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‘This is a bad idea… really bad’: Bloomberg data strategy firm makes bid to run Biden campaign

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the first critics to raise alarm Friday afternoon after The Intercept reported that a digital strategy firm owned by billionaire Mike Bloomberg “is in serious talks” to win a contract to take over work on Joe Biden’s general election campaign against President Donald Trump.

“Along with Biden’s campaign,” journalist Ryan Grim, who broke the story, reported, the firm—called Hawkfish and which ran Bloomberg’s primary campaign—is now “courting a wide swath of other progressive and Democratic organizations, opening up the possibility of Bloomberg gaining significant control over the party’s technology and data infrastructure.”

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In a newsletter sent to readers to promote the story, Grim said the reporting “is a lot more important than it may seem at first, because it involves who or what controls the Democratic Party’s data and tech infrastructure for the next generation.” Grim in his newsletter also shared Ocasio-Cortez’s initial reaction, which was one of alarm:

According to Grim, while Hawkfish is unproven in the competitive and high-stakes world of political consulting and campaign management—though Bloomberg can claim success in spending (by far) the most money ever to win the least number of delegates ever in a presidential primary campaign—Biden signing with the Bloomberg outfit could come with other perks.

Democratic operatives who’ve been pitched by Hawkfish say that the firm is able to offer extraordinarily low prices by operating at a loss subsidized by Bloomberg, whose wealth dangles as an added benefit that could come with signing the firm. A Hawkfish insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize employment, confirmed that the company is willing to operate at a loss in order to grab control of the party infrastructure, explaining that the firm hopes to offer a fee that would be small enough to entice the Biden campaign while passing muster with federal regulators.

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While Grim reported that the Biden campaign was being pressured on both sides, “no final decision been made” on whether to accept Hawkfish’s gestures. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez was not alone among progressives in recognizing the troubling implications of this arrangement.

“This would be a mistake of colossal proportions,” said Jess Morales Rocketto, a political activist and organizer, in response to Grim’s reporting. “If you are a data driven electoral person, then the data on this is: they suck. Bloomberg spent $$$$$$$ and got nothing. He practiced such terrible digital tactics and they touted them like they were innovative.”

Jen Perelman, a progressive Democrat running a primary campaign against Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz in Florida, denounced the idea.

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Even Howard Fineman, a political reporter and analyst for NBC News, recognized that this would be a disaster for Biden electorally.

“This would be a really terrible idea on a lot of levels,” Fineman tweeted. “It would behoove ⁦Biden ⁩ to scotch this ASAP.”

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2020 Election

‘One whopper after another’: CNN’s Acosta tears into Trump for lying the Postal Service can’t deliver enough ballots

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta slammed President Donald Trump's litany of lies about mail-in voting at the day's coronavirus press briefing.

"Right at the end of that press conference, the president was just telling one whopper after another about mail-in voting, at one point saying that he doesn't believe that the U.S. Postal Service has the ability to deal with mail-in balloting at election time," said Acosta. "We just need to point out, the U.S. Postal Service put out a statement late this afternoon that says, 'the Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected election and political mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.'"

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2020 Election

Trump’s strategy isn’t working in Pennsylvania — a state the president can’t afford to lose: report

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Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio are the four states that GOP strategists have been describing as President Donald Trump’s “Rust Belt firewall” — states that went to President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but favored Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. But that “firewall” has not been holding up for the president. Trump’s reelection campaign has "temporarily" suspended its advertising in Michigan, although it continues to advertise in the other three — all of which are clearly in play for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. And Philadelphia-based reporter Holly Otterbein, in an article published in Politico on August 2, stresses that so far, Trump’s attacks on Biden have not been resonating in Pennsylvania.

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2020 Election

A 2020 ‘Blue Wave’ could badly cripple the Republican Party for years: Dem strategist

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In a column for New York magazine, Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore claimed that a "Blue Wave" election in 2020, like the one that switched the balance of power in the House to the Democrats, could have a far-reaching impact on congressional representation in elections to come.

In 2018, distaste for Donald Trump -- who was not on the ballot -- led voters to take out their wrath on Republican lawmakers, handing Democrats a net gain of 40 seats in the House and making Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the House Speaker.

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