Raising fresh questions and new critiques about his close ties to corporate elites amid a hotly contested Democratic primary, Bloomberg reports Monday morning that the campaign of South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg received private and direct hiring advice from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg—advice the presidential candidate apparently took.
According to Bloomberg:
Earlier this year, Zuckerberg sent multiple emails to Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, with names of individuals that he might consider hiring, campaign spokesman Chris Meagher confirmed. Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg’s wife, also sent multiple emails to Schmuhl with staff recommendations. Ultimately, two of the people recommended were hired.
Jennifer Jacobs, senior White House reporter for the news outlet, described the scoop by her colleagues as “a rare example of direct political involvement from one most powerful tech executives.”
Already under fire from progressives as a “sharp tool” who often appears to be operating on behalf of corporate interests when it comes to attacking Medicare for All, utilizing fossil fuel industry talking points when addressing the climate crisis, and taking in big money from the financial and tech sectors—the news about accepting behind-the-scenes directions from Zuckerberg, himself under intense political scrutiny for the way in which Facebook’s outsized influence is damaging democracy, was not well-received.
“The staff recommendations from Zuckerberg are the first evidence of the Facebook CEO actively assisting a presidential campaign.“@PeteButtigieg has fallen in with the wrong crowd.https://t.co/ikRHc3Jm20
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) October 21, 2019
Zuckerberg Has Quietly Advised Buttigieg on Campaign Hey @PeteButtigieg A lot of us have boycotted @facebook Because they 100% worked undermine our democracy. Spreading false news&conspiracy theories. Why are you hiring folks he recommends? https://t.co/I5k2rrnzmW
— Diane Lees🆘🆘🆘 (@dtheavenger) October 21, 2019
“I will be very interested to see how Buttigieg answers the many questions he will no doubt be getting about this story,” said podcast host Len Edgerly in response to Bloomberg‘s reporting. “It will be a good test of his candor, courage, and clarity.”
‘OK, Billionaire’: Elizabeth Warren campaign shrugs off mega-rich investor who called 2020 candidate ‘disgraceful’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren was unfazed by billionaire investor Leon Cooperman's objection to her latest ad promoting her proposed wealth tax in which the 2020 Democratic candidate ridiculed Cooperman's and other wealthy public figures' disapproval of the plan.
In a CNBC interview Wednesday, Cooperman called Warren "disgraceful" and accused the Massachusetts Democrat of trying to "demonize wealthy people because there are more poor people than wealthy people."
Pete Buttigieg leads Iowa poll as Michael Bloomberg edges towards 2020 shot
Pete Buttigieg vaulted into the lead in the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nominations race in early-voting Iowa, according to a poll Tuesday, as billionaire and fellow moderate Michael Bloomberg stepped closer to a White House run.
Both moves come at the expense of former vice president Joe Biden, whose centrist campaign has struggled to maintain its frontrunner status.
And they signal an unsettled field with voters far from coalescing around a single candidate less than three months before the first votes in Iowa.
The Monmouth University poll marks the first time that Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana and at 37 the youngest candidate in the race, has topped a statewide presidential survey, firming his stature in the crowded battle to challenge President Donald Trump.
Trump push for ‘middle class’ tax cut ahead of 2020 derided as admission that ‘his first tax cut was a scam’
Advisers to President Donald Trump are reportedly working on a plan to slash the "middle class" tax rate to 15 percent, a pre-election effort that tax experts and progressive critics slammed as an admission that the first round of Republican tax cuts did nothing for most Americans while further enriching the wealthiest.