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Report: Gray campaign used housing information to target voters

Sunday - 7/22/2012, 7:47am  ET

Gray campaign used private public housing data

Washington Post's Mike DeBonis

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WASHINGTON - Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 mayoral campaign kept a database of public housing residents and targeted those people to get votes, The Washington Post reports.

The database contained the identities of almost 6,000 people and was used for get- out-the-vote efforts, which would be an unauthorized use of private government information.

The Post obtained the information from former campaign workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The information included names, addresses and phone numbers as well as information suggesting "team captains" were assigned to specific housing complexes.

"(It's a) pretty official list from inside the D.C. housing authority," Washington Post columnist Mike DeBonis tells WTOP. "It had names, addresses and phone numbers of all residents in some of these housing complexes. That would have been a tremendous help to any campaign to identify votes on election day and before that."

DeBonis says the Post's sources confirmed that the lists were used on election day to get people in those areas to vote.

Across D.C. voter turnout in 2010 was 26 percent higher than the previous mayoral election -- an exceptionally high jump.

"But in some of these precints where there's a higher concentration of public housing residents you saw, you know, turnouts that exceeded that significantly, sometimes in a couple cases in the range of 50 to 60 percent more than the last mayoral primary," DeBonis said.

The information comes after it was revealed in federal court that Gray's election campaign was aided by $650,000 in illicit funds and routinely paid campaign workers $100, twice the legal limit, to campaign for Gray outside polling places.

Calls have come for Gray to resign, but he has maintained he's done nothing wrong and has no plans to resign.

More information is available from The Washington Post.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

Tags: mayor gray