Making sense of the Coleman website fail
It's been interesting watching the media coverage of the Norm Coleman credit card leak. The Star Tribune took the route of least resistance, deferring to the campaign's claim that some kind of computer hacking put his donors at risk. The Pioneer Press did better, contacting outside sources and offering a nuaced perspective that suggested the Coleman campaign was guilty of extreme sloppiness. Our own Bradley Campbell has lead the way on whether it's a criminal offense to store this kind of credit card information. But credit where credit is due: local blogger Adria Richards discovered the open database in January and it was further reported by Minnesota Independent. MnIndy and The Hill reported on the wikileaks announcement Wednesday morning.
Let's summarize the facts as they are known, with an eye toward separating the bullshit when it comes to technology:
Let's put aside the issue of "was it or wasn't it hacked" (it wasn't). Why didn't you warn your contributors to cancel their credit cards back when this story first broke? The Strib has a response from Team Coleman, and it boils down to Extreme Cowardice and Greed:
Norm Coleman campaign officials didn't notify contributors after their database was briefly opened in January because no significant information had been downloaded and they didn't want to unnecessarily chill fundraising efforts, a Coleman lawyer said Thursday.So he put self-interest above the well-being of his contributors, many of whom are constituents. Doesn't that tell us all we need to know about whether we want him as our senator?