Black Activists Demand Apology from Senator Schumer
Ex-DSCC Staffer Expected to Plead Guilty for Accessing Black Conservative’s Credit Report
For Release: March 20, 2006
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11
Now that federal prosecutors have announced that they plan to bring criminal charges against a former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee staff member who allegedly illegally obtained the credit report of Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R), and media reports indicate the accused has agreed to plead guilty, members of the Project 21 black leadership network call upon DSCC Chairman Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to apologize for the DSCC's violation of this black conservative's privacy.
"Criminal acts of this magnitude illustrate how low some on the left will stoop in the hope of gaining an advantage," said Project 21 member Deneen Moore. "This does not appear to be a mistake, but instead a premeditated plan with the intent to delve into a black conservative's private life in order to discredit his character."
Lieutenant Governor Steele is running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Maryland. His Social Security number reportedly was obtained by the DCSS from court documents and used to obtain his credit report.
According to a March 8 letter from federal prosecutors obtained by the Washington Post, former DSCC staffer Lauren B. Weiner will be charged with computer fraud violations that carry penalties of up to six months in prison. However, Weiner will reportedly plead guilty and be sentenced to just 150 hours of community service and a year of probation. Former DSCC director of research Katie Barge, who resigned at the same time as Weiner, will reportedly not be charged.
According to Newsday, the DSCC has paid the legal fees for the two disgraced former staffers.
Trying to dismiss the scandal, DSCC spokesman Phil Singer told The Washington Times: "[Weiner] is a fine person who made a mistake. As we have said repeatedly, the DSCC has never been implicated in any wrongdoing in this incident. The matter is now closed." Lieutenant Governor Steele replied: "It is a stain on the entire organization... It's the kind of politics that turns people off and demeans the electoral process."
"This unauthorized access into Michael Steele's credit report provides evidence that liberals seem to believe there should be a special hell for conservative blacks, and that anything goes when engaging in the politics of personal destruction," said Project 21 member Mark Jordan. "We are told by Ms. Weiner's supporters that she 'basically made a mistake' and 'wants to get on with her life,' but their actions make it seem that the only mistake was getting caught."
"Ironically, Senator Schumer has been one of the loudest crusaders for strong protections from identity theft," noted Project 21 member Garry Cobb. "How can a tremendous defender of citizens' personal credit reports now be paying the legal bills of two individuals who blatantly violated the civil rights of Lieutenant Governor Steele? Shouldn't these allegedly experienced individuals instead be held out as examples to the seriousness of breaking the law?"
For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html. New Visions Commentaries can be found at http://nationalcenter.org/P21NewVisions.html.
Project 21 Home | Donate | Subscribe | Search | About Project 21 | What's New | Blog | NCPPR