Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Forget DWS: Tad Devine and Jeff Weaver Are the Real Threats to Bernie Sanders’ Campaign

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 21, 2015

To paraphrase Mr. Ehrenstein, the facts are not in dispute, except among those crafting Dolchstosslegende to cover for their own failings:


[The Sanders campaign’s] national data director (not, as they tried to play it off earlier, a “low-level” staffer) took advantage of a breach in the VAN’s firewall to access sensitive and valuable proprietary data from the Clinton campaign. While the Sanders campaign called this act “unacceptable” and quickly fired the staffer, they also consistently framed it in a larger complaint against the DNC and the VAN.

Then, in what is perhaps the most irresponsible fundraising email I’ve ever seen, the Sanders campaign actually tried to raise money off it. And that’s where this went from an embarrassing press day for Democrats to a seriously dangerous moment for the Democratic Party’s chances in 2016.

In an email entitled “Urgent: DNC tipping the scales for Hillary Clinton,” the Sanders campaign accused the DNC of trying to “undermine” their campaign by shutting down their database access. They framed the situation as being caused by “a fault in [the DNC’s] own technology platforms.” At absolutely no point in the email did they mention in any way that one of their top staffers improperly accessed Clinton data and was fired for it.

In fact, they tried to pass themselves off as the heroes of this situation in their press conference and press release. The Sanders campaign discovered a glitch in the VAN’s software back in October, they say, and brought it to the attention of the DNC then. They were being punished when they were the ones who found the problem, a line their die-hard supporters repeated non-stop throughout the day.

Just one problem: NGP VAN says they were never alerted to such a problem, and in interviews on Friday afternoon, the former Sanders data director, Josh Uretsky, says the glitch being referred to wasn’t even with the VAN. It was a different program. So not only did the Sanders campaign commit a lie of omission in their fundraising email, it appears they outright lied about the earlier problem to the press. Or, at the very least, this was yet another instance where many people inside the Sanders campaign don’t seem to be on the same page.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not mt favorite human being, if for no other reason than her efforts to scuttle the Iran deal. But her actions in Sandersgate are a hell of a lot more decent than those of Devine and Weaver.

This relentless demonization of, not just Hillary Clinton, but the entire Democratic party infrastructure, is the sort of behavior that poisons the well for all Democrats from this point forward. (Think of how Teddy Kennedy’s constantly telling his supporters in the 1980 primaries that Jimmy Carter was evil hurt Carter during the general election.) The problem is that many of the people in the Ted Kennedy role this time around aren’t even Democrats and so might not know, or care, what they’re actually doing.


One Response to “Forget DWS: Tad Devine and Jeff Weaver Are the Real Threats to Bernie Sanders’ Campaign”

  1. Charles II said

    I would wait for the facts on this one, PW. The Sanders campaign had reason to fight back: the story was leaked to the press in a way that suggested they had hacked the computer. They were accused of stealing data. Sanders is not a wimp, and he made it clear to the DNC and the HRC campaign that if they thought he was, he would fight fire with fire.

    I don’t like how either side behaved. But let’s see what the facts are before assigning the majority of blame to one side or the other.

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