The establishment wings of both major political parties are feeling heat this presidential campaign cycle, as more and more Americans, fed up with “official Washington” and the Praetorian guard media that protect and defend them, support outsider candidates.
For Republicans that contender is billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, whose plain-speaking, take-no-prisoners and apologize-for-nothing attitude has attracted millions of fans and supporters.
For Democrats the “outsider” is actually an insider – Sen. Bernie Sanders, an “independent” from Vermont who regularly caucuses with Democrats. What appeals to liberal voters, and what makes him a political outsider, however, is his socialistic, anti-capitalist, everything-should-be-free, make-the-rich-pay-for-it-all message that resonates with a rising number of Americans who are finding it harder and harder to make a living.
The Republican establishment has already taken aim at Trump and will continue to spend millions in the days and weeks ahead to defeat him. The Democrats will do the same to knock off Sanders, but their attack has recently taken a sinister turn.
‘It’s the vendor’s fault’
As reported by U.S. Uncut, for the past several months Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been using her post to undermine Sanders at every turn. But recently, after what was likely the biggest week of Sanders’ campaign, Wasserman Schultz may actually have succeeded.
Just days ago, the DNC took the drastic and unusual step of cutting Sanders’ campaign off from access to its massive 50-state voter file that contains a wealth of data including voting patterns and preferences. That effectively clamped down the Sanders’ campaign’s voter outreach operations about a month before the crucial Iowa caucus and some 50 days before the equally important New Hampshire primary, where Sanders was leading ahead of the Democratic establishment’s preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton.
As U.S. Uncut further reported:
“The punishment came about as the result of a 30-minute glitch in NGP VAN – the vendor that handles the DNC’s voter data – in which internal models for each Democratic presidential campaign were briefly available to other competing campaigns while NGP VAN was applying a patch to the software. Michael Briggs, a communications aide for the Sanders campaign, said this isn’t the first time they’ve reported security bugs in the DNC’s voter file.”
“On more than one occasion, the vendor has dropped the firewall between the data of different Democratic campaigns. Our campaign months ago alerted the DNC to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns,” Briggs told BuzzFeed News. “At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor.”
The DNC says it took the action because the Sanders campaign improperly accessed Clinton voter data. The Sanders campaign, BuzzFeed News reported, fired the staffer who did the accessing.
However, as U.S. Uncut noted further, the DNC said it would not grant the Sanders campaign access to the voter file until officials there have proven that they have destroyed all of the Clinton campaign data that was inadvertently accessed as a result of the glitch.
“However, as Reddit user bastion_of_press pointed out, the Sanders campaign cannot prove it destroyed something it doesn’t have, meaning the ban on accessing critical voter information could be indefinite,” the news site noted.
The DNC places a high priority on maintaining the security of our system and protecting the data on it,” the committee’s communications director, Luis Miranda, told BuzzFeed. “We are working with our campaigns and the vendor to have full clarity on the extent of the breach, ensure that this isolated incident does not happen again, and to enable our campaigns to continue engaging voters on the issues that matter most to them and their families.”
The Sanders campaign maintains that the program vendor is responsible for continued glitches and other data errors. Either way, the DNC’s action will dramatically hamper the Sanders campaign.