Pete Buttigieg’s chickens have come home to roost. There has been some scrutiny of the way he handed out million-dollar deals to his donors, sometimes on the very same day, he received the money. In all, he doled out $33 million to those who donated to his campaigns. The daily mail in investigating the possible scandal. But at least he didn’t join the board of Burisma.
In all, 23 companies that donated money to Buttigieg got contracts from the city of South Bend, Indiana. As the Secretary of Transportation, he has untold billions he can dole out. Is he making the money now while he can? Time will tell.
The Mail reported:
Donohue & Associates president Craig Brunner and his wife Sandra gave $1,000 to the campaign on August 8, 2017, the same day Brunner’s company was awarded a $150,000 job by the city.
Two weeks later on August 22 that year, Abonmarche’s board chairman John Linn gave $2,000 to Mayor Pete’s campaign. The same day, the South Bend BPW approved a $75,700 contract for the company.
Abonmarche executives gave a total $12,870 to Buttigieg’s political funds between 2012 and 2018, and the company won $616,790 in city contracts.
Buttigieg appointed Eric Horvath, a former American Structurepoint executive, as director of South Bend’s Department of Public Works. That appointment came right after American Structurepoint co-owner Marlin Knowles donated over $1,000 to the Buttigieg campaign. The very next year American Structurepoint received a $25 million dollar contract.
Taxpayers Protection Alliance President David Williams called for an investigation into that contract as well as any contract awarded by South Bend’s Department of Public Works.
“Now, as Secretary of Transportation, Buttigieg has access to billions, possibly trillions, of taxpayer dollars in infrastructure spending,” Williams said. “This should be alarming and warrant further investigation into every donation made to Buttigieg and every contract given out by his agency.”
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy for Transparency International’s U.S. branch, pointed out that Buttigieg’s acts would be illegal under federal law.
Greytak told the news outlet:
I’m stunned if it is true that South Bend Indiana doesn’t have laws on the books that prohibit this. At the federal level, this would be entirely illegal. A federal contractor cannot make a contribution to a candidate, because of the obvious conflict of interest. The laws in South Bend should be just as strong. You’re not going to find a smoking gun in how access, influence and power works in American politics. So campaign finance restrictions are supposed to serve as proxies for preventing corruption. The idea that a company that has either a potential or a pending contract, or recently was a government contractor, is able to so expressly and openly give money to the people involved in those decisions, is a fundamentally corrupt system. I’m stunned that the elected leaders there would want to operate in a system that allows for such potential perception of corruption.