Amazon’s influence might bring another Democratic presidential candidate to the stage.
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg recently filed to be on the Alabama ballot in the 2020 primary. This was reportedly confirmed by a representative for the Democratic Party who spoke to the Washington Examiner. A phone call allegedly took place between Bloomberg and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Feb. 2019, according to Vox. Bezos called to ask Bloomberg if he would “consider entering the 2020 race.”
“A spokesperson for Bloomberg confirmed” this phone call, while Vox received no response from Amazon. According to Vox’s unnamed source, Bloomberg responded to the request by asking Bezos if he would reconsider putting a second Amazon headquarters in New York City.
Bezos has received very positive coverage in Bloomberg’s extensive media empire. A June 7 business post from Bloomberg magazine detailed “Tips on How to Succeed in Business From Jeff Bezos.” An Oct. 24 post celebrated as Jeff Bezos “Keeps His Crown” as the world’s richest man.
Bloomberg has held several meetings with political and tech consultants focused on “all the data.” His top aides helped develop a strategy to collect data about voters and consumers and analyze it, in order to find “new ways to identify potential voters and new ways to appeal to them.” By matching voter data to consumer information and social media profiles, Bloomberg’s team wants to “fundamentally change the core Democratic infrastructure.”
Amazon Web Services has also become involved in state and local elections. The company has put data from many jurisdictions on a single system. Experts say that this move could be “damaging” in a potential breach.
While Bezos has not made donations in his own name to political candidates, according to Opensecrets.org, the company has given more to Democrats than it has Republicans. The top 2020 candidate who has received donations from Amazon is Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has received $134,224. In the midterm elections in 2018, then candidate for Senate Beto O’Rourke received more than any other candidate from Amazon. He received a total of $86,354. In 2016, then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received $412,876 from Amazon. She was the company’s top recipient.