Tag: frame

DNC launches desperate attempt to derail Bernie Sanders campaign over voter lists

Less than 48 hours after Bernie Sanders scored two major endorsements, from the Communication Workers of America (CWA) labor union and the progressive group Democracy for America (DFA), and less than 48 hours before the third of six scheduled Democratic presidential debates, multiple media outlets are reporting that a major breach occurred with the master voter list of the Democratic National Committee (DNC):

After NGP-VAN – the company that administers the DNC’s voter file – updated its system on Wednesday, a glitch reportedly made some confidential data from Hillary Clinton’s campaign briefly accessible to the Sanders campaign and one campaign staffer was able to access that information. The staffer has since been fired. The glitch was first reported by the Washington Post.

The DNC, in a desperate attempt to frame the Sanders campaign in order to deflect from its vendor’s own fuck-up, has shut off the Sanders campaign from access to the DNC voter list:

As a result of this temporary breach, the DNC has indefinitely cut off the Sanders campaign’s access to the voter file, which functionally halts its field operation. The move by the DNC raises eyebrows as many Democrats, including Sanders and fellow presidential candidate Martin O’Malley have long accused the DNC’s chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, of attempting to rig the presidential process to benefit Clinton. In particular, they have raised questions about the relative paucity of debates, which have been scheduled for weekend evenings and to coincide with other events such as a major University of Iowa football game.

In other words, the Sanders campaign is being punished by the DNC for a fuck-up by a DNC vendor that the Sanders campaign reported and is taking all appropriate action in response to. Keep in mind that it’s possible that the security breach may have allowed the Hillary Clinton and/or Martin O’Malley campaigns to access confidential information of their Democratic opponents, although this isn’t confirmed. However, the DNC has not cut off voter list access to either Hillary or O’Malley. Interestingly, the Hillary campaign is not officially commenting on this matter at this time for reasons unknown.

On a related note, although I’ve never worked for a political campaign, right before the Wisconsin state Democratic convention earlier this year, an error-filled list of delegates to the state convention from the most populous Wisconsin county, information that is not supposed to be publicly available, was leaked to me earlier this year. I’ve long since deleted the data in question.

It’s pretty clear to me that the DNC is absolutely incompetent at maintaining voter lists and the security of confidential data, and this is something that will only cause more public distrust of the DNC and the Democratic establishment. My advice to future Democratic candidates for public office is to not trust the DNC or any other Democratic Party organization in regards to anything and build your own voter list independently of any political party organization.


Refusing to provide a certain type of product is not the same thing as refusing to serve customers because of who they are

In the wake of Republican-controlled state governments in Indiana and Arkansas passing religious discrimination laws, right-wing bible-thumpers have tried to frame small businesses who refuse to bake cakes containing messaging that LGBT people would find highly offensive. The bible-thumpers are doing this by trying to order a cake containing anti-LGBT messaging and, when the business refuses to make such a cake for them, claiming that the business is discriminating against them.

Azucar Bakery, a Denver, Colorado small business that makes cakes and Peruvian-style desserts, was the target of a bogus legal complaint for refusing to make a cake that contained offensive anti-LGBT messaging. Bill Jack, an anti-LGBT bigot from Castle Rock, Colorado, tried to order a cake from Azucar Bakery that featured icing depicting two groomsmen with a red “X” over them and messages claiming that homosexuality is a sin. Marjorie Silva, the owner of Azucar Bakery, refused to write the messages that Jack wanted on his cake, and Silva offered to bake a cake that contained no messages whatsoever and give Jack a pastry bag and icing so that he could decorate the cake with bigotry himself. Jack filed a state civil rights complaint against Silva and Azucar Bakery, and the Colorado Civil Rights Division rejected Jack’s complaint, ruling that Silva and Azucar Bakery did not discriminate against Jack. Azucar Bakery is selling t-shirts with anti-hate messages printed on them; you can buy the t-shirts here.

Cut the Cake Bakery, a Longwood, Florida small business that also makes cakes, has been subjected to threats and negative online reviews for refusing to provide bigoted televangelist Joshua Feuerstein with a cake decorated with anti-LGBT messaging. After Feuerstein uploaded a video of his phone call with Cut the Cake Bakery to YouTube, Feuerstein’s bigoted followers posted negative reviews of Cut the Cake Bakery online and left phone messages threatening the owner of the business, Sharon Haller. Cyndol Knarr, Haller’s daughter, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to support Cut the Cake Bakery; you can donate to that campaign here.

What the bible-thumping bigots in this country don’t understand is that refusing to provide a certain type of product, in this case, cakes decorated with hateful messages that gays, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people would find highly offensive, is not discrimination, so as long as their policy to not provide certain types of products is applied equally to all customers. What is discrimination is when a business refuses to serve customers because of who they are, such as the Walkerton, Indiana-based pizza parlor Memories Pizza publicly refusing to cater to the weddings of same-sex couples because the people who are getting married are of the same gender. Business owners have the right to refuse to manufacture and/or sell a product that they don’t want to provide to anybody, whether it be because the product in question conflicts with their values or otherwise.

I strongly oppose this effort by right-wing hate mongerers to frame small businesses who are unwilling to sell anything with bigotry and hate speech on it.

The Blagojevich family is pulling dirty political tricks in Chicago once again

This guy's wife is pulling dirty tricks in a desperate attempt to get Rahm Emanuel crony Deb Mell elected to the Chicago City Council (Photo courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service)
This guy’s wife is pulling dirty tricks in a desperate attempt to get Rahm Emanuel crony Deb Mell elected to the Chicago City Council (Photo courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service)

Patti Blagojevich, the wife of disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, is pulling dirty political tricks in a Chicago aldermanic race between Rahm Emaunel-appointed incumbent Alderwoman Deb Mell, Patti’s sister and Rod’s sister-in-law, Tim Meeghan, and Annisa Wanat:

(33rd Ward of Chicago) Aldermanic challengers Tim Meegan and Annisa Wanat said someone has been putting anti-Mell fliers on car windshields in the Northwest Side ward printed on orange paper to make them look like parking tickets.

Meegan and Wanat said they had nothing to do with the fliers and suspect it’s a political set-up by the Mell campaign — akin to throwing a rock through the window of your own campaign headquarters.

Both challengers also claim to have gotten phone calls complaining about the fliers from a mystery woman who sounds an awful lot like Mell’s sister, former Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich.

In the call, the woman identifies herself as a Ravenswood Manor resident who was “leaning toward voting for Tim.” That is, until she saw the orange flier on her windshield dissing Deb Mell as a puppet of her father, retired-Ald. Richard Mell, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel — “with no attribution” about who was responsible for the insult.

“If that was you doing that, it was incredibly cowardly and it really turned me off,” the woman says in the recorded call.

If you’re not convinced that Patti Blagojevich is behind the political-set up of Tim Meegan and Annisa Wanat, this should convince you it is a political-set up of Meegan and Wanat that is being orchestrated by the wife of one of the most corrupt elected officials to have ever held elected office in this country:

Meegan, a social studies teacher at Roosevelt High School and a member of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, said he has no doubt who placed the call.

“I’m confident it’s Patti Blagojevich. Annisa got the exact same message from the same person,” Meegan said.

“We are alleging that the anti-Mell flier that looked like a parking ticket was produced by the Mell people in order to try and smear her challengers. It’s laughable. It’s a dirty trick. I just can’t believe they would resort to those tactics in order to hang onto the seat.”

Meegan said he didn’t “put two-and-two together” until he heard the recording of another call in which Patti Blagojevich identifies herself by name and asks a neighbor with a Meegan sign on her lawn to consider voting for her sister, Deb.

I call shenanigans on this.

I find it downright ridiculous that Deb Mell’s sister, Patti Blagojevich, would feign consideration of someone other than her sister in an important aldermanic race in Chicago, even going as far print fliers designed to look like parking tickets and attacking her own sister and sending out phone calls to try to frame Tim Meegan over the flyers. This is a blatant political set-up by the wife of a former governor of our state who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for, among other things, trying to sell a vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder and extorting a children’s hospital.

Deb Mell and Rahm Emanuel should publicly denounce Patti Blagojevich’s dirty political tricks, and Patti Blagojevich owes the voters of Chicago’s 33rd Ward an apology.