An aide on Tom Steyer’s presidential campaign resigned after he was caught stealing data from Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign, The Post and Courier reports.
Dwane Sims, Steyer’s deputy South Carolina state director, was caught by the Democratic National Committee trying to export volunteer data collected by the Harris campaign using an account from when he worked for the state’s Democratic Party, according to the report.
The data included the contact information of thousands of volunteers for the campaign.
S.C. Democratic Party chairman Trav Robertson told The Post and Courier that the party immediately sent a cease-and-desist letter and received confirmation that Sims had destroyed the stolen data.
Sims was placed on administrative leave over the weekend and resigned on Monday.
“We apologize to the South Carolina Democratic Party and the DNC,” Steyer campaign manager Heather Hargreaves said. “Tom Steyer and the Steyer campaign extend our deepest apology to Senator Kamala Harris and her campaign.”
Dems reject claim that Steyer told them:
The Steyer campaign said that it did not possess the stolen data and claimed that the download was inadvertent and that they “proactively notified” the Democratic Party of the breach.
Both the DNC and the South Carolina Democratic Party denied the claim.
“We take this matter very seriously, and that is why we immediately worked with the DNC to disable this employee’s access to Vote Builder,” Robertson said. “It is critical that the Steyer campaign take immediate action regarding their employee.”
DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said that Sims has been permanently banned from all Democratic Party systems.
Steyer campaign claims don’t add up:
Steyer campaign spokesman Alberto Lammers initially claimed that Sims inadvertently downloaded that Harris data “believing it was Steyer’s, not realizing he had logged in to an old party account instead of his campaign account,” The Post and Courier reported.
Hinojosa refuted that statement, noting that data showed that Sims accessed the file at 3 pm, after he had notified the party that he still had access and while the party worked to revoke it.
Lammers said that the DNC was wrong.
“We are talking about 180 seconds in a system that is notoriously inaccurate,” Lammers said. “And the DNC is not disputing the key fact that our employee proactively approached them to inform them of the matter. The bottom line is that nothing would have taken place if the DNC had been more diligent about the security of voter data.”