Buttigieg under fire for cornering Dem-fundraising market of big tech billionaires

(File photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg did not get the memo that hard-left Democrats do not like billionaires, it would appear.

 

The 2020 presidential hopeful, whose full name is Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, is raising money from Silicon Valley’s wealthiest families, according to Vox.

The host list for the Palo Alto event featured a number of Big Tech billionaires and family members.

More from Vox:

“Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings is listed as a co-host of the event, as is Nicole Shanahan, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin; Wendy Schmidt, the wife of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt; and Michelle Sandberg, the sister of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.”

 

The article claimed that the Brin, Schmidt, Hastings, and Sandberg families have a combined net worth of about $80 billion.

Overall, Buttigieg has the support of 39 billionaires, according to Forbes. A campaign spokesperson was more interested in talking about grassroots donors, though.

“We are proud to have the support of more than 700,000 grassroots donors across the country who are helping power this campaign. The only thing people are promised at an event with Pete is that he will use that money to beat Donald Trump,” a statement from the spokesperson read.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, who has made the influence of money on politics a key plank of her own presidential bid, slammed Buttigieg in a recent speech.

Warren decried, “When a candidate brags about how beholden he feels to a group of wealthy investors, our democracy is in serious trouble.”

Buttigieg pushed back on Friday, dismissing her comment as a fundraising “purity test.”

“The thing about these purity tests is, the people issuing them can’t even meet them. Right?” the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate said in a Washington Post interview. “If doing traditional fundraisers disqualifies you from running from president, then I guess neither one of us would be here.”

Buttigieg also paid a visit to Napa Valley while in California, attending a fundraiser at the Hall Rutherford winery on Sunday evening, where guests dined at a table made of onyx under a chandelier that contains 1,500 Swarovski crystals.

Hall Rutherford’s owner, Kathryn Hall, who previously served as the US ambassador to Austria, hosted the event, Business Insider reported.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign opted to raise money over “Pete’s wine cave fundraiser.”

And while the mayor may be well-received among moneyed liberals, he continues to struggle with minority voters, as seen in a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.

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