Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has recently faced scrutiny for his closed-door fundraisers and work at McKinsey. He has since opened his fundraiser doors to the media and released a list of his clients from his time at McKinsey — a record that appears to have sparked even more scrutiny. Amid this scrutiny, some have taken to Twitter to push the “#RefundPete” hashtag to express their disappointment with Buttigieg and ask his campaign to return their donation, encouraging others to do the same.
“I’m disappointed in @PeteButtigieg — getting money out of politics is essential to a functioning democracy. That’s why I emailed his campaign today for a refund of my March contribution,” one user wrote.
“And this is why I emailed his campaign today for a refund of my contribution,” another wrote, referencing the video of Buttigieg’s curt response to a student activist’s question about big money in politics.
“I don’t want my hard earned, near-minimum-wage money to be mixed with that of rich people and corporations,” the user added.
The trend comes not long after Buttigieg revealed one of his clients at McKinsey was Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), a federation of United States health insurance companies. According to Business for Medicare for All President Wendell Potter, BCBS is part of the current healthcare system purportedly “built to deny people medical care” and hit them with large bills — a system he claims Buttigieg’s health care plan is designed to protect.
During an interview with The Atlantic, Buttigieg said that his time at Blue Cross Blue Shield did not lead to anyone’s insurance being taken away or changed. He notes that it was his first assignment, and The Atlantic reports that he described his work as “feeding math” into PowerPoint, which his manager reportedly presented to someone else who Buttigieg described as a “decision maker.”
“Like Pete, I also worked for an insurer and turned a blind eye to the real world effects,” Potter said in response to Buttigieg’s description.
Per Vice, Buttigieg’s revelation that Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws was one of his McKinsey clients has some Canadians raising their eyebrows. Notably, he worked with the company in 2008 during a Canadian bread price-fixing scandal, when the country’s biggest grocers and bread manufacturers reportedly spiked the price of bread, which eventually led to Loblaws refunding Canadians $25 each. According to Buttigieg, his work at Loblaws involved analyzing “the effects of price cuts on various combinations of items across their hundreds of stores.”