IBJNews

Indiana GOP probes if campaign used data improperly

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Republican leaders met Wednesday to discuss how to handle allegations that a U.S. Senate campaign improperly tried to access a critical database of voter information.

Party chairman Eric Holcomb declined to comment on the matter, saying he wants to keep the discussion in-house. But the spat has added fuel to an already heated Republican primary between Sen. Richard Lugar and his tea party-backed challenger, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

The Republican Party's voter files are incredibly important for any campaign, although especially so for Lugar and Mourdock as they enter the last few weeks before the election. Republicans use the data to determine who to target with phone calls, door knocks, direct mail and other tactics designed to bring their supporters to the polls.

At issue is a March 14 email obtained by The Associated Press in which Mourdock campaign manager Jim Holden writes that Mourdock staffers should "start pillaging email addresses" from a voter database known as Salesforce, which is used by all Indiana Republicans.

"We have a Salesforce login again. Can one of you guys login immediately and start pillaging email addresses like a Viking raider attacking a monestary full of unarmed monks?" Holden wrote. In the email, he also instructed them to take the information, "download into our house file" and remove duplicate entries.

A Republican official familiar with the problem told The Associated Press the Mourdock campaign's access to Salesforce was revoked shortly after the email was discovered. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The Lugar campaign quickly chastised Mourdock after learning about the investigation Wednesday.

"Mr. Mourdock must come clean and answer serious questions if he wishes to represent Hoosiers in the United States Senate," Lugar campaign manager Emily Krueger said in a statement.

But Mourdock spokesman Chris Conner denied that the campaign had accessed the software. He called the email a "joke" that was "taken out of context." He said he doesn't believe there was any wrongdoing.

Indiana Republicans rely on two voter databases. The first database, Voter Vault, is a national database maintained by the national Republican Party and mined for raw voter data by state parties. National Democrats use a similar system to bring voters to the polls who will vote for their candidates. Salesforce is the software used by the Indiana Republican Party and individually licensed to candidates for use.

If the Mourdock campaign did a mass download of the voter files as indicated in Holden's March 14 email, it may have violated its licensing agreement.

Mourdock presents a major challenge to the six-term incumbent Lugar in the May 8 Republican primary, relying largely on help from such national conservative groups as the Club for Growth and the National Rifle Association.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Another reason not to vote for Mourdock
    Oh let's see, a Republican cndidate getting some names from a list of Republican voters compiled for the Republican party. The Democratic party would never do anything like...uh wait, didn't some Democratic party members commit forgery to get Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama on the ballot in Indiana for the 2008 election? And nobody said anything when the signatures of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and even Adolph Hitler appeared on the petition?

    Either way, any unethical behavior by any operative of a candidate of any political party is a good reason not to vote for that candidate.

    As voters, we need to keep the dirtbags out of elected office in the first place.
  • No surpise here.
    Another Republican campaign cheating to try to win. That's no longer news.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

ADVERTISEMENT