Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cambridge Analytica and Brad Parscale

Brad Parscale is Donald Trump's 2020 Presidential Campaign manager. This is not an accident, nor is it a mistake. It looks like a continuation of a plan to wreck our democracy and steal elections. It was Donald Trump Jr. who brought Parscale into the Trump orbit. What that will eventually mean is up for debate.

It certainly appears that Parscale and Cambridge Analytica worked hand in hand to steal the 2016 election. If you look at the bombshell revelations that have come out in the past few days, this is nothing short of proof that the results of the election were tainted. It was a fraudulent election. The results should be thrown out. How can anyone say Trump is president when it's pretty clear that there was an effort to steal the presidency?

What we're waiting to find out is, how did they do it and what help could they have received from the Russians? I think the reason why none of these people have been indicted yet is because there is an arc that might possibly lead from the Trump campaign through Parscale and Cambridge directly to the Russians who stole the DNC's e-mails and targeted US persons for information warfare purposes. This is the biggest scandal of our time, and it all seems to be coming together nicely. Right now, these are allegations. Eventually, we're going to find out the truth.

Back in the fall of 2017, Wired took a look at what Cambridge Analytica was telling everyone. Nothing that they were saying then holds up to any scrutiny whatsoever.

Cambridge worked both for the Trump campaign and a Trump-aligned Super PAC. In June 2016, Cambridge sent three staffers, led by chief product officer Matt Oczkowski, to the campaign’s San Antonio office. Oczkowski’s team eventually grew to 13 people, working under Trump digital director Brad Parscale and alongside his staff and outside consultants. According to Parscale, the Cambridge staff provided useful analysis of data about the American electorate. They did not, however, provide the raw data—things like demographic information, contact information, and data about how voters feel about different issues—on which that analysis was done.

Bullshit! All of that is bullshit. Cambridge Analytica actually did provide demographic information.

[Aleksandr] Kogan, 32, said he gathered information on 30 million Americans through his Facebook personality test app in 2014 — data he then passed to Cambridge Analytica. When Facebook learned in 2015 that Kogan had shared the data with the company it demanded the data be deleted, saying that transferring or selling data was against its company guidelines. 

Here's more from the Wired article. Virtually everything in it has now been proven to be false:

Ever since it burst onto the scene of American politics in 2015, Cambridge has trumpeted its massive data trove, boasting 5,000 data points on every American. Cambridge claims to have built extensive personality profiles on every American, which it uses for so-called “psychographic targeting,” based on people’s personality types. It is feared by some, including Hillary Clinton, for conducting a kind of psychological warfare against the American people and dismissed by others as snake oil. Both Parscale and Oczkowski have said repeatedly that the Trump campaign did not use psychographic targeting. Questions also have swirled about how Cambridge accumulated the data. Liberal voters in particular worried that their data had been harvested without their knowledge and used to elect Trump. But according to both Parscale and Oczkowski, the campaign didn’t use Cambridge’s trove of data, opting instead for the RNC’s data file.

“The RNC was the voter file of record for the campaign, but we were the intelligence on top of the voter file,” Oczkowski says. “Sometimes the sales pitch can be a bit inflated, and I think people can misconstrue that.”

Parscale describes the firm's work this way: "As I’ve said multiple times over prior statements, Matt Oczkowski and his team created a daily tracker of polling, so that I could see how Trump was doing in key swing states. They provided that to me daily." Parscale says Cambridge also helped the campaign with what he calls "persuasion online media buying. They also helped us identify potential donors. And they created a visualization tool that showed in each state which areas were most persuadable and what those voters care about.”

Cambridge Analytica was paid $5.9 million by the Trump campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings, $5 million of which went toward buying television ads, with the remainder going to pay Oczkowski and his team. But that wasn't the only work Cambridge did for the campaign. Parscale says Cambridge’s head of digital, Molly Schweikert, managed an advertising budget of roughly $12 million on behalf of Parscale's firm, Giles-Parscale. It’s a sizable, but still small slice of the $94 million Giles-Parscale was paid in total to purchase the campaign’s ads.

The Cambridge staff helped the campaign identify which voters in the RNC’s data file were most likely to be persuadable, meaning they were undecided but looked likely to swing toward Trump. They also created lists of voters who were most likely to become donors. In August 2016, a Trump aide told me Cambridge was critical to helping the campaign raise $80 million in the prior month, after a primary race that had been largely self-funded by Trump. This was the only period during which Oczkowski’s staff relied on Cambridge’s data, because the RNC was just beginning to share its data with the Trump team.

Cambridge went on to conduct hundreds of thousands of voter surveys for the Trump campaign to better understand the likely Trump voter and sent a full-time staffer to the New York headquarters, who could relay these findings to senior staff, including Parscale. Based on these surveys, RNC data, data the Trump team collected itself, and commercially available information from data brokers, Oczkowski’s team developed a heat map of the country to pinpoint where Trump should visit to maximize his impact on potentially persuadable voters.

Someone's going to jail. I don't know when, I don't know how, but everything about this sounds illegal as hell, doesn't it?

Oh, and if you're like me, and I know I am, you're probably thinking--doesn't this mean that the 2016 presidential election was stolen outright and the results should be thrown out because it sure looks like the Trump campaign broke numerous laws and cheated their way to victory?

Yes. Yes, it does.

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