Sanders Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver said:
First, this is not the first time that the vendor hired by the DNC to run the voter file program, NGP VAN, has allowed serious failures to occur. On more than one occasion, they have dropped the firewall between the data of competing Democratic campaigns. That is dangerous incompetence. It was our campaign months ago that alerted the DNC to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns. At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor that the problem would be resolved. Unfortunately, the other day, the vendor once again dropped the firewall between the campaigns for some data.
Secondly, after discussion with the DNC it became clear that some of our staffers irresponsibly accessed some of the data from another campaign. That behavior is unacceptable to the Sanders campaign and we fired the staffer immediately and made certain that any information obtained was not utilized. We are now speaking to other staffers who might have been involved and further disciplinary action . Clearly, while that information was made available to our campaign because of the incompetence of the vendor, it should not have been looked at. Period.
Thirdly, rather incredibly, the leadership of the DNC has used this incident to shut down our ability to access our own information, information which is the lifeblood of any campaign. This is the information about our supporters, our volunteers, the lists of people we intend to contact in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere. This is information that we have worked hard to obtain. It is our information, not the DNCs.
In other words, by their action, the leadership of the Democratic National Committee is now actively attempting to undermine our campaign. This is unacceptable. Individual leaders of the DNC can support Hillary Clinton in any way they want, but they are not going to sabotage our campaign – one of the strongest grassroots campaigns in modern history.
We are announcing today that if the DNC continues to hold our data hostage, and continues to try to attack the heart and soul of our campaign, we will be in federal court this afternoon seeking an immediate injunction.
What is required here is a full and independent audit of the DNC’s handling of this data and its security from the beginning of this campaign to the present, including the incident in October that we alerted them to.
If what Weaver said is true, the DNC has completely overreacted. There is no reason for the DNC to access the Sanders campaign’s access to their own data. If this matter ends up in federal court, this will be another black eye for DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s leadership.
Weaver also mentioned the Saturday night debate schedule and suggested that it clear that some in the DNC are trying to help the Clinton campaign.
The DNC better produce evidence to back up their decision or unfreeze the Sanders campaign data today, because it is about to get very ugly between Sanders and the DNC.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association