Friday, December 18, 2015

Is Bernie Sanders the Russian Hacker?

Bernie Sanders - Russian Spy

Update (July 30, 2016) : In one of the Democratic primary debates CNN's Anderson Cooper red-baited Senator Bernie Sanders when he said: "You honeymooned in the Soviet Union" — suggesting that Sanders is a commie without actually saying the word — and suggesting that Bernie was so in love with America's arch-enemy that he took his new bride to the U.S.S.R. (instead of Niagara Falls or the Bahamas) for their honeymoon.

In 1956, President Eisenhower launched a program that a decade later would be called Sister Cities International, a program that still in existence today. The idea was to promote peace and understanding through connections between cities in the United States and Russia. In 1988, Bernie's hometown of Burlington "sistered" with the Russian town of Yaroslavl, a city 160 miles north of Moscow. That was the same year Sanders married his second wife, Jane. In fact, the day after they married, they headed out to Yaroslavl. So, one could call it a "honeymoon" — and the pair have both done so — but only jokingly and in a sarcastic way. But the Sanders' had been in Russia on official government business — and the Sanders didn't go alone. There were 10 other people from Burlington who went with them. It was a trip dotted with diplomacy, official meetings and numerous interviews.

Since the DNC was hacked and Wikileaks released emails, we've learned that the DNC was actively working with the media to sabotage Bernie Sanders's campaign, essentially rigging the election. The Democrats have been trying to deflect blame by accusing the Russians of hacking their server and trying to interfere with U.S. elections -- as though the Russians were responsible for the content of those emails. They also have criticized Trump for encouraging Russia to hack government servers (and trying to tie Trump to Russia) because at a recent press conference Trump had sarcastically taunted Hillary Clinton by asking Russia for Clinton's emails. Now we've learned that the DNC's campaign and Clinton's servers were also hacked, and that the FBI warned Clinton a year ago about the vulnerability of her server. Now the FBI is investigating the hacks.

Which brings us back to Bernie Sanders. Because all throughout the primary the Clinton campaign and the media has labeled him as a "Socialist". So maybe Bernie is the infamous Russian hacker, and there really isn't' a mole inside the DNC. After all, remember when the DNC accused the Sanders campaign for breaching their data? --- // End Update

Was NGP-VAN data breach deliberate to benefit Hillary Clinton?

If so, the F.B.I. should immediately investigate.

NGP-VAN's data is used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association and Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee — and by over 75 percent of the Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate; and almost all the Democratic state parties. In total over 1,700 Democrats, PACs and other organizations and corporations rely on data provided by NGP-VAN Inc. — including Senator Bernie Sanders for his Presidential campaign.

So if there was really a data breach, and it affects the democratic process that could affect national elections, then that should be a very big deal.

  • NGP VAN, the vendor that handles the "master file" said a breach occurred last Wednesday while "a patch" was being applied to their software.
  • The DNC has told Bernie Sanders' campaign that it will not be allowed access to the data again until it provides an explanation, as well as assurances that all Clinton data that was accessed by their campaign has been destroyed.
  • Having Sanders' campaign cut off from the national party’s voter data is a strategic setback for Sanders — and could be a devastating blow if it lasts.
  • The episode also raises questions about the DNC’s ability to provide strategic resources to other campaigns and state parties.

The Washington Post reports "officials said they were unlikely to ask for a criminal investigation". But why not? This could be another major scandal, much like Watergate, when there was the 1972 break-in at the DNC headquarters by members of the Nixon administration.

The FBI director James B. Comey (Obama's nominee, who is currently investigating Hillary Clinton's emails) should also investigate this NGP-VAN data breach. If there was wrong-doing, then someone should be held accountable. (I only say this because I'm confident that there was no deliberate wrong-doing by the Sanders' campaign.)

Let's also look at NGP-VAN Inc — which was created by the merger of NGP Software (NGP, founded by Nathaniel Pearlman) and Voter Activation Network (VAN, founded by Mark Sullivan). NGP-VAN provides the integrated campaign technology platform to Democratic campaigns, labor unions, and non-profit organizations.

Nathaniel Pearlman was chief technology officer for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. Pearlman supervised the campaign’s IT director Bryan Pagliano, who later set up and managed Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Pagliano was the one who pleaded the Fifth Amendment in a closed-door hearing at the House Benghazi Committee. All roads lead to China Clinton and/or the DNC and NGP-VAN

In October 2014 NGP-VAN launched their nonprofit arm EveryAction.

It seems very coincidental that, right on the heels of Bernie Sanders' campaign getting two major endorsements (from Democracy for America and the CWA union), something very suspicious happens — a "data breach" — and the timing couldn't have been any more perfect for the Clinton campaign, because it's also just right before the next Democratic debate — and just when Sanders is also leading Hillary in New Hampshire by 10% in the polls. A quinky dink? An unfortunate coincidence for the Sanders campaign? Or was it a very well-laid out strategically planned event?

The data systems vendor (NGP-VAN) that runs the Democratic technology platform dropped their firewall for a brief period Wednesday (Dec. 16), during which time they claimed data was accessed. According to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda, NGP-VAN then alerted the pro-Hillary DNC about the issue Wednesday. Miranda said "all users on the system across Democratic campaigns were inadvertently able to access some data belonging to other campaigns for a brief window (CNN reported it is for 45 minutes)." The vendor (NGP-VAN) was instructed "to identify any users who accessed data, the actions they took in the system, and to report their findings to Party and affected campaigns."

Bernie Sanders' campaign's national data director, Josh Uretsky, was accused of breaching data for Hillary Clinton's campaign and then fired by his campaign. But Uretsky told CNN Friday morning that he was not trying to access Clinton voter data. He said instead that he was just trying to "understand how badly the Sanders campaign's data was exposed" by the software error: "We knew there was a security breach in the data, and we were just trying to understand it and what was happening." He added that to the best of his knowledge, "nobody took anything that would have given the (Sanders) campaign any benefit."

Sanders' spokesman Michael Briggs said, "That behavior is unacceptable and that staffer was fired immediately." But it's very odd that he also said, "Our campaign months ago alerted the DNC to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns. At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor. [NGP-VAN]. Unfortunately, yesterday, the vendor once again dropped the firewall between the campaigns for some data. After discussion with the DNC it became clear that one of our staffers accessed some modeling data from another campaign."

CNN reports that the DNC is currently working with the campaigns and the vendor to more fully understand the extent of the breach — and to ensure that this isolated incident doesn't happen again. But it's still not clear how or why NGP-VAN's firewall had failed in the first place (and why again). Did the Chinese hack their system? Did Bernie Sanders' campaign have anything to do with the breach? Or was the whole thing a set-up? Was any of Bernie Sanders' data also breached? Could the owners of the data company be working on behalf of Hillary Clinton — even without her knowledge?

I am not by any means a conspiracy theorist, but the timing and everything else about this incident is just "too good" for Clinton. The Democratic National Committee (who limited the Democratic primary debates to favor Clinton) has now suspended Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign's access to the DNC voter database after the party organization said Bernie's campaign was able to take advantage of a software "error" to access Hillary Clinton's confidential voter information.

Note, it was "able to take advantage", but didn't necessarily say they actually did take advantage. It seems the Clinton campaign could have also taken advantage ... unless, if they were alerted ahead of time, and then took no action at all — and that NGP-VAN had deliberately allowed the firewall to fail as "bait" for the Sanders campaign, knowing they would investigate to protect their own data.

Rosalind S. Helderman, Anne Gearan and John Wagner at The Washington Post was the first to report the incident.

Josh Uretsky (Sanders' data director) said, “We investigated it for a short period of time to see the scope of the Sanders campaign’s exposure and then the breach was shut down presumably by the vendor [NGP-VAN]. We did not gain any material benefit. Sadly, the DNC is relying on an incompetent vendor who on more than one occasion has dropped the firewall between the various Democratic candidates’ data."

DNC spokesman Luis Miranda said in a statement: "The DNC places a high priority on maintaining the security of our system and protecting the data on it. 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.”

Wait a minute — "To ensure it never happens again?" — after it's already happened before, and was reported? Why didn't the DNC make this statement the last time the firewall went down? Hmmmmmmmmmmm? It suspiciously appears as though NGP-VAN Inc was baiting the Sanders campaign on behalf of the DNC, who was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign (with or without the knowledge of the Clinton campaign). The FBI should investigate.

Stu Trevelyan, the head of NGP-VAN, said, "It was isolated incident that was fairly short in duration. By lunchtime it was resolved.” So, it was no big deal?

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, declined to comment. But if the Clinton campaign really believed the Sanders campaign was guilty of dirty politics, then where was their outage?

This morning (at 7:40am PST) on CNN — the cable news station that usually ignores Bernie Sanders — they briefly reported on the incident, then immediately discussed a new poll that showed 59% of Sanders voters would be OK if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee. At 8:06am PST CNN again reported on the incident. The headline on the screen read: "Sanders Campaign Breaches Clinton Private Data". At 9:36am PST CNN again reported this incident (just as though it was a Trump rally).

At about 10am Bernie Sanders' campaign manager (Jeff Weaver) made a LIVE statement (that Fox News, CNN and MSNBC aired) and took questions from the press. He is asking for a "full and independent audit" of this supposed "breach", and accused the DNC of withholding their own data "hostage", and threatened to go to federal court this afternoon — saying the DNC is hindering the Sanders' own investigation of this incident and said the DNC "stole" Bernie's data. (I will update with links in the comment section.)

DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who limited the Democratic debates to benefit Hillary Clinton) was then interview by Wolf Blitzer on CNN. She said the DNC is initiating their own "independent audit", and says the Sanders campaign is only offering "bluster", and then made an analogy of the Sanders campaign breaking into someone's house, and then asking for access to house after the burglary. As was expected, she denied that the DNC was doing anything to help Hillary's campaign, or to hurt Sanders campaign. We'll be waiting for the "independent audits", but in the mean time, the F.B.I. should investigate.

I would bet the house that this incident was intentionally contrived by the DNC to slow down the momentum of Bernie Sanders campaign, because the "powers that be" are afraid Bernie will be our next President.

The Democratic political consultant Joe Trippi was Howard Dean’s campaign manager in 2004. Dean's political action group (DFA) just endorsed Bernie Sanders. That had to have really pissed off the establishment Democrats within the DNC machine. Dean’s former campaign manager said in a interview: "Both party establishments are pretty good at making sure that a candidate who isn’t of the establishment doesn’t make it ... A lot of the rules and things are set up to stop insurgent candidates ... The entire Democratic establishment would come out of the woodwork to stop Bernie Sanders from being the nominee."


  1. On MSNBC at 2:15pm PST Chuck Todd asked Luis Miranda (the DNC's communication director) why the DNC went public with this tiff with Bernie Sanders' campaign rather than resolve the issue behind closed doors.

    At first, Miranda would not give Todd a straight answer. So at that time it became VERY obvious that the DNC used this issue to favor Hillary's campaign over Bernie's by attempting to embarrass the Sanders campaign.

    Then later during the interview, when asked again, Miranda claimed the DNC didn't leak the story. So maybe the authors of the Washington Post story who first reported on this (Rosalind S. Helderman, Anne Gearan and John Wagner on December 18th at 8:55 AM) can answer the question as to how THEY learned of the story if the DNC didn't leak the story.

    I saw the body language and the stuttering Luis Mirada did while being interviewed --- and he appeared to be lying through his fricking teeth. That dude needs to be water-boarded ;)

  2. In 1986, Bernie Sanders summed up his disdain for the Democratic Party: "The main difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats are in insurance and the Republicans are in banking."

    Sanders later attended his first Democratic Party caucus, where he delivered a spirited speech endorsing Jesse Jackson. Sanders had received an icy reception at the caucus from some Democrats, who stood up and turned their back to the stage during his address.

    "And when I returned to my seat, a woman in the audience slapped me across the face," Sanders later recalled in his book Outsider in the House. "It was an exciting evening."

    Throughout the 1988 campaign, Sanders maintained that Jackson would have been better off running as a third-party candidate. And he told Mother Jones in 1989 that the time was right for a new lefty party to challenge Democrats.

    Jackson went on to win the Vermont caucus, one of his handful of victories outside the South. After that, Sanders began huddling with Democrats on Capitol Hill, and he formed the House Progressive Caucus, which included mostly Democrats.

  3. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) presidential campaign will regain access to the DNC's national voter file under a deal reached late Friday, hours after Sanders sued the DNC. The DNC will lift the ban effective on Saturday, according to statements from Sanders and the DNC — but Friday night's agreement doesn't end the lawsuit. The DNC "capitulated," Sanders' campaign said in a statement. "Clearly, they were very concerned about their prospects in court," Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook called on the Sanders campaign to stop "politicizing" the incident [But wasn't it the DNC who politicized this by releasing this story to the Washington Post?]

    Here's the staement by NGP-VAN regarding the data breech:

    1. It might be that the Clinton Campaign was allowed free access during that time that the Sander's Campaign was being blocked and denied access....

    2. Good point. But we'll probably never find out.

  4. Al Jazeera:

    "Some media outlets are reporting that a summary of computer logs shows four aides to the Sanders campaign accessed proprietary voter data compiled by Clinton's campaign, with the reports attributing the information to an anonymous person said to be familiar with the data logs and the breach ... Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, said documents about the breach had been “leaked all over town, most likely by the Clinton campaign.”


    "Why Did the DNC Let the Bernie-Hillary Tech Story Leak? A better question: Would it have leaked if the roles were reversed? ... What admittedly sends my thoughts up a grassy knoll is how this relatively minor blip made it to The Washington Post in the first place. After all, the bungling was with the vendor, and with the DNC for hiring the vendor, so wouldn't the smart play have been to keep this whole thing in-house?"


    "The data breach has left Clinton with a decision: give Sanders a pass, as he did with her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, or tear into the Vermont senator over it during the debate, which takes place in New Hampshire and will air nationally on ABC."

    FYI: The DNC scheduled tonight's debate at the same time the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets will be playing (although, it's televised on NFLN)

    1. During an NFL football game, pre-holiday, on a Saturday night, after Star Wars was just released. The DNC could have only have scheduled the debate for 3 a.m. to make the timing any worse. But then, THAT would have been TOO obvious.

  5. SLATE:

    Why Hillary Clinton Should Defend Bernie Sanders Against the DNC’s Harsh Punishment

    From the unusual debate schedule (a handful of debates, placed on busy weekends) to Wasserman Schultz’s relationship to Hillary Clinton (which stretches back to the 2008 campaign), there’s a real case to make that that the DNC — ostensibly the party’s referee — is either mismanaging the Democratic primary or outright running interference for the Clinton campaign.

    If there’s anyone who should value fairness in the Democratic primary process, it’s Clinton. If she wins the nomination — as she’s favored to do — she’ll need to unify the party for its tough fight against the GOP.

    With the DNC's behavior versus Sanders, the DNC is an obstacle to that greater good. It makes Clinton’s lead look illegitimate, or at least, invites too many “what ifs.”

    What if the debates were held at prime time, when Americans were watching; what if the DNC hadn’t tried to sabotage Sanders’ ground game? Put simply, the DNC’s behavior is a threat to Democratic unity. If she wants to lead the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton should say something.

    (* But Hillary's campaign people have been doing just the opposite, and have been attacking Bernie in the media.)

  6. One of Bernie Sanders’ biggest union supporters has called on him to consider running as an independent candidate if Democratic party leaders continue to refuse to give him access to his campaign’s voter records.

    Bernie Sanders sues DNC for $600,000 a day over removal of data access

    Bernie Sanders campaign claims win after DNC hands back access to voter file

  7. I couldn't decide what version of "breach" or "breech" to use, as both spellings were used in different articles.


    In 2010, Sullivan's company VAN merged with NGP, a Washington, D.C., fundraising software company led by Clinton-Gore veteran Stu Trevelyan, now NGP VAN's CEO. The company has an all-you-can-eat contract with the Democratic Party, meaning that it is paid the same year in and year out, no matter how many campaigns actually use its tools. (Trevelyan said that he's bound by the terms of the contract not to reveal the price of the deal.)

    Nearly every Democratic campaign across the U.S. uses NGP-VAN in some fashion, though critics say that's due in some part to the fact that the DNC and state Democratic parties force candidates do so as part of the package of receiving party support. The arrangement leaves it up to the Democratic Party to decide which campaigns get access to the software, giving it an enormous gatekeeping power, a force which the Sanders' campaign felt during its temporary suspension of access to the data file.

    The Sanders case “highlights a huge vulnerability in Democratic tech," says Seth Bannon, a progressive technologist who runs the digital advocacy software company Amicus. "Locking campaigns into a tool because of a company's political connections at the DNC is a very dangerous thing.”

    To Trevelyan, though, it all boils down to a family squabble over a small breach made public to score points in a feud between the Vermont senator and the Democratic powers-that-be over whether the national party has rigged the primary in Clinton's favor. "This was really inside baseball until the Sanders campaign access was suspended" by the DNC, says Trevelyan.

  9. Wall Street on Parade (December 21, 2015)

    During the 2008 primary campaign between Clinton and Obama, a similar security incident arose with the NGP VAN software --- but with the outcome that information from the Obama campaign was transmitted to Clinton’s campaign. The Clinton campaign was not blocked from the DNC database in 2008, unlike the recent treatment of Sanders. [And the DNC didn't go to the media in 2008, but they did this time they did with Sanders.] The verbal attacks on the Sanders’ campaign by the DNC and Clinton campaign also had suspicious timing. Sanders had just received his biggest endorsement from the Communications Workers of America, a 700,000 strong union. Sanders also received a striking endorsement last Thursday from Democracy for America. To round out the week, the Sanders campaign said it was celebrating an historic milestone, topping more than 2 million contributions to his campaign. All of this had to be causing the Clinton camp some serious angst in terms of Sanders’ momentum. The mainstream media has been quick to drop this story now that the DNC has reinstated the Sanders campaign’s ability to access the database. But this should be just the beginning of the search for answers by the American people. If we can’t bust out of the establishment candidate’s stranglehold on the Oval Office, should we really be placing our trust in the establishment’s stranglehold on critical voter data?

  10. UPDATE: Yahoo News (Hunter Walker December 25, 2015)

    According to s Sanders adviser, the DNC and NGP VAN have responded to the data breach by leaking information and stonewalling an investigation into the matter. Sanders’ adviser noted that a lawsuit the campaign filed in federal court about the data breach last Friday, Dec. 18, is still ongoing, and described it as an attempt to get answers, despite the [Democratic] party’s lack of cooperation.

    The top Sanders adviser told Yahoo News one of the remaining concerns is that Josh Uretsky (Bernie Sanders' campaign's national data director) was recommended to the campaign by people with ties to the DNC and NGP VAN.

    According to Bernie's adviser, one of the references that Uretsky gave when he applied to work with the campaign was the DNC’s National Data Director Andrew Brown, who works closely with the shared voter file program.

    “Andrew Brown spoke to us and gave him a positive review, as did this guy Bryan Whitaker,” the adviser said.

    The adviser identified Whitaker as the COO of NGP VAN. Whitaker is no longer with the company. His LinkedIn page lists Whitaker as having left the firm for a job at another political data company in August of this year. Uretsky’s LinkedIn says he began working on the Sanders campaign in September.

    Bernie's adviser suggested the DNC and NGP VAN are “ignoring their own responsibility,” arguing that Uretsky’s references from people linked to the party and the company show both the DNC and NGP VAN “bear responsibility” for the incident.

    Given what happened with the breach, the adviser suggested Brown’s recommendation of Uretsky could be evidence of a conspiracy.

    Sanders’ team has [also] objected to the fact Clinton’s team went public with its "concerns". According to the adviser it was ”outrageous” the Clinton campaign was given the audit logs that it showed to the media and Sanders’ team was not. The adviser said these logs were unquestionably given to the Clinton campaign by NGP VAN or the DNC. with the logs in hand, the Clinton campaign was able to make detailed public allegations about improper activity by members of Sanders’ team.

    Even after having its access restored, the Sanders campaign did not drop its dispute with the DNC.

    [As for the debate schedules], both the Clinton campaign and the DNC have dismissed the Sanders team’s arguments about the debate schedule and claimed it is decided by the networks that air the forums.

    At the last debate, Bernie Sanders called for an independent investigation and Clinton agreed to an independent inquiry. However, the Sanders adviser said the DNC is blocking efforts to review the matter. “We have demanded a full investigation from top to bottom,” the adviser said. “Hillary Clinton agreed to it in the debate Saturday, and the DNC continues to stonewall a full investigation.”

    [Like I said, bring in the F.B.I.]

    Source: Yahoo News

  11. good article .. one thing: it's "data breach" .. not breech

    1. Thanks! Corrections made. I need a proofreader ;)

  12. If #HRC picks #ElizabethWarren as running-mate 4 #BernieSanders votes, that would be the ultimate pander & betrayal

  13. Read: The (un) Democratic Primary: Why We Need a New Party of the 99% (by Seattle City Council Woman Kshama Sawant on April 21, 2016)

    Hillary Clinton emerges from the New York primary more damaged, her party more divided, than she entered it. What came to be called "The Battle of New York" has served only to further expose what millions of people in the U.S. are becoming painfully aware of – the Democratic Party primary is rigged in favor of the establishment ... It is equally clear that if independents and others wrongly excluded could vote, the outcome would have been far closer and Sanders might even have won ... The primary as a whole is heavily skewed toward older, wealthier party loyalists. Nationally less than 15% of eligible voters will participate in the Democratic primaries and caucuses ... Democratic leadership bases itself on the exchange of favors and on a revolving door of influence between elected positions and lucrative corporate and lobbyist careers ... One simple fact reveals the rigged character of the system: National polls consistently show Bernie Sanders enjoys, by far, the highest favorability rating of all presidential candidates, and beats out all Republicans in head-to-head match-ups. Yet he will very likely be eliminated before the general election if he plays by the rules of the two-party system ... We are entering what is possibly the most favorable moment in U.S. history to launch a new left party ... Beginning his campaign with no name recognition, polling 3%, and without any elected figures of national significance backing him, Bernie has won more votes, more state primaries, raised more money, and mobilized more volunteers than any comparable left challenge in the Democratic Party’s history ... Michelle Alexander, speaking with Chris Hayes on MSNBC on April 1st: “I believe that we need to think very seriously, particularly as folks of color and progressives, about building either a new party or a new movement…” -- Three days later, writing in New York Daily News, Shaun King added: “I not only agree with Alexander, but I want to take it a step further — I think it’s already happening right before our very eyes. Political progressives across this country, in supporting the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, are completely rejecting the Democratic Party… We should form our own political party..." If despite all their dirty tricks against him, Sanders remains loyal to the Democratic Party and backs Clinton in the general election, it would mean the demoralization and disorganization of much of our movement. Yes, we need a strategy to push back right-wing Republicans, but collapsing the anti-establishment movement behind Bernie into the Clinton campaign – a false unity with the candidate of Wall Street and the political establishment – would leave the field wide open for right-populists like Trump or Cruz to expand their base. If Sanders chooses that path, continuing the political revolution will mean "Sandernistas" boldly moving beyond Bernie. An aggressive independent campaign for president by Bernie Sanders, linked to building a new mass party for the 99%, could dramatically transform American politics ... If Sanders drops out and endorses Clinton after the primaries, the Democratic Party will be free to tack right in the general election, relying on fear of the Republicans to keep their progressive base in line. The stakes are simply too high to let this moment slip through our fingers ... Bernie’s campaign shows a viable fightback is possible ... Now is the time for bold action to build a fighting, working class political alternative – a party for the millions, not the millionaires.

    Sign #Movement4Bernie’s petition calling on Bernie to run all the way and launch a new party of the 99%.