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DNC Cuts Off Sanders' Access to Voter Files

He's fired a staffer for snooping on Clinton campaign
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2015 3:22 AM CST
Updated Dec 18, 2015 6:43 AM CST
DNC Cuts Off Sanders' Access to Voter Files
Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves a news conference where he was endorsed by members of the Communication Workers of America on Thursday at the CWA's headquarters in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Bernie Sanders' Thursday wasn't quite as awesome as previously believed: His campaign suffered what the Washington Post says could be a "devastating blow" after it emerged that at least one staffer improperly accessed Hillary Clinton's campaign data. The staffer was able to access the Clinton data because of a glitch at NGP VAN, the tech firm that handles the master list of likely Democratic voters for the Democratic National Committee and rents it to other campaigns, which add their own data, the Post reports. The Sanders campaign says the staffer responsible has been fired, though sources tell the New York Times that no fewer than four Sanders-linked accounts searched Clinton data while the firewall was down on Wednesday.

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The DNC has now temporarily suspended the Sanders campaign from accessing its voter database, which could prove to be a major setback if the suspension continues for long, CNN reports. In a statement, a Sanders spokesman admitted the Clinton data was accessed but blamed NGP VAN for repeatedly dropping the firewall between Democratic campaigns, even though the Sanders campaign had alerted the DNC to the problem months ago. When it was dropped again this week, "after discussion with the DNC, it became clear that one of our staffers accessed some modeling data from another campaign," the spokesman said. "That behavior is unacceptable and that staffer was immediately fired." (Read more Bernie Sanders stories.)

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