IMPORTANTVILLE: Buttigieg’s Latino Policy Rollout And More

Illustration by Kris Davidson

Welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE. In D.C., Indiana’s senators are expected to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act today. Sen. Todd Young’s Tobacco 21 bill will likely be included in the spending package this week—a big win. The deal could be announced as early as today. A vote could happen Thursday before adjournment.

On Wednesday, the House will vote on impeachment.

And in California, Pete Buttigieg is on a week-long swing of fundraisers and campaign events, culminating in the PBS NewsHour/Politico Democratic Debate (provided this labor dispute gets sorted out).


He lunches with the president at 12:45 p.m. At 2 p.m., he attends the Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation.


He attends fundraisers in Palo Alto, Woodside, and San Francisco.


State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, a candidate for Indiana’s 5th district, holds a $500-a-head fundraiser ($1,000 co-host; $2,800 host) at the home of Mitch and Sandra Roob in Indianapolis.


The lack of a succession plan when/if Indiana Democratic Party chairman John Zody steps down in his bid for state Senate District 40. Who will quarterback the process of finding a replacement? One person to watch: Dana Black.

Pete’s Hispanic Policy Rollout

Days until the Iowa caucuses: 49

Pete Buttigieg rolled out his Hispanic agenda this morning ahead of a week-long California swing, calling for $10 billion in federal funds for entrepreneurship capital and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“The Latino community is an integral force in pushing our nation toward achieving inclusive, progressive ideals,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “In so many ways, members of the Latino community uphold and embody the values that make us American.”

Buttigieg’s plan would also “protect immigrant service members from deportation,” and “reduce the backlog of family-based visas and increase the number of visas issued for family reunification.”

SUBTEXT: “Buttigieg has a serious Latino problem, too,” according to Politico: “As Iowa and New Hampshire voters boost Pete Buttigieg’s presidential hopes, Latinos in Nevada and California are asking: Pete who? Buttigieg’s struggles to connect with voters of color, even as he’s vaulted into the top-tier of the Democratic presidential race, doesn’t end with black voters. The South Bend mayor polls in the low single digits among Latinos, too. And Nevada — the third state to cast ballots and where Latinos make up about a third of the population — threatens to deliver a blow to the 37-year-old’s campaign before South Carolina even votes.”

Other Buttigieg news you might’ve missed over the weekend:

  • Buttigieg disclosed his bundlers late Friday evening. No Hoosiers are on the list, though Brendan Mullen, a South Bender who works in Austin and ran for the 2nd Congressional District in 2012, is among them.
  • Buttigieg picked up 11 endorsements from current and former South Benders Saturday, including former City Clerk Kareemah Fowler.


Sen. Mike Braun: “Trump impeachment trial — How can these five senators possibly be ‘impartial’ jurors?” (Fox News)

If the Senate impeachment trial were a real court, all 100 senators would be removed as jurors for bias for or against the president.

But here’s my question: Why is the media only asking Republicans if they can be “impartial jurors” when five of the Democrats in the Senate are actively running for the defendant’s job?


Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun talk impeachment with Fox 59’s Dan Spehler on IN Focus.


There is no question: The youngest candidate in the 2020 presidential race, at age 37, isn’t doing well with young Democratic voters. In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Buttigieg gets the support among just 2% of voters under 35. And in an average of CNN polling in October and November, Buttigieg gets slightly better with 8% of voters under 35 — still a single-digit number.

Buttigieg backers, knowing how important it is to capture more of the black vote in South Carolina and elsewhere, are unhappy with comments by two of the most quoted black critics of the mayor, outgoing Council Members Oliver Davis and Regina Williams-Preston, as contributing to a negative tale of the city. They note that both were trounced in seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor in the primary, not even carrying their own districts.

Thus, a group of black leaders, including some who fared well in the election, including Council Member Karen White, top vote-getter among council candidates in winning re-election, met to tell of a more positive image of South Bend and its mayor.

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