Buttigieg's real McKinsey problem—Beckwith's illegal donations—Verma's $43,065 in bling

Who travels with $43,000 in jewelry?

By Adam Wren and design by Kris Davidson

Late Friday night, under increasing pressure to disclose the exact nature of his work for the controversial McKinsey consultancy from 2007-2010, Pete Buttigieg released a timeline of his studies at the firm.

The work, as he wrote in his memoir and has said in public statements dating back to 2010, seems relatively innocuous: helping a nonprofit health insurance provider by “identifying savings in administration and overhead costs;” working at a grocery and retail chain, where he “analyz[ed] the effects of price cuts on various combinations of items”; researching efforts to combat climate change and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy; “increasing employment and entrepreneurship” for a gin Iraq and Afghanistan.

Buttigieg also called on McKinsey to release him from his non-disclosure agreement. “To the best of my recollection, these are all of my client engagements during my time with the firm,” Buttigieg said in a statement, “but a full release from McKinsey will allow the American public to see the full scope of my work.”

Barring some new detail that hasn’t yet been exposed—such as work that resulted in layoffs—the candidate’s McKinsey work doesn’t seem likely to alter the rise of his candidacy.

His real McKinsey problem: His work highlights just how thin his resume is compared to the traditional presidential candidate. But more than any other top-tier candidate in the field, Buttigieg’s theory of the case is premised on the idea that Donald Trump fundamentally redefined the résumé Americans expect of their presidential hopefuls.

In many ways, Buttigieg’s McKinsey controversy is turning out to be a nothingburger; far more important: His reluctance to disclose his bundlers or open up his high-dollar fundraisers to the press—especially as he begins another week of them.

How’s Buttigieg handling his time in the barrel? Check out this video:

Good Monday morning, and welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE.

U.S.D.A Sec. Sonny Perdue is in Indianapolis today.

TOP TALKER: “Medicare chief asked taxpayers to cover stolen jewelry,” by Politico's Dan Diamond, who explores the Carmel, Indiana resident’s unprecedented request:

A top Trump health appointee sought to have taxpayers reimburse her for the costs of jewelry, clothing and other possessions, including a $5,900 Ivanka Trump-brand pendant, that were stolen while in her luggage during a work-related trip, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

.…

Verma’s claim included $43,065 for about two dozen pieces of jewelry, based off an appraisal she'd received from a jeweler about three weeks after the theft. Among Verma's stolen jewelry was an Ivanka Trump-brand pendant, made of gold, prasiolite and diamonds, that Verma’s jeweler valued at $5,900.

Verma’s claim also included about $2,000 to cover the cost of her stolen clothes and another $2,000 to cover the cost of other stolen goods, including a $325 claim for moisturizer and a $349 claim for noise-cancelling headphones.

FIFTH DISTRICT IN FOCUS

Micah Beckwith, the Northview worship pastor running for Congress as a Trump Republican, raised an impressive $81,780 in the third quarter.

But a closer look reveals that more than $9,000—more than 10% of his total contributions—came in illegal donations from corporations. Servant HR, a human resources consultancy in Fishers, made donations of $2,800 and $2,200 to the campaign, the largest corporate donor. Other illegal corporate donors: L&M Gardens, Gecko Northwest Territory and Ashpaugh Electric.

Beckwith didn’t respond to multiple requests for interviews in recent days. He faces a large field, including Kent Abernathy, Chuck Dietzen, Beth Henderson, Kelly Mitchell, and Danny Niederberger.

IMPORTANTVILLE READS

Ryan Schnurr, Belt Magazine: “Rust Belt Independents: How one Indiana community rejected Trumpism

Last month, Huntington, Indiana, like many places in the country, held local elections. Huntington is on the Wabash River in northern Indiana, thirty miles southwest of Fort Wayne. The population of the city is around seventeen thousand people; the county is double that number. The community is ninety-five percent white, and the local economy revolves around agriculture and manufacturing. In 2016, seventy-two percent of voters in Huntington County voted for Donald Trump.

Some people would find all this reason enough to call Huntington “Trump Country.” Earlier this year, that description seemed to hold water. In the Republican mayoral primaries, Brooks Fetters, a two-term incumbent and moderate, was defeated by County Commissioner Larry Buzzard. Buzzard is a Trump-like figure in many respects. His campaign was focused on, among other things, lowering taxes and bringing businesses back to the community. He publicly aligned himself with the president and his policies. He used Twitter to insult political opponents and make demeaning comments about women. A couple of years ago, he moved his business, a bike shop, out of town, blaming the business environment of the city, which, he said, forced him to do it.

Elena Schneider and Alex Thompson, POLITICO: “Hostilities between Warren and Buttigieg boil over

The exchanges mark a new phase of the primary, particularly for Warren’s campaign. Buttigieg, who’s cutting a center-left path through the primary, continues to rise in Iowa polling, presenting a serious challenge to Warren in a state on which both contenders have staked their candidacies. Biden can potentially afford to place lower than first in the state given his strength in South Carolina, but Iowa is close to must-win territory for Warren and Buttigieg.

Niki Kelly, The Journal Gazette: “Spending questions shadow Hill

After becoming attorney general, Curtis Hill quickly asked for a raise and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate his office – including new furniture and reclaimed chandeliers.

But it turns out Hill doesn't even spend much time there – instead using taxpayer dollars on a satellite office in Elkhart, where he lives. This maneuver allows him to count much of his mileage back and forth to the Capitol as a business expense.

Hill – who is awaiting possible discipline from the Indiana Supreme Court for allegedly groping female legislative staffers – also has a state employee on staff who has been paid thousands by his campaign.

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