Speed Reads

2020 Campaign

Buttigieg fundraiser accused of 'pay-for-play' pitch

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's campaign can't seem to outrun their fundraising issues.

Axios is out with another report about a Buttigieg bundler that has raised some eyebrows, not long after the mayor received criticism for attending a fundraising event in a Napa Valley, California, "wine cave." This time, one of Buttigieg's top fundraisers, H.K. Park, sent an email to a wealthy prospective donor offering a chance "to get on the campaign's radar" before Buttigieg reels in a bunch of donations once voting gets underway in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The donor was not amused, however, and accused Park of making a "pay-for-play offer," while speculating what it suggests about the way Buttigieg might interact with influential sectors of society like Silicon Valley. "If that's the way he's operating, it's in the public interest for people to know what's being said," the donor said.

Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance watchdog, said it's rare to see such a blunt offer "to buy influence" in writing, but added the caveat that Buttigieg's is not the only campaign where that happens.

The mayor's camp responded by saying the language in Park's email was not authorized, but that any nefarious interpretation of the offer is "ridiculous." Read more at Axios.