Bloomberg’s New Campaign HQ Vandalized Overnight

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – It didn’t take long for the 2020 presidential campaign to turn ugly in the Mahoning Valley. In fact, it didn’t even take 24 hours from the time Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign officially opened its regional headquarters downtown for the exterior of the building to be vandalized.

The office at 237 E. Front St. downtown is adjacent to the South Avenue Bridge and the Covelli Centre. It is one of a dozen Bloomberg offices opened this week across Ohio, and is assigned a five-county coverage area.

Yellow caution tape was strung across trees and the front of the building, apparently overnight. Hand-painted signs were placed against the buyilding that read “Oligarch” and “Stop and Frisk.” The words echo the criticism leveled against Bloomberg by his political opponents in the Democratic primary – namely that he is trying to buy the nomination – and by President Trump.

On Tuesday, the back-and-forth between Bloomberg and Trump erupted over Bloomberg’s support for police stop-and-frisk policies when he was mayor of New York.

Trump called Bloomberg a “total racist” over the policy, which the president supported at the time when he was a Manhattan real estate developer. Bloomberg responded by saying Trump is dividing the country “with racist appeals and hateful rhetoric.”

This morning the Bloomberg campaign conducted a news conference at its headquarters here to address Trump’s budget proposal and what it termed “continued broken promises to the people of Warren.”

During a Q&A with reporters that followed, Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, Ky., and national co-chair of the campaign, did not specify who the campaign suspects is responsible for the vandalism.

A similar incident occurred earlier this week at the campaign office in Toledo, according to Fischer.

“What it means is that they’re afraid Mike is going to win,” he said.

On Feb. 12, the Bloomberg campaign named local activist Jaladah Aslam as its regional organizing director.

Aslam is president of the Youngstown Warren Black Caucus, a retired staff representative with Ohio Chapter 8 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and sergeant of arms of the Mahoning-Trumbull AFL-CIO. She has worked on numerous campaigns over the last 25 years, is a former executive board member of the Ohio Democratic Party and has served as a delegate to the last three Democratic National Committee conventions.

The Ohio primary is March 17. To date, Bloomberg is the only Democratic presidential candidate to open a local campaign office.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.