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HomeNewsPete Buttigieg’s mayoral campaign donors scored $33M in city contracts

Pete Buttigieg’s mayoral campaign donors scored $33M in city contracts

Pete Buttigieg’s political donors scored city contracts worth millions after giving big bucks to his campaign for mayor of South Bend, Indiana — raising concerns over “pay to play” deals as he dishes out funds for the national infrastructure package, according to a report and public records.

The transportation secretary’s mayoral political action committees accepted money from at least 23 companies that were later awarded more than $33 million in contracts for city projects, according to the Daily Mail, along with some documents confirmed by The Post.

The companies, their executives and spouses donated a total of $253,750 to Buttigieg’s campaigns, and won at least $33,280,426 in contracts between 2011 and 2019, the outlet reported. 

In two cases, firms were reportedly awarded contracts by South Bend’s Board of Public Works — on which Buttigieg was seated — the same day they donated to his campaign.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks during an event outside Department of Transportation headquarters on February 10, 2022, in Washington, DC.
Getty Images

Buttigieg, 40, was also gifted cigars, alcohol and golf trips valued at hundreds of dollars by other companies that won contracts, according to the report.

The Indiana engineering consulting firm American Structurepoint won nearly $800,000 in contracts, including for a sewer project, according to city records and documents provided by The firm reportedly donated more than $35,000 to Buttigieg campaigns.

The construction firms Bradley Company and Abe Marcus/ Ivy Tower, meanwhile, scored contacts for multimillion-dollar development projects after each donating thousands, according to the Daily Mail.

The architectural firm DLZ Indiana was also awarded more than $885,000 in contracts after donating $14,150, according to city public works records and other documents.

Critics and government watchdogs called the donations concerning as Buttigieg prepares to dole out $210 billion under President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

“This is alarming, and very concerning, because this is the swamp personified. You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to look at this and think that something’s wrong here,” Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams told the Daily Mail. “This really doesn’t bode well for the secretary of transportation when he has access to almost $1.2 trillion in infrastructure money.”

“The pattern of contracts and donations appears to be a huge conflict of interest,” he said.

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg meets with former President Jimmy Carter at the Buffalo Cafe in Plains, Georgia, on March 1, 2020.

The co-owner of American Structurepoint, Marlin Knowles, gave $1,500 to Buttigieg’s mayoral campaign in 2011. Two months later, after meeting with representatives of the company in his office, Buttigieg announced former American Structurepoint executive Eric Horvath as director of the South Bend Department of Public Works, which grants taxpayer money for construction jobs, according to the report.

The next year, American Structurepoint was awarded a contract for the South Bend Smart Streets Project, which had a $25 million budget.

Asked about the donations, the US Department of Transportation said it has “consistently made transparency and accountability to the American people a top priority,” according to the Daily Mail. 

Mayor Peter Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg served as South Bend, Indiana’s mayor from 2012 to 2020.

Federal grant money for the bipartisan infrastructure law is awarded to cities, states, ports and local entities, not contractors, a spokesperson said.

Any suggestion that Buttigieg’s US government department is corrupt is “absurd,” the rep added.

Buttigieg served as the mayor of South Bend from 2012 to 2020 and was appointed transportation secretary by Biden last year.

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