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Michael Bloomberg Admits Campaign Used Prison Labor for 2020 Phone Calls

December 26, 2019by Chris Sommerfeldt
Newly announced Democratic presidential candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a press conference to discuss his presidential run on November 25, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia. The 77-year old Bloomberg joins an already crowded Democratic field and is presenting himself as a moderate and pragmatic option in contrast to the current Democratic Party's increasingly leftward tilt. In recent years, Bloomberg has used some of his vast personal fortune to push for stronger gun safety laws and action on climate change. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)

NEW YORK — Michael Bloomberg admitted Tuesday that his presidential campaign has relied on low-paid prison labor to push out his 2020 message to American voters.

In a statement, the billionaire former New York mayor said his campaign wasn’t aware of the cold call arrangement until Monday and quickly ended it upon finding out.

“As soon as we discovered which vendor’s subcontractor had done this, we immediately ended our relationship with the company and the people who hired them,” Bloomberg said. “We do not support this practice and we are making sure our vendors more properly vet their subcontractors moving forward.”

Bloomberg’s mea culpa came after The Intercept reported the Bloomberg campaign had hired a telecommunications company called ProCom, which runs call centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma.

Two of the company’s Oklahoma call centers are operating out of state prisons. One of those call centers was involved in the Bloomberg campaign push, meaning incarcerated people were making calls on the former mayor’s behalf.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections website states that inmates in the state can only make a maximum of $20 per month for “institutional jobs.”

The prison labor blunder comes as Bloomberg has seen some positive 2020 news.

Despite joining the race late, he has placed fifth in several recent polls, behind primary front-runners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. That’s despite having not qualified for a single debate yet.

Contrary to his fellow Democratic White House wannabes, Bloomberg plans to skip the first four primary elections next year in favor of spending all of his energy on the Super Tuesday contests.

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©2019 New York Daily News

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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