In response to criticism, Pete Buttigieg will open private fundraisers to press and publish names of bundlers
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Facing mounting pressure to open his closed-door fundraisers, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign has announced that future private fundraisers will be open to press beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
“In a continued commitment to transparency, we are announcing today that our campaign will open fundraisers to reporters, and will release the names of people raising money for our campaign,” Campaign Manager Mike Schmuhl said in a statement released on Monday. “Fundraising events with Pete will be open to press beginning tomorrow, and a list of people raising money for the campaign will be released within the week.
While campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, Buttigieg was repeatedly asked by reporters about the lag in making a decision. He said that his team was working through options to open the high-dollar events.
“Just want to make sure we do it in the, you know, if we approach this that we do in the right.”
For weeks, Buttigieg was fending off attacks from his 2020 Democratic presidential competitor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as she continued to even call him out by name over the weekend, asking him to open up those doors for transparency.
“No closed-door fundraisers where they make promises no one can see. Every candidate needs to reveal what their bundler program is, where rich people get together and squeeze other rich people to be able to pull in money for the candidate, and in return get all sort of special perks from the campaign,” Warren said in Rye, New Hampshire, on Saturday.
Buttigieg used to release the name of his bundlers early on his presidential campaign, but eventually stopped disclosing that information.
In response to the attacks from Warren, Buttigieg would strike back with a call for the Massachusetts senator to release tax returns from her years as a corporate lawyer. Something Warren says she will not do.
“I certainly think it would be a good idea for her to release tax returns as I have, covering your entire career and in the private sector. I think that’s one way to show your transparency. And I believe in transparency again and being as – as open as I can about my story, and what I’ve proposed today,” the mayor said in Grinnell, Iowa.
Warren did however disclose documents on Sunday night, showing that she received nearly $2 million from her private legal work over three decades.
Schmuhl says the Buttigieg campaign “strives to be the most transparent in the field,” pointing to examples of their three open press bus tours in Iowa and New Hampshire, where the mayor was on the record with reporters aboard the bus as it traveled to events, and the release of 12 years of his tax returns that cover all of the 38-year-old’s professional life.
“No other candidate for president has released the entirety of their tax returns since their education concluded. No other current candidate for president has released the names of people raising money for their campaign. There are important differences in this race among Democratic candidates, from creating a choice of affordable health care choices for all to removing cost as a barrier to college for those who need it, but transparency shouldn’t be one of them,” Schmuhl said.
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