Bernie Sanders, the underdog candidate who has made a name for himself among young liberal voters has encountered his first scandal. Sanders staffers gained illegal access to voter data files last week, causing a wave of paranoia and finger pointing. The Sanders campaign claims they accidentally gained access to valuable voter information compiled by the Clinton campaign after an apparent glitch. However they reported the glitch to DNC only after downloading valuable information. National data director for the Sanders campaign, Josh Uretsky was the only staff member fired immediately following the incident. However on Sunday it was reported that two more staff member were fired from the campaign.
Sanders’ initial reaction was to accuse the DNC of trying to “undermine” his campaign saying they leaked information about the breach to the press. The DNC suspended Sanders’ access to crucial voter data information immediately following the incident. Sanders filed a legal action in federal court on the ground that the party breached an agreement by preventing the campaign from using a voter data file. His access was reinstated on Saturday just before the third Democratic debate held in Las Vegas.
Bernie Sanders addressed the issue at the debate on Saturday saying, “Our staff found information on our computers from the Clinton Campaign. Not only do I apologize to Secretary Clinton and I hope we can work together on an independent investigation, I want to apologize to my supporters,” he said. “This is not the type of campaign that we run.” His statement was received with applause.
Hillary responded to Sanders’ apology saying, “I very much appreciate that comment, Bernie. It is important that we go forward on this,” however others in her campaign are reluctant to be so forgiving. One of Clinton's staffers in a battleground state seemed unamused by the breach stating, “We’re down in New Hampshire, and we all know Iowa is going to tighten,” she said“[The Sanders team] is full of sh-- when they say they didn’t get any intel. … It’s like the opposing general getting your battle plans.”
DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement, "The fact that data was accessed inappropriately is completely unacceptable, and the DNC expects each campaign to operate with integrity going forward with respect to the voter file."
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.