Incarcerated individuals were used to make phone calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign. A confidential source told The Intercept that women prisoners at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Oklahoma made phone calls to California on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign. The prisoners were required to disclose that calls were being paid for by the Bloomberg campaign but did not disclose the fact that they were prisoners.
Michael Bloomberg confirmed on Twitter that prison workers did indeed make phone calls on behalf of his campaign but denied knowing that such labor was being used before The Intercept's reporting on Tuesday. Bloomberg also announced that his campaign has ended its relationship with the company that was using prison labor to make phone calls for the candidate.
"We only learned about this when the reporter called us," Bloomberg tweeted, "but 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."
Earlier today, a news outlet accurately reported that a subcontractor for one of our vendors was using prison workers to make phone calls on behalf of my campaign. After learning this, we immediately ended our relationship with that company.— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) December 24, 2019
Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/0KJ8y8Iqxj
The former New York City mayor has already been criticized for his previous support of the stop-and-frisk policing strategy, which critics argue leads to a disproportionate number of certain minority groups being stopped at higher rates than other individuals. So it's really not a good look for the billionaire to have been caught using prison labor to make his campaign calls.