The local chairman of the Republican Party allowed state Rep. Suzanne Crouch's primary opponent and a handful of others to access a secure area of the Republican National Committee's campaign database, which was later altered to incorrectly reflect Crouch's stance on abortion.
Jennifer Hallowell, executive director of the Indiana Republican Party, said Vanderburgh GOP Chairman Brent Grafton allowed "unauthorized use" of the party's "Voter Vault" database, which has records on all registered voters.
Grafton's log-in credentials would allow him to edit information on the site. Candidates get read-only access to the database for producing campaign mailings.
"This was an unauthorized use of Voter Vault, and we will take extra steps to make sure that all users are aware of that," Hallowell said. "This is the first breach of the system that we're aware of."
Hallowell said Crouch's record in the system has been corrected to reflect her anti-abortion stance and voting record.
Grafton said he gave the log-in credentials to a few party volunteers, including Jonathan Fulton, Crouch's opponent in Tuesday's primary election for the District 78 House seat.
Fulton's campaign has been circulating fliers recently that say the national GOP's database lists Crouch as "pro-choice." The flier includes a picture of a Web page from the database. Fulton, however, said he did not alter the information about Crouch's stance, even though he had the ability to do that with Grafton's credentials. "I wouldn't do that," Fulton said. "I did not, and I would not and I will not."
The House Republican Campaign Committee isn't buying Fulton's claim. And now all Vanderburgh GOP officials will be locked out of the Voter Vault until an investigation can determine who made the unauthorized changes to Crouch's entry.
It never ceases to amaze us what folks advocating the "Christian right" views within the party are willing to do in the name of their cause, even if it means lying and cheating.