Buttigieg will open fundraisers to press, disclose bundlers

Buttigieg will open fundraisers to press, disclose bundlers
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Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDOJ sues to block JetBlue-American Airlines partnership On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership MORE announced Monday his campaign would open his high-dollar fundraisers to reporters and disclose the names of campaign bundlers, bowing to pressure from critics who have accused him of lacking transparency.

Campaign manager Mike Schmuhl said in a statement that "in a continued commitment to transparency," events would be open to press beginning Tuesday and a list of people raising money for the campaign will be released within a week.

“From the start, Pete has said it is important for every candidate to be open and honest, and his actions have reflected that commitment. He is the only current presidential candidate who has released the names of people raising money for his campaign, and we will continue to release additional names as more people join our growing effort. Moreover, he will be one of the few candidates to allow reporters access to his fundraising events."

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Early in his presidential campaign, Buttigieg released the names of his bundlers — donors who raise large sums of money for candidates — but stopped doing so in April, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 

He has faced mounting pressure in recent weks to update his list of bundlers and allow reporters to attend his private, high-dollar fundraisers. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE, the only other top-tier candidate in the Democratic field to hold high-dollar fundraisers, has allowed press to attend those events since launching his campaign.

Two other top-tier contenders, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn Washington, the road almost never taken Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn Washington, the road almost never taken Senate poised to battle over Biden's pick of big bank critic Treasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions MORE (D-Mass.), have eschewed high-dollar fundraisers and do not have traditional bundler programs. 

The decision to open up the events to the press comes as transparency emerges as a broader theme on the campaign trail. Buttigieg has also faced questions about his work at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company between 2007 and 2010. 

Buttigieg on Friday released a summary of the types of clients he served at McKinsey, and has publicly called for the consulting giant to allow him to break a nondisclosure agreement that bars him from identifying specific clients.

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Schmuhl, Buttigieg's campaign manager, said that the South Bend, Ind., mayor's campaign "strives to be the most transparent in the field," and cited Buttigieg's media availability, promise to restore White House press briefings and decision to release 12 years of tax returns as evidence that his campaign has not tried to conceal his activities from the public.

“No other candidate for president has released the entirety of their tax returns since their education concluded. No other current candidate for president has released the names of people raising money for their campaign," Schmuhl said.

"There are important differences in this race among Democratic candidates, from creating a choice of affordable health care choices for all to removing cost as a barrier to college for those who need it, but transparency shouldn't be one of them."