Oct 18, 2019

Pete Buttigieg returning donation from Chicago attorney tied to murder case

Mayor Pete at an event in Georgia. Photo: Paras Griffin/WireImage via Getty Images

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is refunding a $5,600 donation from a former Chicago attorney who tried to block the release of a video showing a police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Why it matters: The former city attorney, Steve Patton, was co-hosting a Buttigieg event, the Associated Press reported earlier today. After Axios reached out for comment, his campaign said Patton is no longer attending or co-hosting that event, which was scheduled for tonight, and he's refunding all donations previously received from Patton.

"Transparency and justice for Laquan McDonald is more important than a campaign contribution," Chris Meagher, the campaign's communications director, told Axios. "We are returning the money he contributed to the campaign and the money he has collected. He is no longer a co-host for the event and will not be attending."

The big picture: Several polls — including CNN in July and the Post & Courier in May — have showed Buttigieg polling at 0% among black voters.

  • And in June, a white police officer in South Bend, Ind., where Buttigieg is mayor, fatally shot a black man.
  • That ignited protests in the area and Buttigieg drew national criticism for his handling of the situation.

Buttigieg also faced criticism for firing the city's first black police chief not long after he took office.

  • He has promised to "do better" and has released a plan to fight systemic racism.

The bottom line: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a report earlier this week that found Chicago Police Department officers took part in a massive cover-up of the 2014 shooting.

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Joe Biden slumps in Iowa poll as Pete Buttigieg surges

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg made gains in Iowa, as former Vice President Joe Biden slipped in a New York Times/Siena College poll of voters likely to attend the state's caucuses. Sen. Elizabeth Warren leads the deadlocked pack, with Sen. Bernie Sanders coming in next.

Why it matters: "Buttigieg is aiming to peel away support from Mr. Biden by offering himself as the viable moderate alternative" to Warren and Sanders, the New York Times wrote last week. That effort appears to be working.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019

Harris: Suggesting that African Americans are homophobic is a trope

Sen. Kamala Harris at the October Democratic presidential debate, Oct. 15. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris told CNN Monday there's a "trope" among some Democrats that African Americans are homophobic or transphobic. And she called suggestions that fellow Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is struggling with black voters in South Carolina because he's gay "simply wrong."

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019

Zuckerberg sent staff recommendations to Buttigieg campaign

Photos: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images; Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan sent Pete Buttigieg's 2020 presidential campaign staff recommendations earlier this year, reports Bloomberg.

The big picture: Zuckerberg and Chan made the recommendations as the social media platform faces bipartisan scrutiny on issues like misinformation, privacy, election meddling and bias.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019