Taxpayers Gave Romney $8.9M to Plan 'Transition'

New law provides candidates with resources whether they win or not

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2012 11:22 AM CST

(Newser) – The federal government handed Mitt Romney's team millions of dollars to plan a presidential transition that never happened, Freedom of Information Act requests reveal. Romney was the first beneficiary of the Presidential Transition Act of 2010, which provides major party candidates with resources to plan their transitions mid-campaign, Time explains. Backers argued that the bill would improve national security by ensuring the new president was ready to hit the ground running.

Romney started availing himself of the funds right after his national convention, and while the final bill hasn't been tallied, the estimated cost is around $8.9 million, including $2.5 million to design and build office space for his transition team, $740,000 worth of furniture, and $5.6 million for computers, cell phones, and other IT needs. The General Services Administration hastens to point out that some of those resources, like the laptops it bought for Romney's 500-member team, would be recycled for future transition teams.

Mitt Romney waves to supporters at an election night rally in Boston.
Mitt Romney waves to supporters at an election night rally in Boston.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
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