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Faux Bloomberg Campaign Email Sparks Finger-Pointing

Several hundred Maryland candidates for delegate to the Democratic National Convention began receiving an email from Michael Bloomberg on Monday.

The email at first glance appeared to be asking them to consider supporting the former New York mayor on the presidential ballot if there is a brokered convention.

The problem is, the email did not come from Bloomberg. And if you read closer it appears to be a plea NOT to support Bloomberg if there’s a brokered convention.

In fact, while Bloomberg’s name was atop the missive, careful readers noted that it came from the email address [email protected] The origin of the email remains a mystery.

Under Democratic Party rules, delegates are selected to the national convention if the candidates they’re pledged to get 15% or more of the Democratic primary vote statewide or 15% or more in a congressional district. The delegate chase is complicated by the fact that some candidates for president filed full slates in Maryland, while others — including Bloomberg — did not.

Delegates are bound to vote for the candidate they pledged to support on the first ballot at the Democratic convention in Milwaukee. But in the unlikely event that the delegates are deadlocked and the presidential nominee is chosen in a subsequent ballot, the delegates are fair game and can make a deal with anyone.

The email that purported to be from Bloomberg asked the recipients to pledge to support Bloomberg on the second ballot. It also included articles on Democratic Party rules and a link to a Wikipedia entry on brokered conventions.

It was clearly made to look like Bloomberg was sending it out. But the email address should have tipped people off.

So who sent the email? Asked by Maryland Matters, a Bloomberg campaign representative fingered the campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and pointed to a particular individual as the likely culprit.

But the person identified by the Bloomberg campaign is in fact seeking to become a delegate pledged to Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

The accused individual, who we will not be naming here, claims to have inadvertently hit reply-all when responding to the faux Bloomberg campaign email — which may or may not explain why this person was named as a possible suspect.

Meanwhile, two delegate candidates who received the email, one supporting Sanders, and one supporting Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, contacted each other about the email and decided it must have come from the campaign of former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg’s campaign has traced the email to an account at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. And so it goes.

Small wonder that many Democrats are panicked about the party fraying.

The Maryland Democratic primary is on April 28. Who knows what the presidential race will look like then?

[email protected]


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Faux Bloomberg Campaign Email Sparks Finger-Pointing