The digital consulting firm that ran Mike Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign, called Hawkfish,is now making a bid to run Joe Biden’s campaign.
According to a report from The Intercept, the Bloomberg-owned firm is courting the Biden campaign as well as other progressive and Democratic organizations, opening up the possibility of Bloomberg gaining control over the Democratic Party’s technology and data infrastructure.
Hawkfish, founded in 2019 by the former New York City mayor to operate his campaign, is run by Silicon Valley veterans with little political experience, as seen through Bloomberg’s failed campaign. Bloomberg spent almost $1 billion in less than four months on his failed presidential bid thanks to consultation from Hawkfish.
According to The Intercept, a Hawkfish employee said the company is willing to operate at a financial loss in order to grab control of the Democratic Party’s infrastructure. The employee said the objective is control, not money.
“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,” the report reads.
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., believes such a move would be bad for the party, Democratic voters, and the legitimacy of 2020 elections.
“This is a bad idea. A really bad one, on multiple levels – for starters, it threatens the integrity of Democratic voter data and puts November prospects in the hands of a shady firm with a failed track record,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Plenty of organizations bid for contracts. I hope there is enough good sense to reject this one.”
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
Rewarding Bloomberg’s firm is counterintuitive to the Democratic and progressive narrative. Waleed Shahid, a spokesperson for Justice Democrats, the group which recruited Ocasio-Cortez, told The Intercept that allowing Hawkfish to run the party’s operation would send the wrong message and could have repercussions.
“The idea of the Democratic nominee potentially rewarding Bloomberg’s firm with this contract is disturbing. 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,” Shahid said.
Bloomberg has personally dumped money into institutions which his consulting firm then bids for. For instance, the Bloomberg campaign dumped $18 million from the campaign to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Bloomberg also gave $20 million to Democratic Senate Majority PAC in 2018 and donated $500,000 to Voto Latino, a group that aims to register one million new Latino voters in battleground states.
Now, Hawkfish is hoping to win contracts with the Senate Majority PAC, Voto Latino, and other firms including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s group the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Michelle Obama’s group When We All Vote, a climate coalition including the Environmental Defense Fund Action and League of Conservation Voters, the Democratic Governors Association, and “GALvanize,” a group which targets women in battleground states who likely voted for President Trump.