I sat in a dim lit bar on a Wednesday evening after work with my colleagues, discussing politics over a hazy IPA. I was quickly identified as someone who felt the bern. Its quite obvious after a few probes about my views on current issue areas where I stand and always warrants a defense of my position. Within this was probe was my opinion, put simply, of Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
"A good guy" I said, "With loads of political potential, a knack for captivating audiences with his voice, and undeniably smart. That said, whether I like his policies, ideas, or approach in my eyes was and will continue to be jaded not by political mistakes he's made that saw his presidential run come to an abrupt end, but his donor profile."
While well balanced in some respects in terms of contribution amounts, his donor list is comprised of "too big to fail" banks and corporations that are actively monopolizing the world we live in. I told my friends and colleagues that "even the best of politicians with the most genuine intentions are acting in a system in which the money you take dictates whom you serve."
A week later a story came forth highlighting the very precarious nature of donor/politician relationships. Buttigieg is now entrenched in a scandal that reflects a politician that bent to the will of his donors priorities before those he represents and serves, even if unknowingly. Buttigieg's firing Police Chief Darryl Boykins coincided with backdoor chatter between white police officers attempting to use the "money people" (i.e., donors) behind Mayor Buttigieg to persuade him to let Darryl Boykins go once he became Mayor.
Such a turn of events reveals the obvious concerns surrounding Buttigieg's network, but also brings forth larger discrepancies of donors and their influence on presidential candidates. With Bernie Sanders being the only candidate taking primarily small donations, we have an array of candidates representing the Democratic Party whose political judgment may already be inherently compromised.
To bring to the light the full extent of this issue, it is imperative that Citizen's United be brought back to the debate as a subject for voters to see how money driven politics has and is influencing our candidates and the platforms they have and will put forth. Sander's is the only candidate clean enough to carry out his policies proposals with his unique demographic and number of donors and this should be well understood by the public before heading to the polls come this February.