Billionaire, former New York City mayor and stop and frisk advocate Mike Bloomberg is currently making a long shot bid at buying the presidency. Apparently, he was exploiting prison labor to do so which is just so on brand.
The Intercept reports the Bloomberg 2020 campaign enlisted the services of ProCom, a call center company based in New Jersey that has centers located in New Jersey and Oklahoma. Two of those Oklahoma call centers are operated out of state prisons. One is located at Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center. A minimum-security women’s prison where, according to an anonymous source, prisoners were making calls to California on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign. They would disclose to callers that they were calling for the Bloomberg campaign but not that they were calling from prison or that they were incarcerated.
After being informed of the arrangement as a result of the Intercept’s inquiry, Julie Wood, the spokesperson for the campaign issued a statement saying, “We didn’t know about this and we never would have allowed it if we had. We don’t believe in this practice and we’ve now ended our relationship with the subcontractor in question.”
You would think that a campaign for a former Republican who’s views on law enforcement were questionable to say the least would do a little better at vetting the companies they enlist. Controversy of this nature is completely avoidable. This just feels like a billionaire throwing his money around without asking any questions about where it’s going. Given that estimates show Bloomberg could be spending up to $6.5 billion on his campaign, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if that was the case.