Thursday, September 22, 2005

Charles Schumer research assistants steal credit report.

Politics: This seems a bit serious.

Two opposition researchers working for Sen. Charles Schumer at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee obtained copies of a confidential credit report on Maryland's Republican lieutenant governor, prompting calls for their prosecution. In July, committee research director Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner, a junior staffer, used Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's Social Security number to get his credit report, according to a Democratic official familiar with the case. The committee, which works to elect Democrats to the Senate, has been compiling research on Steele, Maryland's highest-ranking African-American official, a GOP contender for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Democrat Paul Sarbanes in 2006. Barge, a Democratic operative who led the research unit for a liberal media watchdog group run by journalist David Brock before joining the committee in February, reported her actions to the committee's executive director, J.B. Poersch Jr., within hours. Poersch relayed the information to the U.S. attorney's office and suspended the pair with pay until Aug. 31, the official said. Barge and Weiner resigned earlier this month after an internal investigation. Calls to the FBI, which is probing the case, weren't returned last night.
Washington Post:
Maryland Republicans yesterday decried news of Democratic researchers obtaining Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's credit report, suggesting that it showed how seriously the Democrats are taking Steele's likely bid for the U.S. Senate. "If they're trashing you, they fear you," Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said. "You don't go to this sort of extreme if you're not fearful." Ehrlich's assessment followed reports that federal prosecutors are investigating whether two Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee employees illegally obtained Steele's credit information as they conducted opposition research. Derek Walker, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party, said the episode had nothing to do with the party's view of a Steele candidacy. "This is a one-time stupid mistake by a couple of young people who were willing to take responsibility immediately," Walker said. "That's what this is about." The DSCC employees were suspended after the July episode and resigned early this month. The committee reported the breach to the U.S. attorney's office, which began an investigation, DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said.

It was not a stupid mistake unless Schumer just hires people off the street without an inkling of common sense. This is a crime and it was done to dig up dirt on Steele. To get a credit report it you have to supply a lot of information.

Quicken: To order your credit report, they will ask you to provide the following information: Full name (including Jr., Sr., etc.) Spouse's first name (if married) Current address Phone number Address(es) for the past two years if applicable Social Security number Birth date Current employment information Signature Any fees
Federal Trade Commission.
How do I order my free report? You can order your free annual credit report online at annualcreditreport.com, by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. When you order, you need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

One time stupid mistake? I think not.

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