Buttigieg took campaign hiring advice directly from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Buttigieg took campaign hiring advice directly from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Pete Buttigieg image via Screenshot

Raising fresh questions and new critiques about his close ties to corporate elites amid a hotly contested Democratic primary, Bloomberg reports Monday morning that the campaign of South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg received private and direct hiring advice from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg—advice the presidential candidate apparently took.

According to Bloomberg:

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg sent multiple emails to Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg's campaign manager, with names of individuals that he might consider hiring, campaign spokesman Chris Meagher confirmed. Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg's wife, also sent multiple emails to Schmuhl with staff recommendations. Ultimately, two of the people recommended were hired.

Jennifer Jacobs, senior White House reporter for the news outlet, described the scoop by her colleagues as "a rare example of direct political involvement from one most powerful tech executives."

Already under fire from progressives as a "sharp tool" who often appears to be operating on behalf of corporate interests when it comes to attacking Medicare for All, utilizing fossil fuel industry talking points when addressing the climate crisis, and taking in big money from the financial and tech sectors—the news about accepting behind-the-scenes directions from Zuckerberg, himself under intense political scrutiny for the way in which Facebook's outsized influence is damaging democracy, was not well-received.

"I will be very interested to see how Buttigieg answers the many questions he will no doubt be getting about this story," said podcast host Len Edgerly in response to Bloomberg's reporting. "It will be a good test of his candor, courage, and clarity."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.