Holy political collusion!
Where has this story been? And why is nobody reporting about this?
Controversy continues to swirl around how the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained personal data from over 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge and used it to target ads to individuals in an effort to help Donald Trump be elected president in 2016.
But a more serious case of apparent misconduct involves Facebook data going to a different presidential campaign—this time in 2012. In this case, which is getting far less attention, Facebook reportedly voluntarily provided data on millions of its users to the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.
If true, such action by Facebook may constitute a major violation of federal campaign finance law as an illegal corporate campaign contribution. The matter should be investigated by the Federal Election Commission—an agency I am quite familiar with, because I served as one of its commissioners from 2006 to 2007. The commission enforces campaign finance laws for congressional and presidential elections.
A federal law bans corporations from making “direct or indirect” contributions to federal candidates. That ban extends beyond cash contributions to “any services, or anything of value.” In other words, corporations cannot provide federal candidates with free services of any kind.
Under the Federal Election Commission’s regulations, “anything of value” includes any “in-kind contribution.” For example, if a corporation decided to offer a presidential candidate free office space, that would violate federal law.
Corporations can certainly offer their services, including office space, to federal campaigns. But the campaigns are required to pay the fair market value for such services or rental properties.
According to Carol Davidsen, the former media director for Obama for America, Facebook gave the 2012 Obama campaign direct access to the personal data of Facebook users in violation of its internal rules, making a special exception for the campaign.
The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, reported that Davidsen said on Twitter March 18 that Facebook employees came to the campaign office and “were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.” –Daily Signal
They came to office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.
— Carol Davidsen (@cld276) March 19, 2018
I am also 100% positive that Facebook activity recruits and staffs people that are on the other side.
— Carol Davidsen (@cld276) March 19, 2018
Watch Megan McCain bash the comrades on The View for attacking Cambridge Analytical for using data that they paid for from Facebook, while Obama’s campaign used data from Facebook that was alleged to be voluntarily offered to the campaign by Facebook to win the 2012 election:
Rush Limbaugh did a great job of summarizing the way underreported data mining scandal of the Obama campaign:
“Folks, the bottom line is, it isn’t any big deal because it’s nothing unique. The Democrats have perfected using the personal data stored by internet companies for I don’t know how long. And Google leads the league in it, and they’re in bed with the Democrats and always have been. Facebook is number two. They’re in bed with the Democrats.”
“It’s the modern-day equivalent of high-tech grassroots politics. It’s all about finding out who your voters are and where they are and what they respond to, which politics and parties have been doing for as long as there have been both. But the Democrats, you see, and Obama, the brilliant, the cool, the sophisticated Obama, and Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin and Larry Page and all these high-quality leftists, they exclusively own that sector.”
Watch CNN hosts brag about how well the Obama team was able to mine your personal data than the Romney campaign. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked CNN host Brian Todd why the Obama campaign was better at data mining than the Romney team, Todd responds by quoting analysts who said, “the Romney team had a little less talent.”
In the video below, Jim Messina, Obama’s creepy campaign manager, brags about how the Obama campaign mined your personal data, citing it as the reason Obama won the 2012 election against Mitt Romney. This should scare the hell out of every American. Messina tells the Milken Institute, “You don’t get a guy like Barack Obama elected president if you take old rules. So we run new rules, and we reinvented it using data.”