Bernie Sanders campaign disciplined for accessing Clinton data

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bernie Sanders Campaign Is Disciplined for Breaching Hillary Clinton Data.

Officials with the Democratic National Committee have accused the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign has fired its national data director after he improperly accessed proprietary data from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.The Sanders campaign blamed a low-level staffer for reviewing the information after access was mistakenly allowed, according to The Washington Post, which broke the story. Bernie Sanders of improperly accessing confidential voter information gathered by the rival campaign of Hillary Clinton, according to several party officials.

The staffer, Josh Uretsky, viewed data that the Clinton campaign had added to its own files during a temporary glitch in the voter database managed by outside vendor NGP VAN, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. In response, the DNC has cut off Sanders’ campaign from accessing its master list of Democratic voters, which it maintains while allowing other campaigns to add their own, self-gathered (and firewall-protected) data to the list. The discovery sparked alarm at the DNC, which promptly shut off the Sanders campaign’s access to the strategically crucial list of likely Democratic voters. Being shut out of seeing the list for any length of time would be a major blow to Sanders, who is attempting to cut into Clinton’s sizable lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But apparently, while a software patch was being installed on Wednesday, a “window into proprietary information from other campaigns” was accidentally opened.

A Fox News poll released Sunday shows Clinton with a 14-point lead over Sanders among likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa, while a poll of New Hampshire primary voters released Thursday shows the two in a statistical tie. Though the Sanders team has fired a top data staffer, Briggs pointed blame at issues with NGP VAN’s system. “Sadly, the vendor who runs the DNC’s voter file program continues to make serious errors,” he said, noting the campaign had alerted the DNC to problems months ago. Now, the DNC is refusing to allow Sanders’ campaign access back into its data stores until it provides evidence that all of Clinton’s data has been destroyed. Clinton, as the establishment candidate, has run a very middle-of-the-road campaign, counting on the votes of lifelong Democrats and her campaign war chest to influence voters through advertisements. NGP VAN describes itself on its website as “the leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns.” Stu Trevelyan, the company’s CEO, told the Post the breach was an “isolated incident that was fairly short in duration …

But according to three people with direct knowledge of the breach, there were four user accounts associated with the Sanders campaign that ran searches while the security of Mrs. Sanders’ appeal to the far left has drawn support from largely new voters, but one point where he has been able to stand out and shine is his economic policy. By lunchtime, it was resolved.” The Post reported the DNC was likely to initiate an outside audit to determine what exactly happened and whether any additional information was improperly accessed. Though he has received heavy criticism for his perceived socialist views, the polls suggest that Sanders has struck a nerve in New Hampshire, and if Clinton wants to win the first primary in the nation, she’s going to have to lace up her favorite walking shoes and start knocking on doors.

And while the whole situation seems to be an unfortunate accident—if not a slight overreaction on the DNC’s part—it’s about damn time something interesting (and non-email related) happened with a democrat. The episode has dealt Sanders a strategic blow by cutting his campaign off from the national party’s voter data – a blow that could become devastating if it lasts. At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor.” “Unfortunately, yesterday, the vendor once again dropped the firewall between the campaigns for some data,” Mr. Sophisticated campaigns spend millions gathering such information, including how likely individual voters are to cast ballots in primary elections as well as which candidate they currently favor.

Maintaining the master list is one of the prime responsibilities of the national party committee, particularly at a time when other outside political groups and super PACs are increasingly taking on roles once served by party committees. Already, in Republican politics, outside organizations have been working to compile master voter lists independently from the Republican National Committee.

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