[Updated 12/26] DNC Scandal: Memories of the 3 AM Phone Call Ad and Nasty Campaign Shenanigans | Blog#42

Some new developments have transpired. See the curated item on a possible DNC plant in the Sanders campaign below the fold.

I received my first email ever from the Clinton campaign yesterday, then another today. I’ve never contributed to her campaign, either this time, or in 2007.

An informal poll of friends and extended family reveals that those of us who are suddenly receiving emails both contributed to the Sanders campaign but didn’t necessarily vote in Democracy For America‘s (DFA) primary poll, taken last week.

DFA endorsed Bernie Sanders after publishing this poll results:


As you can see, DFA’s poll is large-scale and those who voted could not complete their vote without leaving an email address. This poll result is consistent with every other online poll taken in recent weeks.

Given DFA’s endorsement of Sanders, it seems illogical that they would have turned around and shared poll-taker information with the Clinton campaign. So, how did the Clinton campaign obtain my email address and that of many others who, like me, had never received an email from them before? Why now? If not DFA sharing information, how else would the Clinton campaign have access to Bernie Sanders voter information?

DFA uses ActBlue to handle donations. ActBlue is the vendor that handles donations for the DNC, DSCC, and Democratic candidates. It would be interesting to know if DFA’s voter data is stored on the same servers as the DNC-contracted data the primary candidates are using. The vendor who manages the data, NPG VAN, has stated on its own blog that no voter names or other data was accessed by the Sanders campaign. NPG Van also professes to “take neutrality seriously,” whatever that means. I have left a message with DFA’s director of communications and am awaiting a call back. I am curious to know whether they too are a part of the DNC’s data storage business.

** In a phone call with Neil Sroka, Communications Director of DFA, I learned that DFA maintains its own proprietary data and does not share it in any way with campaigns or the DNC. Sroka also assured me that DFA’s mailing lists are not sold or shared with anyone else.

Which brings me to the DNC data breach scandal and the accusation that Bernie Sanders stole voter data? Could this be a case of projecting onto others what one has done? The Clinton campaign’s use of a certain racially-tinged campaign ad wouldn’t work this time around but tainting the competition with a stain of dishonesty? Could that be what this scandal in a samovar is all about? I sure hope not.  That was an ugly episode that it would behoove the Clintons to leave in the past.

It looks more and more as if the answer, why this scandal, can be found in Addendum #2 and how the Sanders campaign IT manager was hired…

Meanwhile, please take a moment to participate in my Twitter poll.

I will update with more information, as I receive it.

Thank you.


Progressive website Democratic Underground has an open thread on Clinton campaign mail being received by Sanders supporters:


Pew Research published a piece on the way it calls both landline and cell users. The law now allows polling organizations to call cell users, but the calls can’t be made automatically.

Jacobin has a very nicely-written, albeit nerdy, piece that examines the DNC data breach and what has been said about it by all parties involved. A very worthwhile read:

What Really Happened With the DNC’s “Datagate”?

The definitive explanation of the Democratic National Committee’s “Datagate” scandal and what the mainstream media got wrong.

“Amusing as it’s been to find that some of the technical minutiae of my old job has become a hot topic of conversation, coverage of the story so far has been tendentious and often plainly inaccurate. The Clinton campaign has exploited the obscurity of the software and the institutional context in which it’s used to grossly mischaracterize the actions of Sanders staffers. That said, Uretsky’s statements of intent do not accord with the logs released by NGP VAN.

To assess the plausibility of the competing narratives on offer — from the campaigns and Uretsky himself — a bit of background on the mechanics of a contemporary Democratic voter outreach operation is needed.”


Sanders Campaign Maintains DNC Holds Responsibility For Data Breach


Now a campaign adviser says that Josh Uretsky, the data director fired by the campaign, was recommended to the Sanders campaign by DNC officials and a staffer at NGP VAN.

“It’s not as if we conjured this guy Josh from thin air. This is an individual … who was recommended to us by the DNC and NGP VAN,” the adviser told Yahoo News.

“I just think it’s utter hypocrisy on their part,” the adviser continued. “I mean here we are being attacked for the behavior of an individual, which we ultimately fired. We agree he acted improperly, but it’s just amazing to me that this … individual that actually caused this trouble in our campaign was recommended by these guys.”

The adviser said that since Uretsky came with recommendations from people tied to the DNC and NGP VAN, the DNC bears “responsibility.” He also said that a DNC official’s recommendation of Uretsky could show that there was some sort of conspiracy. […]

Read the rest of this article at TPM.com


** This post was updated to reflect my telephone interview with DFA communications director, Neil Sroka on December 23rd.

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