In a statement on Friday regarding the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to sabotage the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, manager Jeff Weaver announced that the Vermont senator will not be taking this blow without a fight.
Many believe that the DNC has been attempting to silence Sanders from the beginning, and it appears that the accusations of the Sanders campaign illegally accessing Hillary Clinton’s data, and subsequently taking away his access to the voter file, may be the last straw the campaign and its supporters are willing to take.
Late Thursday night, the DNC announced that they are cutting off the Sanders campaign’s access to its comprehensive 50-state voter file that lists voter patterns and preferences, which effectively halts their ability to reach out to voters.
They claim that during a 30-minute glitch in NGP VAN, the vendor that handles the DNC’s voter data, the firewall went down and a low-level Sanders staffer gained access to Clinton’s notes in the database.
What they failed to mention is the fact that this wasn’t the first time the firewall had went down, and that the Sanders campaign were the ones who originally alerted the DNC to the issue, in October — as their glitch meant that their own data was also left vulnerable.
The staffer who had looked at the Clinton campaigns information was promptly fired, though he claims that he had only looked to see how badly Sander’s own data was breached during the firewall outage.
As the DNC makes a mountain out of a molehill, Jeff Weaver has announced that their campaign has had enough, and they will be taking the issue to federal court this afternoon if the situation is not resolved.
“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,” Weaver wrote in his statement.
In Friday’s statement, Weaver pointed out three massive issues with what the DNC is doing to the campaign.
“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.”
He also flat-out states that the leadership of the DNC is actively attempting to undermine the Sanders 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.”
In addition to the threat of a lawsuit, the campaign is also stating that a full and independent audit of the DNC’s handling of data and its security from the beginning of the campaign until the present is necessary.
A petition to reinstate Sanders’ access to the database, launched on Moveon.org following the DNC’s announcement, had already reached 133,390 signatures by Friday afternoon.
“We demand that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz immediately reinstate the Bernie Sanders campaign’s access to the DNC’s 50-state voter file, which is crucial for voter outreach in the last weeks before the first Democratic caucuses. Shutting down Sanders’ tools to reach voters is an infringement on democracy,” the petition reads.
Add your name here.
Featured image via Twitter