Have you heard about what New York Sen. Charles Schumer's meddling minions tried to do here in my home state of Maryland to embarrass a Republican opponent?
Don't bother with The New York Times if you want details. Since revelations of the scandal first broke a week ago on the national wires and in the rest of the New York media, the Times has failed to print a single word about the Dems' invasive -- and obviously illegal -- dumpster diving.
Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a rising star in the party, is considering a Senate bid for the Maryland seat being vacated by Democrat Paul Sarbanes next year. Apparently threatened by the prospect of a strong, popular, black Republican candidate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee got down and dirty. Two of Schumer's staffers on the committee, including a former top researcher for David Brock's left-wing "think tank," obtained Steele's confidential credit report by using his Social Security number, which they had reportedly culled from court records.
Under federal law, it is illegal to knowingly and willfully obtain a credit report under false pretenses. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act imposes a maximum two-year prison sentence for the crime.
Democrat spinners would have you believe that the two staffers involved in the apparent fraud, Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner, were young and inexperienced workers. They're soft-pedaling the incident as an "isolated" occurrence on par with a high school prank. But Barge has been around the block, including stints as a researcher for Sen. John Edwards' failed presidential bid and as research director for Brock's Media Matters for America.
The two henchladies reportedly owned up to the act in July, were suspended with pay until Aug. 31, as the New York Post's Deborah Orin reported, and resigned earlier this month. Their dealings are being investigated by the fraud and public corruption section of the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., with help from the FBI -- which, according to Steele's staff, told the lieutenant governor that he was an obvious "victim of a crime."
Law enforcement officials are taking this criminal intrusion into private records deadly seriously. But left-wing partisans are nowhere to be found. Steele's staff tells me that longtime crusader against identity theft Sen. Schumer, who denies having any knowledge of the scheme, has still issued no apology for the abuse of Steele's personal data. And there has been no outcry from the ACLU, the champions of clean campaigns, or any major national newspaper editorial board.
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