This is NOT an us vs. them. We need to get behind whoever gets the Democratic nomination and tearing one candidate down will not enhance the other. For the record: (And no, I did not write this. I can provide the direct link if you like.)
Jeff Weaver, the Vermont senator's campaign manager, acknowledged that a staffer had viewed the information but blamed a software vendor hired by the DNC for a glitch that allowed access. Weaver said one Sanders staffer was fired over the incident.
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.
The DNC maintains the master list and rents it to national and state campaigns, which then add their own, proprietary information gathered by field workers and volunteers. Firewalls are supposed to prevent campaigns from viewing data gathered by their rivals.
NGP VAN, the vendor that handles the master file, said the incident occurred Wednesday while a patch was being applied to the software. The process briefly opened a window into proprietary information from other campaigns, said the company's chief, Stu Trevelyan. He said a full audit will be conducted.
The DNC has told the Sanders campaign that it will not be allowed access to the data again until it provides an explanation as well as assurances that all Clinton data has been destroyed.
...Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said four Sanders campaign staffers accessed Clinton data, and that three of them did so at the direction of their boss, Josh Uretsky, who was the operative fired.
So, first of all, I just want to underline that there is no indication that Senator Sanders directed his staff to breach Clinton's records. (And, for the record, I don't think he did.) What responsibility Sanders has is for his team, and this appears to be the third incident recently in which Jeff Weaver and Co. have made Sanders look bad: Weaver was the one who made the poopty comments about how Sanders' campaign would be "willing to consider" Clinton for vice-president, then defended his demeaning commentary as "edgy or snarky but nothing more"; Weaver was the one who "declared victory" after a Sanders staffer pitched a fit over last-minute changes to a debate format following the bombing in Paris, making the Senator look unable to effectively pivot to respond to crisis; and now Weaver is the one who is redirecting blame for his staff's unethical and illegal breach of confidential voter data that doesn't belong to them.
The Sanders team's explanation of the incident has gradually changed since it was first confirmed late Thursday, initially saying that only a single “low-level” staffer accessed the Clinton data and that none of it was saved.
But the database logs created by NGP VAN show that four accounts associated with the Sanders team took advantage of the Wednesday morning breach. Staffers conducted searches that would be especially advantageous to the campaign, including lists of its likeliest supporters in 10 early voting states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. Campaigns rent access to a master file of DNC voter information the party, and update the files with their own data culled from field work and other investments.
After one Sanders account gained access to the Clinton data, the audits show, that user began sharing permissions with other Sanders users. The staffers who secured access to the Clinton data included national data director Josh Uretsky, who was fired on Thursday, and his deputy, Russell Drapkin. The two other usernames that viewed Clinton information were “talani" and "csmith_bernie," created by Uretsky's account after the breach began.
Though the Sanders campaign initially claimed that it had not saved Clinton data, the logs show that the Vermont senator’s team created at least 24 lists during the 40-minute breach, which started at 10:40 a.m., and saved those lists to their personal folders. The Sanders searches included New Hampshire lists related to older voters, "HFA Turnout 60-100" and "HFA Support 50-100," that were conducted and saved by Uretsky. Drapkin's account searched for and saved lists including "HFA Support <30" in Iowa and "HFA Turnout 30-70"' in New Hampshire.
Uretsky told CNN on Friday that he probed the Clinton data to get a sense of the full extent of the problem, but the breach was reported to NGP VAN by a third party, not by the Sanders campaign, a source familiar with the investigation said.
So, the Sanders campaign:
-- claimed that only one person had exploited the glitch, until the database log proved otherwise
-- claimed that they had not saved the data, until the audit proved otherwise
-- claimed that they had raised the issue of the glitch, until investigators said otherwise
These are serious problems, with both ethics and credibility.
Sorry, I like Sanders in general but he is not a saint and there are serious issues with his campaign staff.
[Edited by Amorette Allison (12/18/2015 7:31:25 PM)]