Krystal Ball: Influx of billionaire cash in 2020 contest is 'deeply corrosive' to 'civil society'

Hill.TV host Krystal Ball warned Thursday that billionaire candidates, such as Tom SteyerTom SteyerTV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration finalizes plan to open up Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling | California finalizes fuel efficiency deal with five automakers, undercutting Trump | Democrats use vulnerable GOP senators to get rare win on environment MORE and Michael BloombergMichael BloombergTop Democratic super PAC launches Florida ad blitz after Bloomberg donation The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Latest with the COVID-19 relief bill negotiations The Memo: 2020 is all about winning Florida MORE, could threaten to upend the Democratic presidential primary race and set a bad precedent.

“Just take a look again at those ad spend dollars,” Ball said referring to multimedia buys of Steyer and Bloomberg.

“Even the most committed capitalist ought to realize that if you want to have a country where you can prosper and flourish this type of world-historic inequality and ability to brazenly buy our elections, [it] is deeply corrosive and destructive to civil society,” she added.

Both Bloomberg and Steyer, who have each spent at least $100 million, have faced accusations that they’re trying to buy the nomination.

Last month, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.), a top progressive in the 2020 race, accused Bloomberg of trying to use his money to influence the election.

“Michael Bloomberg is making a bet about democracy in 2020,” Warren said shortly after Bloomberg officially announced his candidacy. “He doesn’t need people. He only needs bags and bags of money.”

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.), another progressive candidate, also spoke out against Bloomberg’s entry into the race, saying billionaires like him are “not going to get very far in this election.”

Steyer, meanwhile, has pushed back against these accusations, saying he doesn’t think it’s possible to buy the president.

Bloomberg has addressed concerns about his wealth by announcing that he will self-fund his campaign and reject donations. The former New York city mayor also announced this week he also plans to donate $10 million to reelection campaigns of vulnerable Democratic House members.