Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg used incarcerated prisoners to make phone calls on behalf of his 2020 presidential campaign, The Intercept reports.
Bloomberg's campaign hired ProCom, a call center company based in New Jersey that has multiple call centers in that state and in Oklahoma, where two are operated by out of state prisons. Prisoners in at least two of these prisons were contracted to call voters on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign.
"We didn't know about this and we never would have allowed it if we had," a Bloomberg spokesperson told the Intercept in a statement. "We don't believe in this practice, and we've now ended our relationship with the subcontractor in question."
Although the co-founder of ProCom, John Scallan, said the company pays Oklahoma's minimum wage to the state Department of Corrections, the maximum monthly wage for a prisoner is capped at about $20 per month. Scallan said, despite this policy, some prisoners working for ProCom "are making that much every day."
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections did not respond to the Intercept's requests for comment.
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