Pete Buttigieg started a political action committee in June 2017. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, at the time was still a minor political figure. He had made an unsuccessful run for Democratic National Committee chairman and been the focus of some positive press from national columnists, but he was little-known nationally.
His PAC, titled “Hitting Home,” would “mobilize resources to elect Democrats, at every level and in communities both red and blue, who will put the lived experiences of Americans front and center,” Buttigieg wrote.
Two years later, as his 2020 presidential campaign started taking off, Buttigieg closed the group down. And it hadn’t even realized what its initial promise in being created was.
The PAC had done predominantly next-to-nothing to help Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections, when the party won its hard-fought battle to control the U.S. House. But it had paid significant amounts of money to a host of Democratic consultants and staffers to promote Buttigieg’s image. Of the slightly more than $400,000 Buttigieg raised for the PAC, it donated just $37,000 to other Democratic candidates.
At the same time, the PAC paid nearly $70,000 to Lis Smith, who originally served as Buttigieg’s spokesperson and later became the communications director for his presidential bid. Another $27,500 went to Michael Schmuhl, who served as the PAC’s treasurer and is now Buttigieg’s campaign manager. The PAC’s finance director received $34,500. A top Democratic media consulting was paid $28,500. [HuffPost]