Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sanders Files Suit to Regain Access to DNC Voter Database

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sanders Files Suit to Regain Access to DNC Voter Database

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * The Democratic race for president unexpectedly exploded with rancor Friday as Hillary Clinton's campaign accused rival Bernie Sanders of stealing millions of dollars worth of information about potential voters.

Sanders' team, meanwhile, accused the Democratic Party of holding his White House bid hostage by temporarily barring it from accessing its own voter data. His campaign filed a lawsuit to get it back and aggressively tried to turn the allegations into a political advantage.

"This information is really key to our campaign and our strategy," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said. "We are particularly disturbed right now that they are using the fact that they stole data as a reason to raise money for their campaign."

The reaction to the data breach, the depth of which was debated by all involved, tore open an ugly fault line between two camps that had so far engaged in a relatively civil White House campaign.

On the eve of the party's next presidential debate, it also thrust into the open longstanding suspicions among Sanders and his supporters that the national party is unfairly working to support Clinton's candidacy.

"Clearly, in this case, they are trying to help the Clinton campaign," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said .

At issue is an extensive trove of voter information maintained by the DNC. The campaigns are able to add their own information to the database, information that they use to target voters and anticipate what issues might motivate them to cast ballots.

In Clinton's case, Mook said, the information stored in the database included "fundamental parts of our strategy."

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that on Wednesday Sanders' campaign "inappropriately and systematically" accessed Clinton's data. Schultz rejected Weaver's effort to blame the breach on a software glitch and the actions of a small group of rogue staffers, one of whom was fired.

The DNC temporarily turned off Sanders' access to the database and asked for an accounting of how the information was used and disposed of. …

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