2020 Democratic primaries

Jump to: navigation, search

Pre-election polls

Exit polls



Main article: 2020 Iowa caucus


External links

Exit polling

  • New Hampshire primary
    • Tweet by Meet the Press on 2020/02/11 @ 17:24: "NEW: Early New Hampshire exit polls show 11% of NH voters are 17-29, down from 19% in 2016. @SteveKornacki: "This is a significant change.""
    • CNN, "Exit polls: 6 in 10 New Hampshire Democrats want a nominee who can beat Trump", 2020/02/11: "Democratic voters turning out for Tuesday's New Hampshire primary say they are looking for a candidate who can beat President Donald Trump over one who agrees with them on the issues by a roughly 2-to-1 margin, according to early exit polls conducted for CNN. Six in 10 Democratic voters in New Hampshire prioritize a nominee who can beat Trump. [...] Just over a third say that they sought a candidate who could bring needed change, while about the same amount said they were seeking one who could unite the country. [...] Still, more than 8 in 10 who voted today say they plan to vote for the Democratic nominee in November regardless of who it is, just 1 in 8 say they won't. About 6 in 10 who turned out to vote in today's primary say they made up their minds since the beginning of February, including nearly half who say they decided on their candidate just in the last few days. About half overall say the most recent debate -- held in New Hampshire on Friday night -- was an important factor in deciding their vote for president. And early exits indicate that only about 1 in 8 are first-time Democratic primary voters, down slightly from 16% in 2016 and 19% in 2008. [...] Support for a Medicare-for-All-style health care plan, where a single government plan provides coverage for all Americans and replaces the current system of private health insurance, has divided the top candidates in the race for much of the campaign. But almost 6 in 10 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters today said they would support such a government plan, 4 in 10 were opposed. About two-thirds said they would be in favor of making tuition free at public colleges and universities, a plan that has likewise divided the top candidates."
    • NBC results from the New Hampshire 2020 primaries with exit polls updated as of 19:41
    • Ted Soares, "NEW HAMPSHIRE 2020 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count", 2020/02/17
  • South Carolina primary
  • Massachusetts primary

Iowa caucus

See the 2020 Iowa caucus page

New Hampshire primary

  • Gerry Bello, "How Buttigieg Stole a Delegate in New Hampshire in the Exact Way We Predicted", 2020/02/??: "New Hampshire has 10 counties. 7 of those counties tabulate votes the old fashioned way with human beings counting paper ballots in public. 3 of those counties (Carroll, Rockingham and Merrimack) use the previously highlighted AccuVote OS scanner -tabulator machines. Both rural and more urban counties are represented in both groups. The percentages between the two candidates should hold within one to two points. They differ wildy. In counties where the AccuVote machines were used, Buttigieg received 27495 votes or 34.99%. This percentage differs from the state wide number 10.27%. That is a very large statistical anomaly. In the 7 counties where the votes were tabulated by hand, Buttigieg received 40646 votes or 23.7%. This is a 1% difference of his final percentage."

Texas primary

  • WFAA, "Dallas County asks to recount Super Tuesday election results after 44 thumb drives discovered", 2020/03/07: "Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole discovered her office did not count about a tenth of the polling locations where voters cast their ballots on Super Tuesday, court documents submitted Friday revealed. She asked a court to let her conduct a manual recount of the votes, after she discovered 44 thumb drives containing ballots that were not included in the final results. A judge ruled in a hearing Tuesday morning at the Dallas County District Court that a recount could proceed, but only for the ballots that went unaccounted for. The error represented about 7,000 ballots, election officials said Tuesday. It affected polling location sites in Dallas, Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, Mesquite and Rowlett. [...] For the March 3 primary elections, Dallas County began using new voting equipment that requires two thumb drives to record the votes, one is the main drive, the second is a back-up. “This new election equipment records citizen votes electronically, but also creates a paper ballot record of the votes which were cast,” according to the court petition."

Florida primary

  • WVIT, "Fla. Woman Accused of Changing Voters’ Party Affiliation From Dem to GOP", 2020/03/06: "Cheryl A. Hall, 63, who worked for an organization that helps register voters, turned herself in to Lake County Sheriff's officials Thursday, according to court records. She's charged with 10 felony counts of submission of false voter registration information. A day earlier Lake County officials had announced that 119 false voter registration applications had been filed, news outlets reported. Hall submitted the forms to the Lake County Supervisor of Elections Office, authorities said. Elections officials flagged the forms because they included incorrect information, including birth dates, Social Security numbers or driver's license numbers. Some of the forms changed the registrations of Democrats or no party affiliation to Republican, officials said. Sheriff's investigators said all 119 false forms were assigned to Hall, a registered Republican, to collect. She worked for Florida First's office in Winter Haven."

Arizona primary

Wisconsin primary

  • Refusal to postpone election
    • Joe Biden approval
      • ABC, "Biden and Trump campaigns haven't called on Wisconsin to postpone primaries amid pandemic", 2020/04/03: "Biden, the Democratic front-runner, sparked controversy after saying he believed the primary could be held next Tuesday amid the pandemic, while adding it’s ultimately up to local officials. "Well, the answer is I'd listen to the scientists. Having a convention, having tens of thousands of people in one arena is very different than having people walk into a polling booth with accurate spacing, 6 to 10 feet apart, one at a time going in and having machines scrubbed down," Biden said during a virtual press conference on Thursday. "I think you can hold the election as well dealing with mail-in ballots and same day registration. I mean there's a lot of things that can be done. That's for the Wisconsin courts and folks to decide, but I think it's possible to do both...And I think it could be done based on what I've been hearing from the news and what I understand the governor and others are saying. But that's for them to decide," Biden added."
      • Daily Beast, "Biden: Voting in Wisconsin Is Safe. Locals: It Could Kill Us", 2020/04/07: "“I can only wonder if he’s completely aware of the situation on the ground in Wisconsin,” Kim Butler, the head of the Polk County Democratic Party, said of Biden not calling for a delay. “Because I don’t think if he was really seeing and hearing what was going on here that he would necessarily feel that way.” But Butler, who lives in a red county and said the dynamics playing out on the ground in her area have shown her how difficult it can be to vote, worries that in-person voting Tuesday means that voters will get sick—and that fears of the pandemic will suppress the vote."

Other curiosities

  • Joe Biden background
    • Social Security position
      • ...
    • Single-payer healthcare position
      • The Week, "3 things Joe Biden is still getting wrong about Medicare-for-all", 2019/09/13: "Former Vice President Joe Biden attacked Sanders' plan on several points. The arguments were bad and wrong, but usefully so — providing an excellent brief in favor of Medicare-for-all, once one understands they are the opposite of truth. Falsehood 1: Medicare-for-all is going to be more expensive. [...] Falsehood 2: Medicare-for-all will mean lots of people losing their health insurance. Biden claimed that either 160 or 149 million people would lose their coverage under universal Medicare. [...] Falsehood 3: Medicare-for-all will take too long."
      • CNBC, "Biden suggests he would veto ‘Medicare for All’ over its price tag", 2020/03/10: "Former Vice President Joe Biden suggested that he would veto the universal health-care legislation known as “Medicare for All” championed by his Democratic presidential primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, citing costs. [...] “I would veto anything that delays providing the security and the certainty of health care being available now,” Biden responded. “If they got that through in by some miracle or there’s an epiphany that occurred and some miracle occurred that said, ‘OK, it’s passed,’ then you got to look at the cost.” Biden added: “I want to know, how did they find $35 trillion? What is that doing? Is it going to significantly raise taxes on the middle class, which it will? What’s going to happen?”"
    • Tara Reade rape accusation
      • ...
  • Pete Buttigieg background
    • Current Affairs, "All About Pete" by Nathan J. Robinson, 2019/03/29
      • "He dismisses student labor activists with the right-wing pejorative “social justice warriors.” But more importantly, to this day it hasn’t even entered his mind that he could have joined the PSLM in the fight for a living wage. Activists are an alien species, one he “strides past” to go to “Pizza & Politics” sessions with governors and New York Times journalists."
      • "9/11 happens while Buttigieg is an undergraduate and the rest of the book’s Harvard portion is spent musing on war and peace. One of the few things that does disturb him about the school is that its students are no longer expected to serve in the military. (In an extreme conservative tone, he suggests there was no excuse for a student like him not to voluntarily join the armed forces.)"
      • "A more significant one is the way he talks about war. Buttigieg’s thesis was in part about Vietnam, which he calls a “doomed errand into the jungle.” The liberal vocabulary on wars like Vietnam and Iraq should trouble us. [...] In doing so, it fails to reckon with the full scale of the atrocities brought about by U.S. government policy. It also treats America as an innocent blundering giant with “the best of intentions.” Buttigieg quotes Graham Greene: “Innocence is like a dumb leper that has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.” This is the Ken Burns line: We mean so well but we make terrible mistakes. It excludes the possibility that American leaders know full well what they are doing but simply do not care about the lives of non-Americans."
      • "After Harvard, it is off to Oxford, where Buttigieg takes up his Rhodes Scholarship with pride. [...] Andrew Sullivan—of all people!—wrote a 1988 article poking fun at this sought-after honor [...] They are chosen “not for their creative brilliance but for their slogging ability to make all the right career moves and please their elders.” [...] From Oxford, he said, the Scholars tend to take up unexciting but well-paying professional positions, such as working for McKinsey & Company."
      • "And so it is no surprise that, after informing us that he got the highest possible grade in his Oxford course, Buttigieg narrates his next move as follows: Knowing I would head back to America meant that there was less at stake for me in the grade, but I took pride in it even while sensing that the time had come to learn what wasn’t on the page and get an education in the real world. Which is why I went to McKinsey. [...] If you are Pete Buttigieg, at this point in your life you have the ability to take almost any job you want. [...] Pete Buttigieg looked inside himself and decided he belonged at… the world’s most sinister and amoral management consulting company."
      • "Pete Buttigieg does not recall his time at McKinsey with a sense of moral ambivalence. Today he says it might have been his most “intellectually informing experience,” and by that he doesn’t mean that he saw the dark underbelly of American business. No, he was “learning about the nature of data.” It was a thoroughly neutral experience, “a place to learn.” [...] In fact, Buttigieg was asked in an interview what he thought of the company’s misdeeds. On the work pushing OxyContin, he replied that he “hadn’t followed the story.” On collaborating with the murderous Saudi government: I think you have a lot of smart, well-intentioned people who sometimes view the world in a very innocent way. I wrote my thesis on Graham Greene, who said that innocence is like a dumb leper that has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm. The dumb leper again! Man, Buttigieg never misses a chance to cite that thesis."
      • "When Pete Buttigieg reports having meetings with people, it’s usually party bosses and advisers rather than ordinary voters, around whom he often seems uncomfortable. In a city that is ¼ Black, the most visible encounter he has with a Black constituent is an extremely telling one: A big man who was also a deacon at Mount Carmel, the fastest-growing black church in town, he leaned back in his seat and shifted between knowing glances at his fellow firefighters and piercing stares at us. He seemed interested but skeptical. ‘I like what I’m seeing, and I like what you’re saying. But how do I know you’re not just another sweet-talking devil trying to get my pants off?’ It was hard to think of a good answer to that, so I kept on with the pitch. ‘I don’t know about that, but you’ll be able to hold me accountable for what we achieve from day one…’ You could never be sure, but I felt our case was convincing… The fireman gets it: Pete is a skilled rhetorician trying to get people’s pants off. How do you know the fireman is right? Because Pete can’t even think of an answer to this extremely simple question. [...] You have no plans, no ideas, you have no record of good deeds and community service. He’s got you figured, and all you can do is “keep on with your pitch” and stammer the word “accountability.”"
      • "Check out this little gem from when he’s figuring out if he can run: I sat listening to anyone who would give me time—the redevelopment commission [first on the list, of course], the head of the local community foundation, the most respected black pastors on the West Side—to see what they thought of the city’s future, and to gauge what they might think of me. [...] note what he’s not asking them: What do you need from a mayor? What should a mayor do and can I figure out how to do it? He listens to gauge whether he should run, not to find out what community concerns were. Lest you think I’m being unfair to the passage, read the book: Try to find out what those Black pastors’ political priorities were. Try to determine what the Black fireman wanted from a mayor. Pete wasn’t curious enough to find out, so you won’t either."
      • "As mayor, he says, he was “tech-oriented.” He was “fresh from a job in management consulting and eager to unlock whatever efficiencies could be found.” He wanted to “follow the data where it leads.” What does that mean? Buttigieg cites “app for pothole detection” and his “smart sewers” that used wi-fi-enabled sensors to more efficiently control wastewater flow. He was even willing to “follow the data” toward layoffs. He found that it would save money to put robotic arms on city garbage trucks and fire human trash collectors. Buttigieg was “prepared to eliminate the jobs,” in part because the robots “led to lower injury rates” (fewer injuries being the predictable consequence of fewer jobs)."
      • "Alright, so Buttigieg sounds like a bit of a Silicon Valley “growth is everything,” “we can make an app for that” kind of guy. So what? Well, so, I didn’t realize the whole way through Shortest Way Home that South Bend actually has a serious poverty problem! Over ¼ of its residents are poor. [...] he spends zero time in the book discussing the economic struggles of the residents of his city!"
      • "And there are issues of justice in South Bend. In places, gentrification is apparently “gobbling up more of the smaller more middle class and more black parts of the neighborhood.” Last winter the city’s inaction on homelessness left “the chronically homeless to camp in the woods as temperatures drop[ped],” and activists say Buttigieg’s “leadership has fallen short on homelessness.” (Buttigieg declined to appoint a homelessness czar.) A charter school company (“Success Virtual Learning Centers”) is trying to introduce one of those most hellish of things, the “online charter school” where students sit in a bare room all day being taught by a laptop instead of a teacher. The school-to-prison pipeline is a serious problem, with black boys being suspended and kicked out of school. But community activists aren’t characters in Shortest Way Home, and you won’t hear about the actions of groups like Community Action For Education."
      • "[...] from Buttigieg’s account of his time in Afghanistan, it doesn’t seem as if he has thought very hard about American militarism or empire. Buttigieg served overseas for seven months with naval intelligence, taking a hiatus from his mayoral duties. [...] The scope of Buttigieg’s self-awareness can be seen from the fact that, in recalling his ambivalence about deployment, he quotes a friend quoting G.K. Chesterton to him: “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.” A morally serious person would realize that one American person’s inconvenience/adventure is another non-American person’s incinerated wedding party."
      • "Buttigieg’s book is actually one of the strangest pieces of writing I’ve ever read by a “progressive.” Buttigieg doesn’t even seem to speak the language of progressivism. Justice. Workers. The powerless versus the powerful. It’s just not in here."
      • "As we’ve discussed in Current Affairs before, one of the main problems with liberal politics is that people think it should operate like The West Wing: You just pick the smartest and most credentialed people, and they’re the ones who should be solving the nation’s problems. (Jed Bartlet, coincidentally, is a former resident of South Bend, Indiana.)"
      • "Buttigieg says that bipartisan cooperation with Republicans like [Mike Pence predecessor Mitch] Daniels on economic issues “has little to do with stretching or changing your beliefs,” which is only true if you’re a neoliberal."
      • "(Buttigieg knows that he will be seen as more leftist than he actually is because he looks like a student. His chief of staff, Kathryn Roos has said that with young politicians, “people elect you because they want change. Even if you don’t run on change, your face kind of says that.”)"
    • Vogue, "Pete! Pete! Pete! Inside the Underdog Campaign Shaking Up the 2020 Race", 2019/04/29: "Showing me into a living room where books on display range from Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century to Peanuts: A Golden Celebration, he takes a seat in front of a huge resource-and-mineral map of Afghanistan."
    • The Atlantic, "What Pete Buttigieg Says He Did at McKinsey", 2019/12/10: "He said the work he did was mainly about, in consultant-speak, reducing “overhead expenditures” and increasing “efficiencies”—but he said he doesn’t believe that any of the work he did led to job cuts, or to changes in people’s insurance. His campaign also revealed to me his clients from his time at McKinsey: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Loblaws, a Canadian supermarket chain; Best Buy; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Energy; the Energy Foundation, an environmental nonprofit; the U.S. Postal Service; and the U.S. Department of Defense. [...] When someone asked whether he’d be interested in a project working for the Defense Department studying economic development in Afghanistan and Iraq, he said yes. [...] “In Iraq, it had to do with a lot of state-owned enterprises that were learning to function in the post-Saddam world, helping them with basic stuff like business planning that just hadn’t been done in the style of international business norms, because it was a quasi-socialist system over there,” Buttigieg told me. “In Afghanistan, they knew how to do business, but then there was a lot of trouble scaling it. So we were working more on figuring out how to help businesses grow.” Four years later, Buttigieg would return to Afghanistan as a Naval intelligence officer."
    • Vice, "Canadians Are Convinced Mayor Pete Helped Fix Bread Prices", 2019/12/10: "You could call them “bread truthers.” They’re a motley crew of Twitter accounts—mostly Canadian—prodding at the six months that U.S. presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (a.k.a. Mayor Pete) consulted for a major Canadian grocer. That was in 2008, in the midst of the Great Canadian bread price-fixing scandal, during which a cartel of the country’s biggest grocers and bread manufacturers hiked and manipulated the price of bread. You may remember this scandal because grocery giant Loblaws offered Canadians $25 each for their troubles. It may sound like a fringe-y conspiracy theory, but according to Buttigieg’s own description, he analyzed “the effects of price cuts on various combinations of items across their hundreds of stores.” He also played around with food pricing based on consumer behaviour. He was an associate of elite global consulting firm McKinsey & Company during that time."
    • Jacobin, "Mayor Pete Buttigieg Is Even Worse Than He Seems", 2019/12/11: "By choosing Lis Smith as his campaign spokeswoman, he’s letting them know that he’s friendly and comfortable with Democrats who might as well be Republicans. Smith was the spokeswoman for Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group of Democrats in the New York state senate who chose to install a Republican leadership in the chamber in order to made progressive legislation almost impossible. [...] Mayor Pete’s McKinsey work does not seem to have pushed against the grain of the firm. It may have led to mass layoffs at Blue Cross Blue Shield and may also have prompted the firm to recommend layoffs at the US Post Office. Mayor Pete also worked on a McKinsey contract in Afghanistan exploring how best to extract and exploit that company’s natural resources; the project sounds deeply environmentally destructive and has also been criticized as a huge waste of US taxpayer dollars. [...] Some candidates would attempt talking to black voters, or even creating a better platform that might appeal to the middle and working classes to which most black voters belong. [...] Mayor Pete took the far more edgy strategy of simply making stuff up. [...] Buttigieg’s campaign recently published a list of South Carolinian “supporters” of his “Douglass Plan” for the “Empowerment of Black America.” But some of the prominent black leaders on it were not in fact supporters of Mayor Pete or even of his plan, nor had they agreed to join such a list."
    • Daily Dot, "Pete Buttigieg swears he’s not in the CIA", 2019/12/11: "in a book he released in advance of a presidential run, Shortest Way Home, Buttigieg mentioned that as part of his work for McKinsey, he stayed in a “safe house in Iraq.” [...] that settles it. Anyone who says they weren’t involved with the CIA clearly is not a spy. However, his client list at McKinsey presents another issue. One of the clients he mentions (along with the Department of Defense) is Blue Cross Blue Shield. A former health insurance exec, Wendell Potter, detailed in a Twitter thread what McKinsey was doing with Blue Cross Blue Shield, which was, essentially, find a way to make it more money. What that boiled down to was: kick people off insurance, raise premiums, and cut jobs, according to Potter. Buttigieg worked on the project in 2007. In 2009, the company laid off hundreds while raising executive pay. [...] see it in Buttigieg’s own words. In 2019, he’s saying none of his work led to job cuts. In 2011, he said he found redundancies throughout the firm but didn’t explicitly say what happened next."
    • The Grayzone, "The insider: How national security mandarins groomed Pete Buttigieg and managed his future", 2019/12/17: "[Buttigieg's McKinsey] disclosures included a timeline of his work for various clients that stated he “stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana.” How Buttigieg’s “full-time” role on that gubernatorial campaign took him on a nearly 8,000-mile detour to Somaliland remains unclear. Buttigieg and Nathaniel Myers spent only 24 hours in the autonomous region of Somaliland. In that short time, they interviewed unnamed government officials and faithfully relayed their pro-independence line back to the American public in a July 2008 op-ed in the New York Times. The column read like it could have been crafted by a public relations firm on behalf of a government client. [...] Since declaring its independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland has campaigned for recognition from the US, EU, and African Union. [...] just a few weeks before Buttigieg’s visit, the would-be republic inked a contract with an international lobbying firm called Independent Diplomat, presumably to help oversee that charm offensive. Founded by a self-described anarchist named Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat represents an array of non and para-state entities seeking recognition on the international stage. Ross’s client list has included the Syrian Opposition Coalition, which tried and failed to secure power through a Western-backed war against the Syrian government. [...] “There really is nothing going on in Somaliland,” Kiriakou told The Grayzone. “To say you go to Somaliland as a tourist is a joke to me. It’s not a war-torn area but nobody goes there as a tourist.” [...] Nathaniel Myers’ relationship with the presidential hopeful began at Harvard University. [...] [Following his time at the World Bank] Myers currently works as a senior advisor for the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID-OTI) in Washington DC. [...] Myers revealed that he had “specialized in programming in places like Yemen and Libya” – two conflict zones destabilized by US-led regime-change wars. [...] USAID’s OTI has also fueled Syria’s brutal proxy war, coordinating US government assistance to supposed civil society groups like the White Helmets [...] In Venezuela, the OTI has spent tens of millions of dollars cultivating and training opponents of the late President Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro. [...] When Pete Buttigieg made his journey to Somaliland in 2008, he had just earned a fellowship at the Truman Center, a Washington-based think tank [...] [In a 2010 advertisement, the Truman National Security Project] declared that it was seeking “exceptionally accomplished and dedicated men and women who share President Truman’s belief in muscular internationalism, and who believe that strong national security and strong liberal values are not antagonistic, but are two sides of the same coin.” [...] After graduating from Harvard, he worked at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen that maintained an extensive client list within the arms industry."
    • Daily Beast, "The Shady History of Mayor Pete’s Wine Cave—and the Ultra-Rich Couple That Owns It", 2019/12/20: "For nearly fifteen years, Democratic politicians pitching themselves to the biggest donors in Napa Valley have found themselves in the luxurious wine cave of Craig and Kathryn Hall. [...] As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said in Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate: “Think about who comes to that.” Warren was referring to a fundraiser, billed as “An Evening in the Vineyards with Mayor Pete,” held last week in support of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, where $1,000 could purchase a photograph and $2,800 gained access to a dinner [...] Owned by Dallas billionaires Craig and Kathryn Hall, the cave’s fundraisers have benefitted at least a hundred Democrats over the years, in the estimation of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. “That cave’s been used by Democrats all across the country for fundraising,” Newsom told reporters in the spin room following Thursday night’s debate. [...] Other politicians who have attended fundraisers, receptions, and meet-and-greets at the Halls’ wine cave include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as current and former Reps. Leon Panetta, Reps. Ami Bera of California, Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, and Patrick Murphy of Florida. [...] Craig Hall’s real-estate empire—facing massive debt as the Texas oil boom weakened in the late 1980s—was saved when then-House Speaker Jim Wright held up a bill meant to help recapitalize the struggling Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation in an apparent attempt to force federal regulators to let Hall’s company restructure its debt."
    • The Grayzone, "The spooks’ choice: Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Pete Buttigieg’s list of national security endorsers", 2019/12/30: "A review of Pete for America’s FEC disclosures found that the campaign had paid $561,416.82 for “security” to a company called Patriot Group International (PGI), from June 4 to September 9, 2019. [...] it is PGI’s status as a Blackwater-style mercenary firm that makes Buttigieg’s contract so remarkable. PGI bills itself as a “global mission support provider with expeditionary capabilities, providing services to select clients within the intelligence, defense, and private sector.” [...] PGI’s only other record of political work was with Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign. [...] Among Buttigieg’s most notable endorsers is David S. Cohen, the deputy director of the CIA from 2015 to 2017, and a former Treasury official under George W. Bush. Cohen is regarded as a “chief architect” of the crippling sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Iran, Russia, and North Korea — earning him the ignominious nickname the “sanctions guru.” Since leaving government, Cohen has made various think tank appearances to advocate for continued use of sanctions in the aforementioned countries, as well as Venezuela. [...] In his tenure at the Treasury Department, Cohen was also instrumental in drafting the Patriot Act, [...] Yet some of Mayor Pete’s most troubling endorsements come from outside of the military-intelligence apparatus. Buttigieg, for example, lists Fernando Cutz as an endorser. For the first 16 months of the Trump administration, Cutz was the national security council director for South America, where he led US policy on Venezuela and was credited with outlining regime-change plans for the president. [...] Another Buttigieg endorser is Jessica Reitz-Curtin, who spent several years in leadership at USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), working alongside Buttigieg’s close friend, Nathaniel Myers. [...] In the case of Venezuela, OTI has bankrolled violent, right-wing opposition forces for decades. [...] Matt Kaczmarek, vice president of BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, controlling nearly $7 trillion in assets, is listed as an endorser of the South Bend mayor. Kaczmarek previously served as the NSC’s director of Brazil and Southern Cone affairs in the Obama administration, when the US backed a right-wing parliamentary coup against President Dilma Roussef. BlackRock has massive holdings in Brazilian agribusiness, and is a major factor in the environmental degradation of the Amazon region."
    • Wall Street Journal, "Buttigieg’s War and ‘The Shortest Way Home’", 2020/01/06: "He entered the military through a little-used shortcut: direct commission in the reserves. The usual route to an officer’s commission includes four years at Annapolis or another military academy or months of intense training at Officer Candidate School. ROTC programs send prospective officers to far-flung summer training programs and require military drills during the academic year. Mr. Buttigieg skipped all that—no obstacle courses, no weapons training, no evaluation of his ability or willingness to lead. Paperwork, a health exam and a background check were all it took to make him a naval officer."
    • The Grayzone, "Media darling Pete Buttigieg was in unit that worked with the CIA in Afghanistan", 2020/02/07: "Early on in his military career, Pete Buttigieg worked as an intelligence analyst at US European Command, where he “conduct[ed] research and analysis of information to create accurate, timely intelligence products in support of USEUCOM theater operations,” according to mostly redacted military records released under the Freedom of Information Act. Under a section labelled “command employment and command achievements,” Buttigieg’s papers indicate that intelligence was provided to “USEUCOM, NATO, Deployed Units and other commands, including operations in Africa and the former Yugoslavia.” [...] Contrary to Buttigieg’s portrayal of himself as a gun-toting, freedom-fighting soldier, he enjoyed an immediate high rank during deployment. [...] He spent his six months in Afghanistan in 2014 with a little-known unit that operated under the watch of the Drug Enforcement Administration. It was the Afghanistan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC), according to his appointment papers. [...] Founded by US Central Command leader-turned-CIA chief General David Patreaus, this unit was credited with the destruction of Kabul Bank, the first private bank founded in Afghanistan after the US invasion. [...] ATFC’s primary task was to bust up the Taliban drug trade with the help of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. [...] While official records linking the ATFC to the CIA do not appear widely in available government documents, their collaboration is an open secret. [...] The program was not exactly a smashing success, however. During the year of Buttigieg’s deployment in Afghanistan, the United Nations found that opium production skyrocketed and that “Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world’s illicit opiates.”"
    • Current Affairs, "More About Pete" by Nathan J. Robinson, 2020/02/07
      • "The obvious fact is that Buttigieg was simply uninterested in the relationship between the black community and the police. The number of black police officers in South Bend plummeted over the course of Buttigieg’s tenure, and by the time Buttigieg announced his run for president, the force was only 6 percent black in a city where ¼ of residents are black. Michael Harriot, in a detailed and scathing report on Buttigieg’s indifference, said it was very clear that Buttigieg ignored racism in the department and then lied about doing so. At one point, “half of all black SBPD officers were raising their voices and risking retaliation to call attention to the problems”—problems including white officers receiving promotions not advertised to black officers, white officers not backing up black officers, and black officers being disciplined more harshly than white officers."
  • Mike Bloomberg background
    • WIRED, "Terminal Velocity", 1999/02/01: ""My daughter is tall and busty and blonde," Michael Bloomberg is telling a table of Boston College graduates. "We went to China together. And what's a 16-year-old going to do on a business trip?" He pops another carefully buttered piece of bread in his mouth. "So I got her dates in every city in China." Remembering that I'm also at the table, he glares in my direction. "That's off the record!" he barks. It's typical Mike Bloomberg, wanting to have it both ways: imperious man of the people, coarse billionaire, earthy business leader, accessible control freak."
  • BuzzFeed News, "Former Clinton Staffers Invited To “Bye, Bye Bernard” Zoom Call (It’s Now Canceled)", 2020/04/08: "Less than an hour after Bernie Sanders told supporters he was ending his presidential campaign, dozens of staffers who worked for his opponent four years ago received the same mass email: a link to a Zoom video call scheduled for 4 p.m. “Invitation: Bye, bye Bernard (HFA celebration toast),” the email to former Hillary Clinton staffers read on early Wednesday afternoon, according to screenshots provided by two people. “He’s finally gone (again!). Join for a celebratory toast if you can! And yes, you can loop :)” Later on Wednesday, the name of the Zoom call had been changed to a more generic “HFA end of primary celebration toast,” with no mention of Sanders. By 3:30 p.m., according to recipients, the call was canceled."