US presidential hopeful blames contractor after report reveals prison inmates made phone calls on his behalf.
The former mayor of New York, who last month entered the Democratic Party race to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election, said in a statement on Tuesday that his team had not been aware of the cold call arrangement until Monday.
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“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,” he said.
Two of the company’s Oklahoma call centres are operating out of state prisons. One of those call centres was involved in the Bloomberg campaign push, meaning inmates 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 labour blunder comes as Bloomberg has seen some positive 2020 news.
Ipsos opinion poll conducted on December 18-19 showed that about 5 percent of Democratic-leaning voters support Bloomberg.
That is despite having not qualified for a single debate yet.
Ranked by Forbes as the eighth-richest American, Bloomberg has spent more on campaign ads in the last few weeks than his main Democratic rivals have all year.
Bloomberg plans to skip the first four primary elections next year in favour of spending all of his energy on the Super Tuesday contests.