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.”
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:
This is a bad idea. A really bad one, on multiple levels – for starters, it threatens the integrity of Dem voter data & puts Nov prospects in hands of a shady firm w/ a failed track record.
Plenty of orgs bid for contracts. I hope there is enough good sense to reject this one. https://t.co/8kRIog03YM
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 10, 2020
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.
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.
This is where progressives & independents MUST draw their line in the sand.
If Bloomberg takes over Biden’s campaign funding, “unity” talk is over.
— Jen Perelman For Congress (@JENFL23) April 10, 2020
Even Howard Fineman, a political reporter and analyst for NBC News, recognized that this would be a disaster for Biden electorally.
Supreme Court mail-in voting ruling raises alarm: Democrats may ‘never win another national election’
A divided Supreme Court rejected a Pennsylvania Republican effort to curtail mail-in voting, but experts say the Democratic victory may be short-lived — and confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett would be a "disaster for Democrats."
With Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's three liberals, the court split 4-4 to reject a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block an order from the state's Supreme Court allowing mail-in ballots to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day — even if they do not have a clear postmark. The tie left the state decision in place, which Democratic lawyers hailed as "great news for voting rights."
Trump can ‘rage from the balcony’ but he ‘will not succeed’: Dem super lawyer promises to protect the vote
President Donald Trump has a lot of options available to him when it comes to his attempt to steal the election. That doesn't mean they'll work, however.
In an interview with Democratic "super-lawyer" Bob Bauer, "The Circus's" John Heilemann listed a few scenarios for Trump trying to steal the election.
"We already have an electoral infrastructure -- a voting system -- that is not always adequately resourced or supported," Bauer explained. "You take that system, you layer on top of it a pandemic, you lay on top of that destructive behavior by one of the major political parties who espouses this kind of nonsense, and you add on top of that the internet-distributed misinformation plays, and that just means that the task that you have to address these contingencies is much larger than it's been as a structural matter any time in the past."
Will American elections ever again be legitimate?
Only an established, legal “right to vote“ can defeat Republican voter suppression.
Republican politicians and conservative commentators are shocked, shocked! that Chief Justice John Roberts would say that people who voted before election day in Pennsylvania but their ballots were delayed by Lewis DeJoy’s sabotage of the Post Office should have their vote counted.
Increasingly, this election is coming down to the simple question of how effective 40 years of concerted Republican voter suppression efforts will be.
Their main strategy, particularly since George and Jeb Bush got together in 2000 to use a Texas felon list to purge 90,000 Black people off voting roles in Florida, has been removing the names of people who are legitimate voters.