Profile: Peter L. Buttenwieser (with Terry A. Marek)

Owner, Peter L. Buttenwieser & Associates, <br>Philadelphia, PA

Photo: Getty Images

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Peter L. Buttenwieser, an heir to the Lehman Brothers securities fortune, has been among the most generous Demoncratic donors for nearly a decade. Since 1990, has donated $ million to Democratic causes, and has hosted fundraising events for scores of Democratic candidates. Two years ago, on a single day, he rolled out the welcome mat at lunch for Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, who was engaged in a hard-fought reelection campaign, and at dinner for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Buttenweiser also has politics in his family tree: His great-uncle, Herbert Lehman, was a U.S. senator from New York. Still, Buttenweiser has shied away from the usual favors that come with such campaign largesse. He turned down invitations to dine at the White House during the Clinton years. And he has remained particularly focused on a few issues, among them public education. Having spent a decade as a principal at an inner-city school in Philadelphia, Buttenweiser now runs his own educational consulting firm.

“I don’t feel the need to ask for things,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News. “It allows me a certain role in Democratic politics that I couldn’t get by asking for stuff. My strength is not asking.”

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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