Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg hosts a town hall meeting at the Lions Den in Fort Dodge, Iowa on April 16, 2019. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In 'Mind-Blowing Omission,' Buttigieg Campaign Failed to Disclose Wall Street Power Brokers in Release of Major Fundraisers

A "vulture" hedge fund manager, charter school founder, and lawyer who represented Wall Street banks during the financial crisis were among the bundlers who were not previously disclosed.

Julia Conley

Among the more than 20 top fundraisers for South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg that his 2020 presidential campaign omitted from a release of his "campaign bundlers" on Friday were hedge fund executives and other power brokers with ties to Wall Street.

As Politico reported Tuesday, the list of about 100 bundlers who have raised more than $25,000 each for the mayor left out a number of donors included in an internal campaign fundraising report which the outlet had previously received.

The omission was inadvertent according to Buttigieg spokesman Chris Meagher, who told Politico the campaign was making an updated, accurate list. The news was nonetheless condemned as "sketchy" by Jeff Hauser of the watchdog group Revolving Door Project.

"Pete's campaign dumped his bundlers last Friday night, but the Friday night news dumps only works if there's few threads for reporters to pull. Otherwise, it reeks of deception and only whets reporters' appetites. It seems to have backfired in this case."
—Adam Jentleson, Democracy Forward
"The first time I saw this list, I said, 'There is no way this is comprehensive.' It's just kind of mind-blowing that they would be this dishonest," Hauser told Politico.

Under pressure from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the Buttigieg campaign on Friday evening released a list of more than 100 bundlers who have raised more than $25,000 for the mayor's bid for the Democratic ticket. Warren had called on Buttigieg to release the names of his top donors and open his private high-dollar fundraisers to the media.

In response to criticism from Warren and other progressives, Buttigieg said last week that his campaign "strives to be the most transparent in the field." But Politico revealed that nearly two dozen bundlers had been left out of the campaign's data release, which one critic derided as a "Friday night news dump" designed to satisfy the demands for transparency while leaving out key information.

The tactic "only works if there's few threads for reporters to pull," tweeted Adan Jentleson of Democracy Forward. "Otherwise, it reeks of deception and only whets reporters' appetites. It seems to have backfired in this case."

On social media, a number of critics scrutinized the list of previously-undisclosed bundlers that was revealed by Politico Tuesday evening, including former ambassadors, entertainment and advertising executives, and Wall Street figures.

One such bundler was William Rahm, managing director of the hedge fund Centerbridge Partners. The fund was one of several firms that concealed its Puerto Rican debt holdings through shell companies as pension funds in the territory were slashed. 

"As Puerto Rican debt mounted, vultures swooped in, buying nearly half of the distressed bonds and using that leverage to pressure the Puerto Rican government," wrote David Dayen at The American Prospect earlier this year. "The bouts of austerity and suffering that we've seen on the island are in no small part due to the role of vulture funds like Centerbridge Partners."

"Give Buttigieg credit: He is at least aware of which bundlers he should try to conceal from the public," journalist Ryan Grim tweeted.

The advocacy group New York Communities for Change also highlighted the Buttigieg campaign contributions of hedge fund manager and John Petry, a charter school founder, while the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) pointed to another bundler, H. Rodgin Cohen, who "repped big banks during the financial crisis."

"Wall Street has found their candidate!" tweeted New York Communities for Change.

Buttigieg has raised 52% of his campaign funds from large donors, compared with 29% for Warren and 24% for Sen. Bernie Sander (I-VT.), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Neither Warren nor Sanders are holding fundraisers with high-dollar contributors.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo