Sanders Campaign Suing DNC: ‘We Don’t Need Dirty Tricks To Win’

They do need access to their own voter data, though, and as of this moment, the Sanders campaign is still cut off from even their own voter data. As promised in an earlier press event, the Sanders campaign has sued the Democratic National Committee for breach of contract, since the DNC refuses to restore the campaign’s access to even its own voter data after it accused the campaign of taking advantage of security breaches in the vendor’s firewall.

The DNC suspended Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) and his campaign’s access to voter data under direction of chair Debbie Wassermann Schultz indefinitely. This suspension included the Sanders’s Campaign’s own voter data as punishment for allegedly accessing and exporting former Secretary of State’ Hillary Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) campaign data.

The allegation and punishment came just hours after the Sanders Campaign announced it won two major endorsements. Is this a coincidence? Most of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) supporters don’t think so – and neither does the Sanders campaign.

Much has developed during the day, including the Sanders campaign initially filing for an injunction to restore access to their data just after 4 p.m., EST, as campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, promised the campaign would if the DNC did not restore access to the data voluntarily.

Woah! Security Breaches?

On Wednesday, December 16, vendor NGP-VAN’s firewalls failed, allowing each campaign access to every other campaign’s data. According to NGP-VAN’s chief officer, Stu Trevelyan, via the Washington Post, the vendor was applying a security patch that allowed the firewall to open up to all the campaigns.

Sanders staffer, Josh Uretsk realized every campaign’s data was available, and accessed it to see how large the breach was, and to see how much of the Sanders’ campaign information was compromised, according to Network World.

Bernie Sanders accused of taking advantage of security breaches
Image Used With Permission of the Bernie Sanders Campaign

The Sanders’ campaign won’t stand for even the appearance of impropriety, said Weaver during the press event, which is why the campaign fired Uretsk Friday, and froze the email accounts of every other staffer they suspected might have been involved, undeleted their emails and documents, and reviewed everything related to the security breaches in question.

According to Weaver:

We’re running a clean campaign. We’re going to beat Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and all everyone else in this campaign on the issues. We don’t need dirty tricks.

The DNC cut off the Sanders campaign from accessing voter data entirely – including its own proprietary data – the very next day, outraging the Sanders’ campaign and supporters.

Sanders Campaign Response

In response to the incident, the Sanders campaign announced publicly that this is not the first time the DNC’s vendor allowed the firewall to drop, exposing data to other campaigns. According to Network World, Michael Briggs said that the DNC knew about the security breaches because their campaign alerted them and the vendor to the problem in October, and again this time.

As a result of locking the campaign out of their own data, Weaver said:

“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, the strongest grassroots campaign in modern history.

 During the event, Weaver strongly stated that the Sanders campaign neither needs nor wants Sec. Clinton’s data. And why would they? The Sanders campaign just surpassed two million individual donations – the most in modern political history.

Explanation Evolution And Flip Flopping

Shultz appeared on MSNBC’s Live with Tamron Hall to explain her side of the story, so to speak. She claimed that the Sanders campaign never said anything about either of the security breaches – the October breach or Wednesday’s breach. Instead, she said the vendor told the DNC, and that the vendor said four Sanders staffers were “caught” playing with, “exporting and downloading” Clinton campaign data.

Either she lied, or the vendor lied. Even NGP-VAN initially refuted Shultz’ story, saying:

So for voters that a user already had access to, that user was able to search by and view (but not export or save or act on) some attributes that came from another campaign.

Notice it says, “not export or save or act on.” That’s what Shultz alleges the sanders staffer did. The vendor has since upheld that statement, but has said – after Uretsk spoke about Wednesday’s breach – that it wasn’t NGP-VAN that was responsible for the security breaches – they claim they are only at fault for this week’s breach, and not the data problem in October.

But then again, Shultz said the same thing and later flip-flopped during an interview on CNN to say that it was indeed NGP-VAN that had a data problem in October.

Which is it?  Personally, I would wait for the independent investigation all sides have promised will happen before I decide who’s on which campaign’s side – if any at all.

So where’s Clinton on all this? In response, the Clinton campaign asked the DNC and Sanders to “work “expeditiously” to make sure that the Sanders campaign only has access to its own data, according to CNN.

Regardless of who said what, Sen. Sanders’ supporters started a number of petitions to show their outrage over the suspension, demanding the DNC reinstate access to the Sanders campaign. One of them has garnered just over 215,000 signatures at the time of publishing, while other petitions are circulating calling for Shultz’s resignation as DNC chair, citing a variety of complaints, the least of whcih being her incompetence regarding this and other issues.



Featured Image Screenshot of Sanders Campaign Press Event via