Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What privacy laws? Wash. Post's devastating story on abuse of confidential govt. information by D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 GOTV campaign, targeting public housing residents using private govt. info. HUD says use of official lists of residents would “constitute a substantial invasion of privacy”; @mikedebonis, @kitastew

For weeks now, Washington Post reporters Nikita Stewart and Mike DeBonis have consistently impressed on the ethical scandal and criminal probe involving Mayor Vincent C. Gray, while showing how talented and clever reporters who don't take anything for granted, can write informative and illuminating stories about what happens when political dynamite explodes in the hands of D.C.'s most powerful local politician, in a way that that shocks you from hundreds of miles away, even after you lived in the area for 15 years and, frankly, didn't think you could be shocked by anything going on in D.C. govt.

Their latest story concerns the use of confidential personal information in a government database and possible privacy law violations. 

The Washington Post
Mayor Gray’s 2010 campaign had database of public-housing residents
Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 campaign kept a database with the identities of nearly 6,000 public housing residents it targeted in get-out-the-vote efforts, which appears to be an unauthorized use of private government information.
By Nikita Stewart and Mike DeBonis
Published: July 22, 2012
The database, part of a cache of documents The Washington Post obtained from former campaign workers, includes residents’ names, addresses and telephone numbers. One of the documents designated “team captains” responsible for reaching out to tenants in specific housing complexes.
It is unclear who assembled the list or how the campaign got it, but two campaign workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of an ongoing federal investigation, said it was used in the final week before the Democratic primary election to register residents and get voters to the polls.
Read the rest of the post at 

Listen to Mike DeBonis discuss this story on WTOP Radio earlier today:

Nikita Stewart at Twitter: http://twitter.com/kitastew   

Mike DeBonis at Twitter is http://twitter.com/mikedebonis/

His blog at the WaPo is called District of DeBonis: "More than a city. Not quite a state. Enough for a blog" 

Her blog at the WaPo is DC Wire, where her latest post is that 48 percent of African Americans in D.C. think Mayor Gray should step down and that 44 percent think he should stay. 

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