February 28, 2022

Quid Pro Quo? Mayor Pete’s Donors Received $33M in City Contracts

By T. Thompson In Featured, Latest News with Comments Off on Quid Pro Quo? Mayor Pete’s Donors Received $33M in City Contracts

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s top political donors received millions of dollars in city contracts while he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Records show Buttigieg’s political action committees received donations from 23 companies who later got jobs from South Bend’s Board of Public Works, whose members he appointed.

On two separate occasions, the former presidential candidate received donations the same day the companies were awarded contracts.

Other South Bend contractors gifted Buttigieg cigars, alcohol, and golf trips worth hundreds of dollars.

Companies, their leaders, and spouses gave Buttigieg $253,750 and scored more than $33 million in city contracts between 2011 and 2019.

Records show that Marlin Knowles, an executive at American Structurepoint, gave $1,500 to Buttigieg’s 2011 mayoral campaign. After meeting with the company at his office in 2012, Buttigieg appointed an American Structurepoint executive to the South Bend Department of Public Works. The firm received a $25 million city contract one year later.

Between 2014 and early 2019, an American Structurepoint senior executive gave more than $30,000 to Buttigieg’s campaigns. The Public Works Department gave the company more than $790,000 in city contracts during that time.

Another firm donated $14,150 to Buttigieg’s campaigns and received $885,030 in city contracts.

The City of South Bend said that the procurement process was public and transparent.

Government ethics expert Jeff Hauser said Buttigieg could take steps to limit the appearance of corruption, such as by declining contributions from donors who received large Transportation Department contracts during his time atop the agency.

“There’s a perception in the United States that Washington, D.C., is the height of corruption,” Hauser said.

“The reality is that outside the glare of the national media and inquisitive nonprofits, state and municipal governments are often even more corrupt. That doesn’t mean Buttigieg or any other former municipal official was or is corrupt, but does underscore the need for scrutiny that doesn’t take as a given that a mayor was well-vetted by local media.”

“In order to allay any concerns about quid pro quos, Buttigieg could announce that in any electoral contests he might compete in within the four years following his departure from public service, he will not accept contributions from any corporate official or PAC associated with a senior role at a firm that received contracts totaling $1 million or more while he was running the Transportation Department,” Hauser added.

As transportation secretary, Buttigieg will oversee the $210 billion in government funds earmarked in the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.


EXCLUSIVE: Pete Buttigieg accepted $250,000 and gifts from mayoral campaign donors who were later awarded $33million in city contracts, raising concerns of ‘pay to play’ as Transportation Secretary doles out $210billion in infrastructure plan

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