Aug. 30
James Judge
Hanover, Mass.
$2,000
Aug. 23
Philip Lembo
Melrose, Mass.
$1,000
Aug. 30
John Moreira
South Dartmouth, Mass.
$500
Aug. 30
Margaret Morton
Middletown, Conn.
$500
Aug. 29
James Muntz
Hartford, Conn.
$500
Aug. 30
Joseph Nolan
Belmont, Mass.
$1,000
Aug. 30
Leon Olivier
Hartford, Conn.
$1,500
Aug. 30
Joseph Purington
Hooksett, N.H.
$500
Aug. 29
William Quinlan
Branford, Conn.
$1,000
Aug. 31
Paul Renaud
Chittenden, Vt.
$500
Aug. 30
Werner Schweiger
East Patchogue, N.Y.
$1,000
Aug. 30
William Smagula
Bedford, N.H.
$500
Aug. 25
Tilak Subrahmanian
Ashland, Mass.
$500
Aug. 30
Stephen Sullivan
Manchester, Conn.
$1,000
Aug. 28
Christine Vaughan
Wellesley Hills, Mass.
$200
Aug. 30
TOTAL: $18,950


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