By Ben Kamisar. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) campaign sued the Democratic National Committee in federal court Friday evening following the suspension of his campaign from the DNC’s voter database after a security breach.
The suit claims that the campaign is losing $600,000 in donations each day that it does not have access to the data, and adds that the “damage to the campaign’s political viability as a result of being unable to communicate with constituents and voters, is far more severe, and incapable of measurement.”
The DNC barred Sanders from accessing the party’s voter file, which includes much of his campaign’s voter data, after a campaign staffer improperly accessed private data belonging to front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The vendor hired by the party to maintain the data accidentally created the security vulnerability during an update, the DNC says.
The Sanders campaign fired a supervisory staffer involved in the incident and has gone on the warpath Friday claiming that the DNC overreacted and is trying to aid Clinton’s campaign.
The suit claims that the loss of the voter file could “significantly disadvantage, if not cripple, a Democratic candidate’s campaign for public office.” It also argues that the agreement between the candidate and the DNC mandates that a candidate get 10 days written notice to fix any issue before the party can restrict access. (Read more from “Democratic Party SUSPENDS Bernie Sanders Campaign; Sanders Sues… The Question Is, Will He Do a Third Party Run?” HERE)
Sanders Campaign Blames Software Vendor for Glitch
By Rosalind S. Helderman, Anne Gearan and John Wagner. Officials with the Democratic National Committee have accused the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of improperly accessing confidential voter information gathered by the rival campaign of Hillary Clinton, according to several party officials.
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. (Read more from “DNC Penalizes Sanders Campaign for Improper Access of Clinton Voter Data” HERE)