Remember Tulsi’s beat-down on Kamala Harris for exploiting prison labor? Harris never recovered. Is Bloomberg vulnerable, too?
Do you know those annoying phone calls you get from political candidates? Have you ever wondered who’s doing those calls?
If you did, what did you think?
Is it run by phone banks and campaign volunteers?
Is it farmed out?
Call centers overseas, maybe?
Would you have ever guessed that call was coming to you from behind bars?
Maybe they were.
FORMER NEW YORK CITY mayor and multibillionaire Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg used prison labor to make campaign calls. Through a third-party vendor, the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign contracted New Jersey-based call center company ProCom, which runs calls centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma. Two of the call centers in Oklahoma are operated out of state prisons. In at least one of the two prisons, incarcerated people were contracted to make calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign.
According to a source, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, people incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison with a capacity of more than 900, were making calls to California on behalf of Bloomberg. The people were required to end their calls by disclosing that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign. They did not disclose, however, that they were calling from behind bars.
Team Bloomberg obviously sees how damaging this can be. They have cut ties with the subcontractor that outsourced this work to prison call centers and denied any responsibility of that decision.
Will Bloomberg be forgiven for this, or will his billionaire-hating opponents use this as a cudgel against him?
Here’s the angle those attacks would most likely take:
“The use of prison labor is the continued exploitation of people who are locked up, who really have virtually no other opportunities to have employment or make money other than the opportunities given to them by prison officials,” said Alex Friedmann, managing editor of Prison Legal News and an advocate for incarcerated people’s rights.
When they do (and you just KNOW somebody’s going to), will that be a fair hit, or nah?