Buttigieg Taking the Fight to Mourdock
Democratic Treasurer candidate Pete Buttigieg has taken the gloves off in his criticism of current Treasurer and Republican Richard Mourdock.
Buttigieg, who grew up in South Bend, was the valedictorian of his high school class and went on to earn a degree from Harvard before studying economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Buttigieg has fellow Hoosiers and the news media across the state taking notice of his message and new ideas, as he works in earnest to hold Mourdock accountable for his poor judgment and wasteful spending.
The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette recently ran an editorial on this issue call it an “An Issue worth Debating.”
In most election years, the constitutional offices of state auditor, treasurer and secretary of state present voters with the challenge of choosing administrators better suited for appointment than election.
This year, however, Indiana voters have abona fide issue in the state treasurer’s race: Did incumbent Richard Mourdock act responsibly in investing public dollars in Chrysler debt and then in challenging the automaker’s bankruptcy settlement?
Buttigieg points out that Mourdock’s office spent more than $2 million challenging the settlement, hiring a New York law firm at rates from $365 to $1,050 an hour. He notes that the state could have handled the case or at least hired an Indiana firm at more reasonable rates.
In 2008, Mourdock invested $18.3 million in Chrysler debt, using money in the Major Moves Construction Fund, Teachers Retirement Fund and Indiana State Police Pension Fund. The wisdom of investing in the financially troubled company was questionable. Daimler-Benz had sold Chrysler the year before at a loss, and the automaker announced plans to eliminate 12,000 jobs and four vehicle models eight months before Mourdock bought the funds at 43 cents on the dollar, a surefire signal of a risky investment.
The legal challenge put the investment at even greater risk. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Indiana’s protest. But if the Chrysler deal had fallen through, the company would very likely have been liquidated, and bondholders - including the Indiana pension funds - would have collected 18 cents on the dollar instead of the 29 cents provided.
The $2 million cost for Mourdock’s fruitless legal expedition came out of the Major Moves Construction Fund and the pension funds, effectively driving up the total of the investment loss by a third, Buttigieg argues.
In addition, Buttigieg has also been correct in questioning the [lack of] judgment of Mourdock for scheduling an appearance at an event featuring controversial and divisive talk show host Glenn Beck.
Pete Buttigieg believes that Mourdock should cancel his campaign speech to the “We the People, the Michiana 9/12 Project” due to Beck’s advertisements on behalf of Goldline, a precious metals and gold coin dealer.
Pete joins Beck’s other critics, including U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who have accused the inflammatory talk show host of excessive fear-mongering on his radio and television programs to get listeners and viewers to buy more gold.
The controversy has piqued the interest of The Northwest Indiana Times, which has recently picked up the story:
“The most important qualities in a treasurer are responsibility and judgment, and that’s why Treasurer Mourdock’s willingness to share a stage with Mr. Beck is so alarming,” Buttigieg said.
“This appearance legitimizes Mr. Beck and Goldline and sends the message that it’s OK to steer people into deceptive investment schemes.”
Plaintiffs in a pending class-action lawsuit have accused Goldline of overcharging consumers, deceptive advertising and deceptive sales techniques. The company denies any wrongdoing.
In the NWI article, Buttigieg continues to stay on the offensive with his criticism of Mourdock and his coziness to Glenn Beck:
“Sooner or later, Mr. Mourdock has to choose between pursuing his extremist political agenda and being a responsible trustee of state resources — and I hope he makes the right choice,” Buttigieg said. “In the meantime, I urge Treasurer Mourdock to cancel this appearance, and I ask him to join me in denouncing these manipulative gold rip-offs and all those who promote them.”