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

By Union Leader staff
September 08, 2016

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.

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Chris Sununu, left, is being accused of “selling out to Eversource” by Republican gubernatorial opponent Ted Gatsas, right. (JIM COLE/AP POOL PHOTO)

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:

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