Buttigieg will open fundraisers to press, disclose bundlers

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 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.

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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 BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook 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 SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names 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.”

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