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Statement by Campaign Manager Kevin Sheekey on Vandalism at Mike Bloomberg 2020 Knoxville Campaign Office

February 21, 2020

Today, Campaign Manager Kevin Sheekey issued the following statement in response to last night's incident of vandalism at the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign office in Knoxville, Tennessee and other related incidents:

"This latest incident at our Knoxville campaign office is exactly what we've been warning about. We don't know who is responsible for this vandalism, but we do know it echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters.

"Over the past week, we've seen similar attacks against Mike Bloomberg 2020 offices in multiple states. Fortunately, no one has been injured. But this needs to end before someone gets hurt.

"We call on Bernie Sanders to immediately condemn these attacks and for his campaign to end the Trump-like rhetoric that is clearly encouraging his supporters to engage in behavior that has no place in our politics."

knoxville office 2/21/2020 vandalism

Knoxville Office, 2/21/2020

Multiple instances of vandalism have taken place at Mike Bloomberg 2020 offices over the past several weeks that involved language that mirrors attacks that Sen. Sanders' supporters and staff has used online and in interviews:

  • In Toledo, Ohio, the office was vandalized on 2/13
  • Our Youngstown, Ohio, office was vandalized and defaced on 2/14
  • Our Ann Arbor, MI office was vandalized with writing on the windows saying "Corporate Pig" on 2/13

vandalism in ann arbor office

vandalism in ann arbor office

  • Our Flint, MI office was defaced with a sign saying "Eat the Rich" on 2/16

The language used in these attacks mirrors language from Sen. Sanders and his campaign staff:

Sen. Sanders:

  • At a rally on Monday: "We are a democracy, not an oligarchy. You're not going to buy this election." [CNN]
  • During the Nevada debate: "Real change never takes place from the top on down, never takes place from an oligarchy controlled by billionaires." [NBC News]

Sanders campaign National Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray:

  • "Like I said: Bloomberg is an oligarch." [@BrieBrieJoy, 2/19/20]
  • ".@ninaturner is right: Michael Bloomberg is an oligarch. He's indisputably buying his way into this election. To the pundits caping for him: not a good look. Here's a definition for those struggling: #whichsideareyouon?" [@BrieBrieJoy, 2/3/20]
  • "Imagine spending a week arguing that Bloomberg isn't an oligarch, and then being confused as to how his money could influence public opinion." [@BrieBrieJoy, 2/10/19]
  • "Bloomberg is an oligarch. #whichsideareyouon?" [@BrieBrieJoy, 2/9/19]

Sanders campaign Senior Advisor David Sirota:

  • "If you are somehow offended by the word "oligarch," you must not be paying attention. There's no pretense at all here ? the billionaire is just brazenly trying to buy the Democratic primary." [@DavidSirota, 2/4/20]
  • "I'm told Mike Bloomberg isn't an "oligarch" ? he's just a billionaire who buys elections and is a "part-time resident" of a foreign tax haven" [@DavidSirota, 2/5/20]
  • "When people insist that @MikeBloomberg isn't an "oligarch," I am reminded of this story about him commuting to and from work from his estate in a foreign tax haven" [@DavidSirota, 2/4/19]

Sanders campaign National Co-Chair Nina Turner:

Michael Bloomberg, Statement by Campaign Manager Kevin Sheekey on Vandalism at Mike Bloomberg 2020 Knoxville Campaign Office Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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