South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg says he does not consider his taking donations from billionaires as “big money in politics,” a phrase often used by the 2020 Democrats running for president.
While campaigning in Iowa, Buttigieg was asked by a student activist if he believed “taking big money out of politics” means cutting off donations from billionaires and ending his closed-door fundraisers by corporate executives.
“I want to ask if you think that taking big money out of politics includes not taking money off of billionaires and closed-door fundraisers,” Iowa Student Action activist Greg Chung asked Buttigieg.
The mayor quickly responded “No.”
@PeteButtigieg said he wants to "take big money out of politics." We at @IAStudentAction asked him if that includes not taking money from billionaires and closed-door fundraisers, he said "NO." Well, then what counts as "big money" then Pete? pic.twitter.com/pIKkq3hBES
— Greg Chung (@GregChung7) December 8, 2019
Buttigieg’s website states that he supports “common-sense campaign finance rules” to ensure that “corporations do not have the same political rights as people.”
Even so, Silicon Valley, California’s network of tech executives and billionaires, is throwing campaign cash at Buttigieg, as Bloomberg News reported in October:
Buttigieg has staged a fundraising blitz in posh Northern California communities, holding events hosted by technology executives such as Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, Nest Labs home-automation company co-founder Matt Rogers, and Chelsea Kohler, director of product communications at Uber Technologies Inc., among others. [Emphasis added]
Among Buttigieg’s donors are Ron Conway, an investor who has guided San Francisco mayors to back tech-friendly policies; Scott Belsky, the chief product officer and executive vice president at Adobe Inc.; Tony Xu, CEO of Doordash Inc.; David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project and Wendy Schmidt, wife of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. [Emphasis added]
This week, Buttigieg’s former employer McKinsey & Co. consulting firm announced they will allow the 2020 Democrat to disclose to the public whom his clients were from 2007 to 2010. The announcement came after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on Buttigieg to disclose who his fundraising bundlers are and to open his fundraisers to the public.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.