Monday, December 21, 2015

DNC under fire for datagate and the debate schedule

The Democratic National Committee and its chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DWS), is not having a good day. They came down hard on the Sanders campaign because of a software glitch by the NGP-VAN contractor. They then completely capitulated when faced with the (inevitable) lawsuit from the Sanders campaign. Bob Lord at Blog for Arizona has withering comments about this "datagate". He's got two complaints: the sparse and ill-timed schedule of debates and the decision to lock out the Sanders campaign from their own data.

DWS, who as party chair is ethically obligated to remain neutral in the Democratic nomination process, is thought by many progressives to be working to rig the process to favor Clinton. Progressives point to at least two actions as evidence of DWS’ bias:

(1) The decisions to hold few debates, and to schedule several of those few debates at times viewers would be least likely to tune in. The scheduling of last night’s debate on the Saturday before Christmas was Exhibit A on this front.

(2) The decision to lock the Sanders’ campaign out of its own database as “punishment” for a staffer peeking at Clinton campaign data when the DNC’s vendor, NGP Van, screwed up and dropped a firewall for 40 minutes. The action was a blatant breach of contract by the DNC, so much so that it capitulated within hours of being hit with a lawsuit by the Sanders’ campaign.

With respect to (2), check out Lord's post for more. For example:

Even if DWS is unbiased as she’s supposed to be, she blew it. By forcing Sanders to sue the DNC in a situation where she’d have no choice but to instantly capitulate, she sent the message loud and clear: “I’ll make my own rules unless you force me not to.” That engenders bitterness. It tells Sanders’ supporters that having them feel their candidate was treated fairly is not much of a priority to her. That’s just not how you win general elections.

With respect to (1), John Nichols has lots to say and that's covered in the next post below.

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