Mayor Pete: No more lobbyist donations, last to make the pledge

2020 presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has seen the light and will return money donated to his campaign by lobbyists. He’s changing his mind, though, after receiving a total of $30,250 from 39 lobbyists. What has brought about the change of heart? It is probably a desire to be able to virtue shame the top dog in the race, Joe Biden while staying in the good graces of the far left.

Many of the Democrat primary candidates are eschewing lobbyist money. In fact, Buttigieg is the last major candidate to make the pledge to not accept lobbyist money. Joe Biden’s campaign says they will not accept lobbyist money yet that’s a rather farcical statement now that Biden’s in the race and the very first event he attended was a fundraiser hosted by Comcast executive David Cohen. Cohen manages the company’s lobby arm, so there’s that.

Buttigieg is also among the Democrat candidates who are refusing to take money from fossil fuel executives and corporate political action committees. His newly acquired righteousness may also be the result of early success in the fundraising arena. He is the flavor of the month for the time being and he’s raking in the campaign donations.

Buttigieg’s campaign has quickly gained steam, ascending from essentially zero name recognition to the top levels of the crowded Democratic field in a matter of weeks.

The campaign raised $7 million in the first quarter of 2019, according to filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission.

A fact that wasn’t mentioned when Buttigieg’s campaign announced the donation policy change is this: a lobbyist can fundraise and bundle donations but just not give money himself/herself and Buttigieg doesn’t break the pledge. The money still comes in but not under a lobbyist’s name. We see you, Mayor Pete.

Meanwhile, Buttigieg is catching on among the politically active and wealthy in Hollywood. The woke crowd is feeling all warm and fuzzy about him.

In the massive Democratic fundraising world of Hollywood, plans for an upcoming visit started a tug-of-war between major entertainment industry figures, including movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, over who would get to host an upcoming Buttigieg fundraiser. The dispute was described by two people with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

Buttigieg also counts among his supporters Laurie David, the producer of the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” who was formerly married to “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David. Other prominent donors include “West Wing” star Bradley Whitford, “Deadpool” actor Ryan Reynolds and “This Is Us” actress Mandy Moore, whose Twitter feed is dominated by posts about Buttigieg.

“Los Angeles is excited to see and hear from Mayor Pete,” said Marie Lloyd, a political consultant who works for some Hollywood megadonors, including Katzenberg. “I imagine he will have a pretty warm reception here. But it’s up to him if that excitement remains.”

Katzenberg, it can be noted is among those hosting Biden’s first big Hollywood fundraising event in May. Mayor Pete also receives checks from donors who contribute to multiple candidates. He is surpassed in this distinction only by Kamala Harris.

He’s also started to draw checks from donors who have given to other candidates, another sign of the level of interest in Buttigieg.

Among 2020 candidates, Buttigieg has received the second highest number of checks from donors who have given to multiple candidates, FEC data shows. Only Harris, who has been on the national political scene longer, has drawn more donors who have cut checks to multiple candidates, records show.

Super woke actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow will co-host a fundraiser with Whitford. Their fundraiser is one of three that day.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Bradley Whitford are among the co-hosts for an event on May 9, as Buttigieg makes another fundraising swing through L.A., having courted donors at meet and greets and in private meetings with key bundlers in earlier visits.

According to an invite, Paltrow and her husband, writer-producer Brad Falchuk, and Whitford and actress Amy Landecker are co-hosts for the evening reception, one of a number of events Buttigieg is holding that day. Tickets start at $250 per person.

Paltrow hosted President Barack Obama for a fundraiser at her home in 2014.

According to sources, there was some friction among Hollywood bundlers in the effort to land one of the events for Buttigieg on that date, a reflection of how his star has risen in the 2020 field. Some fundraisers agreed to hold events at a later date

It’s easy to discover a muh principles attitude against the boogeymen (lobbyists) when the cash is flowing into campaign coffers while he’s the hot ticket in the Democrat primary. And there is that tricky little technicality that allows bundlers to do their fundraising work without actually making their own personal donation. So all Buttigieg is really doing is following the crowd. He accepted lobbyist money before he didn’t.