As a part of Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to purchase the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment), his campaign organization is making a below cost bid to take over the campaign infrastructure of the Biden campaign, as well as various leadership PACs, and Eric (Place) Holder’s political organization.
If you don’t find this chilling, you are not paying attention.
Also, it should be noted that this is a classic part of the Bloomberg handbook: Using his money to forestall any meaningful criticism of his actions so that he can secure power.
As an aside, the Sanders campaign should NEVER turn over its data to the DNC for just this reason:
The Bloomberg-owned firm Hawkfish, which ran the presidential campaign of Mike Bloomberg, is in serious talks to serve the presidential campaign of Joe Biden, according to sources with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations. Along with Biden’s campaign, the firm is 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.
But instead it comes with other enticements to clients. 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. (If a firm offers services for less than fair market value, the discount is considered under campaign finance laws to be an in-kind contribution, and thus subject to legal limits depending on the entity collecting the contribution. A presidential campaign can’t accept more than $2,800 from a single individual per election, or any contributions at all from a company.)
The FEC won’t rule on the in-kind contribution until after the election, if it even could take action, since it still lacks a quorum to operate.
“When the objective isn’t money but control, $18 million is incredibly cheap to become the center of gravity for all Democratic political information, which we would be if both Biden and [House Democrats] have to come through us,” the source said, referring to the amount of money the Bloomberg campaign transferred to the Democratic Party last month, in a reversal of his earlier pledge to create a Super PAC in support of the party’s nominee. “And in the current environment, the public sees this as generosity.”
Waleed Shahid, spokesperson for Justice Democrats, which recruits progressive challengers to incumbents, said that Bloomberg’s firm running the party’s data operation would send the wrong signal and could have long-term, damaging repercussions. “The idea of the Democratic nominee potentially rewarding Bloomberg’s firm with this contract is disturbing,” he said. “We shouldn’t be the party of helping billionaires amass huge amounts of mega-data on voters that allow them to keep accruing obscene amounts of power in our democracy.”
In the annals of bad ideas for the Democratic Party, this one is definitely in the top three.