Finance report exposes Mourdock’s bailout hypocrisy

Pete Buttigieg campaign sign.

Press release from the Pete Buttigieg for Indiana State Treasurer campaign:

Finance report exposes Mourdock’s bailout hypocrisy
Incumbent took thousands from bailed-out banks while railing against bailouts

(SOUTH BEND) – Calling his opponent out for glaring hypocrisy, today Democratic State Treasurer nominee Pete Buttigieg urged incumbent State Treasurer Richard Mourdock to return thousands of dollars in campaign contributions he has accepted from Wall Street and other banks that received federal bailout funds.

“Treasurer Mourdock never misses an opportunity to claim he is against all bailouts,” said Buttigieg. “Yet, as his newly released campaign finance report shows, he apparently has no problem taking thousands of dollars from bailed-out banks to fund his campaign. It appears his fiery rhetoric against taxpayer-funded bailouts doesn’t stop him from benefiting from bailouts himself.”

In the last three months alone, Mourdock accepted more than $14,000 in corporate and political action committee (PAC) contributions from JP Morgan Chase, PNC, Fifth Third, Huntington Bank, Old National and Integra, which all accepted funds for the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). At least three of the banks, Huntington, Fifth Third and Integra, have not yet paid back their TARP money, meaning that Mourdock’s own campaign is an indirect beneficiary of the federal program.

Since his first run at statewide office in 2001, Mourdock has accepted more than $149,000 from these banks and various other financial firms and related political action committees.

“Richard Mourdock is saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite. If he’s opposed to bailouts, he can’t turn around and quietly accept money from bailed-out banks. By his own logic, his campaign is being subsidized by taxpayers,” added Buttigieg. “The fact remains that I am the only candidate for state treasurer who has not accepted money from bailed-out businesses, and I am the only candidate to support Hoosier jobs with a series of clear and specific proposals that move past rhetoric to get people back to work.”

“It’s time for Richard Mourdock to bail out his own credibility by returning those contributions immediately. Everything he has said on this subject is meaningless unless he literally puts his money where his mouth is.”

Buttigieg also reopened the question of whether a state treasurer should accept donations from banks that do business with his office. According to this latest campaign finance report, Mourdock accepted campaign cash from banks that held more than $250 million in public deposits.

“Earlier this year, when I announced that I would refuse all campaign donations from financial institutions and their political action committees, I invited Treasurer Mourdock to join me, because I thought it was the right thing to do. Hoosiers shouldn’t have to wonder if campaign cash influences where or how their money is invested,” added Buttigieg. “Months later I am still waiting for a response. Even Illinois outlaws such contributions, but Richard Mourdock has no problem with creating the appearance of pay-to-play.”

The state treasurer manages more than $7 billion in investments, and has significant discretion over which banks profit from the deposit of public funds. Current state law has no restrictions barring candidates or occupants of the office from soliciting or accepting political contributions from banks that seek to do business with the office, despite the potential conflict of interest.

“Treasurer Mourdock has failed to offer a single policy idea this entire campaign, he’s refused to respond to my call to clean up campaign finance system, he’s silent on the issue of ethics and he won’t give a straight answer on whether he’ll debate me, and now we learn he’s been taking campaign cash from the bailed out banks,” concluded Buttigieg. “Richard Mourdock has a lot of explaining to do.”

Since launching his campaign in April, Buttigieg has outlined a number of ways to improve the state treasurer’s office. In addition to refusing campaign contributions from banks and calling for campaign finance reform, he has proposed investing state funds in Indiana-based businesses to create more jobs, working with banks to unlock the flow of capital to stimulate the economy and has offered a plan to leverage the billions of dollars in state assets controlled by the office to ensure banks and other financial institutions doing business with the state treat their customers fairly. Most recently he releases proposals to work with local banks to offer low-interest loans to businesses in distressed areas and to use technology to force greater transparency and accountability in the office.

A South Bend resident, Buttigieg graduated from Harvard and studied economics at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to leaving his job to become a full-time candidate earlier this year, he worked in the private sector at a top consulting firm where he specialized in economic development, retail strategy, energy and logistics.

For more information on Pete Buttigieg or his campaign please visit or call 574-889-0002.


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