Congresswoman McSally Sold Off Arizonans’ Private Information for $42,000

PHOENIX – Yesterday, the National Journal published a blistering report about how Congresswoman Martha McSally accepted $42,000 in exchange for allowing corporations unlimited power to buy off the private information of hardworking Arizonans across the state.

This includes website browser history, online buying information – such as credit card numbers, social security numbers and even children’s information.

“Congresswoman McSally’s vote to sell our personal online browsing habits to the highest bidder is wrong--and it's threatening to undermine her fledgling campaign,” said Drew Anderson, senior communications advisor. “For Arizonans of every political stripe, the ‘real issue’ is why Martha McSally consistently puts her donors’ priorities ahead of Arizona families.”

Key points to the National Journal article are below.

“They believe last year’s vote by the congressional GOP to roll back internet-privacy protections has left Republicans vulnerable in several key races—particularly out West, where Democrats say voters are increasingly placing a premium on electronic privacy.

Their lodestar is Arizona’s Senate race, where Rep. Martha McSally is the tentative favorite to replace Sen. Jeff Flake as the GOP’s standard-bearer. In March 2017, Flake introduced a successful resolution to roll back rules—approved by the Federal Communications Commission at the end of President Obama’s tenure—that blocked internet service providers from selling customers’ web-browsing history and other personal information to third-party advertisers without their express consent. The rules did not impact internet “edge providers” such as Google or Facebook, which remained free to do what they pleased with consumers’ data.

A poll commissioned by Democrats last summer and provided to National Journal showed 71 percent of Arizona voters expressing “major doubts” over Flake’s push to rescind the rules placed against ISPs. That number has Democrats eager to tie McSally to Flake’s resolution, which she supported in the House.

Coupled with the significant campaign contributions that McSally has received from telephone- and telecom-industry interests since first running for federal office in 2012, Democrats are confident they’ve hit on a winning issue with which to bludgeon McSally should she triumph in her party’s primary this summer.

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, over the course of her career, McSally has taken nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions from sources such as AT&T, Verizon, and Cox Communications, all of whom provide internet services. Federal Election Commission filings show that $37,000 of that amount came in the nine months after her vote to rescind the internet-privacy rules, with an additional $5,000 contributed by Comcast to a PAC affiliated with McSally.” […]

...Arizona’s libertarian streak means electronic-privacy issues resonate there in a way they may not elsewhere, and could attract disaffected moderates and Republicans to vote Democrat this cycle. Coupled with health care and education, he believes that privacy will be one of the three major issues on which Arizona’s Democrats run in 2018.