The fight between Bernie Sanders and the DNC over the data breaching scandal is getting even more sexier. One adviser tells Yahoo News fired national data director Josh Uretsky was recommended to them…by the DNC itself!
“It’s not as if we conjured this guy Josh from thin air. This is an individual … who was recommended to us by the DNC and NGP VAN,” the adviser said.
According to the adviser, one of the references that Uretsky gave when he applied to work with the campaign was the DNC’s National Data Director Andrew Brown, who works closely with the shared voter file program.
“Andrew Brown spoke to us and gave him a positive review, as did [ ex-NGP VAN COO ] Bryan Whitaker,” the adviser said.
Hattip to Neidermeyer’s Dead Horse at Ace of Spades for pointing this out. We turn it now to Montgomery Burns for reaction:
It’s pretty interesting to see these allegations come out, especially because Sanders’ campaign is still pushing the “DNC is helping the Clinton campaign” idea. If it’s true, then the new allegations levied by Sanders’ crew may give credence to this. The DNC scheduled all but one of the 2015 debates on a Saturday, when most people were watching college football, suggesting they really are “in the tank” for Clinton. Of course, Sanders’ lawsuit against the DNC hasn’t stopped, even though the campaign had its access to data restored a week ago. The campaign promises the lawsuit is about getting answers, but the question is whether they actually will or not. The DNC may just point towards NGP VAN’s post on it from December 16th, explaining what (supposedly) happened.
On Wednesday morning, there was a release of VAN code. Unfortunately, it contained a bug. For a brief window, the voter data that is always searchable across campaigns in VoteBuilder included client scores it should not have, on a specific part of the VAN system. 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.
As soon as we realized that there was an issue, we immediately mobilized our engineers to investigate the source of the issue. While we investigated the issue, we restricted access to affected areas of the VAN product for all users and limited access to data exports. Engineers quickly discovered the problem, and developed a fix.
It’s still fun popcorn to see Sanders squabble with the DNC and Clinton over the data issues. The Democratic race hasn’t been as turgid as the GOP one, but that makes sense since it always seemed like Clinton would be “the one.” The question is whether Sanders will be able to capitalize on this or not. Politico reports he hasn’t been able to.
There’s certainly a pricklier political tone in this caucus state after the data breach rocked the Democratic contest last week. But, local activists — Clinton’s, Sanders’ and those who are still neutral — say Sanders failed to turn this dispute into the momentum boost his team intended in Iowa.
“There was anger with the DNC over the data, but it sounds like they got that resolved,” said undecided Linn County Democratic Party Chair Bret Nilles, pointing to Sanders’ apology on the Saturday night debate stage, and relaying conversations he’s had in the state since then. “It’s not an issue that will last in the long run.”
That’s not how the Sanders team saw this playing out. After the data breach and the DNC’s decision to temporarily halt the insurgent’s access to his own voter files, the campaign prepped an anti-establishment message and launched a television and fundraising push that attempted to cast Sanders as a progressive hero. It moved his Iowa events to bigger venues, anticipating bigger crowds.
But here, progressive and mainstream Democrats alike say it was a miscalculation; the anti-establishment fervor inside the Democratic Party is simply not as strong as the populist passion driving the GOP primary. Clinton — leading Sanders in a close race in Iowa — has the support of substantial swaths of the progressive movement.
My opinion on who should win the Democratic race doesn’t matter, because I’m not going to vote for them (less government, taxes, spending, telling me what I can and cannot do, etc. please). But the Democratic race would probably be more interesting if it was, say, Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren vs. Clinton, instead of Sanders and Martin O’Malley. This isn’t the case, and the DNC and the mainstream media appear to be more in favor of a low-key primary. This pretty much guarantees Clinton will stay on top, unless Sanders surprises in Iowa and New Hampshire. If that happens, then all bets are off and it might be a repeat of 2008. One thing which is curious is whether or not this data breach thing would have happened if the aforementioned Warren or a Julian Castro were running for the Democratic nomination. My guess is probably not, but you never know. It depends on how badly the DNC want to be rid of the Clintons (or at least Hillary).