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Bloomberg Used Prison Inmates To Place Phone Calls For His Presidential Campaign

Billionaire Democrat Mike Bloomberg has confirmed that his campaign used prison labor to make phone calls on his behalf.

Taft, OK – Billionaire Democrat Mike Bloomberg has confirmed that his 2020 presidential campaign used prison labor to make campaign phone calls on his behalf.

“We didn’t know about this and we never would have allowed it if we had,” the former New York mayor’s spokesperson, Julie Wood, told The Intercept. “We don’t believe in this practice and we’ve now ended our relationship with the subcontractor in question.”

The Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign had used a third-party vendor to contact ProCom, a call center company that operates out of Oklahoma and New Jersey.

Two of ProCom’s Oklahoma call centers are located inside state prisons, The Intercept reported.

Inmates at the minimum-security Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center facility in Taft were placing presidential campaign calls to California on Bloomberg’s behalf, but never told the people that they were calling that they were convicted criminals serving time in prison.

Bloomberg’s campaign said they had no idea that ProCom was using inmates to place the calls until they were contacted by The Intercept.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections refused to respond to questions about the Bloomberg campaign and ProCom, the Intercept reported.

The DOC also did not comment regarding a discrepancy in wages that the inmates were supposed to receive for making the calls.

According to ProCom co-founder John Scallan, the company pays workers $7.25 per hour through the DOC, but the DOC is the entity responsible for passing those wages on to the inmates.

Inmates’ pay is capped somewhere between $20 and $27.09 per month by the DOC, but Scallan argued that the prisoners employed by his company make far more than that.

“I can tell you unequivocally that is not us,” he told The Intercept. “Some of them are making that much every day.”

According to Newsweek, DOC spokesperson Matt Elliot said that inmates can only collect $1.45 per hour while working at the prison-based call center.

“The pay that’s been reported is incorrect,” Elliot insisted. “Inmates can receive $1.45 an hour working for call centers, working eight hours a day, five days a week. Inmates may work additional hours but only with permission from the Director of Oklahoma Correctional Industries.”

Bloomberg released a statement regarding his campaign’s involvement with inmate labor.

“Earlier today, a news outlet reported that prison workers were being used by a subcontractor to make telephone calls on behalf of my campaign,” the presidential hopeful said, according to Newsweek. “I’m not attacking the news: the story was fundamentally accurate.”

“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, who is worth approximately $54 billion, has dumped over $76 million into television ads since he entered the race in November, The Intercept reported.

His campaign has also hired over 200 workers in 21 different states.

Holly Matkin - December Wed, 2019

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