The DNC suspended Bernie Sanders' campaign from accessing its own voter data following accusations that a staffer took advantage of a data breach to look into the Clinton campaign's voter information. The staffer in question, Josh Uretsky, has already been fired from his position, and the Sanders campaign emphasized its desire to hold a clean election without the dirty politics.
It's not hard to believe the Sanders' campaign because of his well-documented strategy to avoid attacking Clinton. His policies have been increasingly popular among progressive voters, and he doesn't need to stoop low.
The reason why accessing the data is such a big deal is because it includes valuable information about voters who are on the fence. For instance, if the Clinton campaign's data includes notes about certain voters who are easily persuaded to vote for a different candidate, the Sanders campaign could reach out to that voter and urge them for their vote.
There are a few things that need to be cleared up right away:
Did the Sanders campaign hack into the database? No.
The onus should be on technology company NGP VAN, since they're responsible for the security weakness that made all the private information available in the first place. Shouldn't the DNC take responsibility for hiring a third party that was clearly incompetent in keeping valuable data secure?
Did the Sanders campaign try to hide anything or play dirty? So far it doesn't seem like it.
In fact, the Sanders campaign noticed a glitch in the database two months ago and brought it to the DNC's attention. The fact that the problem kept reoccurring and the blame was ultimately placed on the Sanders campaign is egregious to say the least.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, clarified why the blame should be placed on the DNC and the software vendor. "
"Two months ago, shortly after our digital vendor that conducts modelling for our campaign told us that there was a failure in the firewall that prevents campaigns from seeing one another's data. We contacted the DNC and told them about this failure," Weaver said.
It was "dangerous incompetence, and it was our campaign that alerted them that the campaign data was being made available to other campaigns," Weaver continued
Uretsky also defended himself by mentioning his transparency through the entire situation.
“The breach was in no way our fault. I saw it and attempted to investigate and attempted to do it in a transparent manner,” Uretsky told ABC News. “To my knowledge, we did not take anything out of the system it was in and did not gain anything out of it. We saw a security breach and we tried to assess it and understand it.”
Clinton's campaign also released a statement accusing multiple members of Sanders' campaign of accessing their data.
“We were informed that our proprietary data was breached by Sanders campaign staff in 25 searches by four different accounts and that this data was saved into the Sanders' campaign account. We are asking that the Sanders campaign and the DNC work expeditiously to ensure that our data is not in the Sanders campaign's account and that the Sanders campaign only have access to their own data," Hillary for America National Press Secretary Brian Fallon said in a statement today.
It doesn't take much to look into the entire context of this so-called "scandal," including its convenient timing to understand that this is an orchestrated effort to ensure Clinton wins the Democratic ticket. Just recently, the Sanders campaign passed 2 million campaign donations, which is huge considering Clinton had 600,000 donations from 400,000 donors through the end of September. The only other politician who was able to pull off so many donations was President Barack Obama. Also keep in mind that the bulk of Sanders' money comes from small donations.
While Republicans have already had five debates on weeknights, Democrats have only had two. Keep in mind that one of the past Democratic debates happened on a Saturday night when people are the least likely to watch. The third and fourth Democratic debates are scheduled for December 19th and January 17th, on a Saturday and Sunday respectively. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz might not explicitly state that the establishment is doing its best to bury Sanders and his anti-corporate policies, but her actions are as transparent as Lululemon's yoga pants.
It's not hard to see where Wasserman Schultz's loyalty lies considering that she was Clinton's co-chair during her unsuccessful run for President in 2008. The dirty tricks being played by the DNC have turned me off to Clinton so much that I would rather abstain from voting or choose a third party candidate than cast my ballot in her favor.
I criticized Republicans for wanting to fix elections by restricting the voting rights of those who typically side with Democrats, and I see this recent Democratic power play as a similar attack on the democratic process.