Apr 26, 2019

Pete Buttigieg's campaign to return lobbyist donations

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced in an email on Friday that the campaign will no longer accept contributions from federal lobbyists, and plans to return $30,250 to those who have already donated.

The big picture: The decision comes 1 day after former Vice President Joe Biden announced his presidential candidacy at the home of a Comcast executive, per Politico. Buttigieg recently found himself in the hot seat, per the Huffington Post, for being the only high-profile Democratic candidate to actively accept money from powerful Washington lobbyists.

Other Democratic candidates have sworn off donations from lobbyists and PACs, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who shunned "big money fundraisers" and is pushing for a grassroots donations movement. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also issued an announcement on Thursday taking a stand against special-interest fundraising.

Some 2020 Democratic contenders have been hush-hush on fundraising details against the backdrop of an intra-party debate over the role of big money in politics. Already, Buttigieg's campaign raised more than $7 million in Q1 of 2019, according to FEC filings.

Buttigieg's campaign will not:

  • allow lobbyists to serve as bundlers for the campaign.
  • accept money from corporate PACs.
  • accept contributions from fossil fuel firms.

Spokesperson Chris Meagher added on Friday that Steve Elmendorf — a lobbyist with clients such as Amazon and Facebook — will step down as a fundraiser for the Buttigieg campaign, per the AP.

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

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Trump's new purge

Michael Atkinson, arrives in October for closed-door questioning about the whistleblower complaint. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sources close to President Trump expect him to fire more inspectors general across his government.

What they're saying: Conservative allies of the president have told him that these IGs are members of the “deep state” trying to undermine him. Trump appears to have embraced that view.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Axios Visuals

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,140,327 — Total deaths: 60,887 — Total recoveries: 233,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 278,568 — Total deaths: 7,163 — Total recoveries: 9,920Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: A pivotal Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Military updates: Senators call for independent investigation into the firing of Navy captain of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. The U.S. military is struggling to find new recruits as enlistment stations are shut down.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: New York reports record 630 deaths in 24 hours

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths in one day.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S., killing more than 7,100 people in total, and over 1,000 in 24 hours alone. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 48 mins ago - Health