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2020 Daily Trail Markers: McKinsey gives Buttigieg go-ahead to disclose clients

International consulting firm McKinsey & Company will allow South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to disclose the identity of his clients when he worked at the firm from 2007-2010, the company said Monday. A spokesperson for McKinsey said in a statement that while confidentiality agreements are fundamental to building trust with their clients, the firm recognizes "the unique circumstances presented by a presidential campaign."  

The spokesperson added, "After receiving permission from the relevant clients, we have informed Mayor Buttigieg that he may disclose the identity of the clients he served while at McKinsey from 2007 to 2010." 

Lis Smith, senior communications adviser for Buttigieg's presidential campaign, tweeted that the campaign would be releasing a list of Buttigieg's clients "soon." She wrote, "In this instance, @PeteButtigieg is being transparent about his private sector work AND keeping his word- two things you will never hear said about our current President."

On Friday, Buttigieg called on his former employer to waive his nondisclosure agreement after facing criticism for not discussing his clients while working at the firm, reports CBS News campaign reporter Jack Turman.  

"I am today reiterating my request that McKinsey release me from this agreement, and I again make clear that I authorize them to release the full list of clients I was assigned to serve," Buttigieg said in a statement on Friday. 

Buttigieg also provided descriptions of the projects he worked on and a timeline of his work at the firm. McKinsey confirmed that the client list that the mayor described in his statement on Friday is accurate. However, any further disclosure by Buttigieg about his clients mustn't reveal "confidential, proprietary or classified information obtained during the course of that work, or violate any security clearance," the McKinsey spokesperson said.

FROM THE CANDIDATES

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Buttigieg's campaign manager Mike Schmuhl also announced Monday that the campaign would be opening its closed-door fundraisers to press and releasing the names of bundlers. The move comes as the mayor was facing pressure from some of his Democratic competitors. 

"In a continued commitment to transparency, we are announcing today that our campaign will open fundraisers to reporters, and will release the names of people raising money for our campaign," Schmuhl said in a statement. "Fundraising events with Pete will be open to press beginning tomorrow, and a list of people raising money for the campaign will be released within the week." 

Turman says Buttigieg and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren have been critical of each other on transparency issues. Buttigieg has called on Warren to release her tax returns from her work in the private sector. And Warren has criticized the mayor for holding closed-door fundraisers and has called on Buttigieg to open them to press. 

"The mayor should be releasing who's on his finance committee, who are the bundlers who are raising big money for him, who he's give titles to and made promises to," Warren said at an event in Boston last week. "He should open up the doors so the press can follow the promises he's making in these big dollar fundraisers." 

TRUMP CAMPAIGN

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to participate in "Keep America Great" campaign events, reports CBS News political unit associate producer Eleanor Watson. Pence will meet with veterans in Rochester, Pennsylvania before joining Mr. Trump for a campaign rally on the other side of the state in Hershey. This will be the campaign's second rally in Pennsylvania this year and the first one since impeachment began. Mr. Trump won the state by less than 1% in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.

STATE-BY-STATE

NEVADA

Elizabeth Warren is touring the Culinary Union's health center in Las Vegas today, the first of three candidates — Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden — who this week will survey their facilities before answering questions from members of the influential Nevada labor group. Michael Lighty, a key surrogate for Sanders on health policy, discussed the union's public skepticism of "Medicare for All" as he campaigned over the weekend in Nevada. 

"You're right. We've got to prove to you that this is better than what you have. And it is," Lighty said, telling CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin after the event that the labor group's facilities would continue under their single payer proposal.

Also in Nevada – the state's Democratic Party has released new details of the mobile app that will assist caucus sites with tabulating Nevadans' early vote and Caucus Day preferences. The software is among the new reforms the party has rolled out for the coming year's caucus, which is expected to run the party more than 2.2 million dollars. The party declined to identify on the record the vendor developing the application or how much it will cost Nevada Democrats.

SOUTH CAROLINA

The nonprofit FairVote in partnership with YouGov has released a poll showing that Joe Biden continues to lead the Democratic presidential primary pack in South Carolina. A new poll of 400 likely Democratic voters in the state show that 40% voted Biden as the ranked-choice winner of the current candidates in the race. 

The second choice was Bernie Sanders with nearly 15% of the vote. Buttigieg experienced a slight jump since the organization's September poll, which now shows Buttigieg coming in at third place just under Sanders with nearly 12%. In the state where as much as 60% of the Democratic electorate is projected to be comprised of African-American voters, Biden holds a commanding 39-point lead among black voters with more than half choosing him as their first ranked choice. By contrast, Buttigieg continued to poll low amongst this group and garnered just over 1% in the latest FairVote/YouGov poll. 

In an interview with CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell last week, Buttigieg said his team knows the importance of engaging communities of color and that more resources and time are being dedicated to ensure that this voting bloc is engaged. According to the organization's website, the FairVote/YouGov poll "builds on" the national poll the group commissioned in September in an effort "to help demonstrate the value of ranked choice polls in crowded fields." 

CONGRESSIONAL COVERAGE

IN THE HOUSE

Pierce Bush, grandson of late President George H.W. Bush, announced on Monday that he would run for Texas' 22nd Congressional District on Monday, an open seat after Representative Pete Olson announced his retirement in July. He joins a crowded Republican primary with a familiar name. 

Former President George W. Bush, who also served as governor of Texas, is his uncle. His father Neil Bush is a well-known businessman and investor and his cousin George P. Bush is the Texas land commissioner. His announcement video talked about "losing a generation" to socialism, following similar messaging by House Republicans. 

"We all know that socialism has failed everywhere and everyone. It's time for new leaders to stand for conservatism that empowers all Americans, placing individuals above governments and ensuring that we all have the freedom to achieve success in life," he said in a Twitter video.

A Republican party of Texas official confirmed to CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro that it has received Bush's filing. According to the Texas Secretary of State office, nine other candidates have filed for the Houston area seat. 

Bush's competitors include Republican candidates like Kathleen Wall, who spent $6 million for a 2018 race in Texas' 2nd District, and county judge Greg Hill.  Representative Olson had one of his tightest wins in 2018 against Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni. 

Districts like this add to the case that Texas has grown more politically competitive for 2020, due to continually shifting demographics and tight 2018 races. Democrats are predicting the GOP primary in TX-22 will be highly competitive and expensive. The district was already a target for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

"Republicans in Texas' 22nd District are crawling over each other to race to the right and define themselves by their allegiance to President Donald Trump and their party's reckless agenda in Washington. Now they'll have to choose the mixture of toxic issues they embrace: health care repeal, a tax handout to the wealthiest Americans while working Texans get the shaft, or absolute fealty to a reckless and out-of-control president," said DCCC spokesman Avery Jaffe. 

Also in House news, the Winning for Women PAC launched a six-figure ad buy using the stalled passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) to target six vulnerable House Democrats in agricultural districts. Navarro says all but one of these Democrats are in districts Trump won in 2016. The ads feature USMCA numbers specific to the targeted district, and then display their office number. The ads mirror a similar approach by other Republican outside groups who have been running ads targeting House Democrats since the impeachment inquiry began. 

"Americans are tired of political, partisan games," WFW Executive Director Rebecca Schuller said in a statement. "Our lawmakers need to do what they were elected to do, and pass the USMCA on behalf of America's workers, farmers, and families."

ISSUES THAT MATTER

VOTER PROTECTION

The Democratic Governors Association announced a new program with Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight organization, geared at beefing up voter protection and access ahead of 2020's census and 2021's redistricting. The initiative, "Every State, Every Vote," is looking to pool the resources and efforts of Democratic governors to combat voter suppression and bolster voter registration tactics like automatic or same-day registration. 

During a morning call with reporters, Navarro says incoming DGA chairman New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the partnership with Abrams, a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate in a tight 2018 race in Georgia, is a "big deal." In a statement, Murphy said, "Democratic governors can be the strongest check against Republican efforts to suppress the right to vote and the strongest advocate for a progressive agenda that expands it."

The collaboration comes in preparation of 2021 redistricting and builds upon the DGA's "Unrig The Map" effort. It also calls for independent commissions for map drawing, something that was requested in North Carolina's gerrymandering case this month but fell short. 

"The only way we can stop Republican attempts to hijack our democracy is to make every voice count. Will you stand with me and pledge to elect Democratic governors and secure fair maps?," Abrams said in the initiative's launch video.

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