UPDATE: See this post which closes out this issue: Caveat Emptor: Final Update On Sutherland And The GOP Delegate E-Mail List
A little over a month ago, I noticed that the Sutherland Institute had gained access to a confidential Utah Republican Party delegate email list. The party has always pledged that delegate emails would not be shared with anyone, not even Republican candidates. Yet, somehow, a third party (the Sutherland Institute) that has recently teamed with a George Soros-funded organization gained access to the list. At that time I wondered if they were somehow getting preferential treatment (involving a broken promise to delegates).
In the intervening time, I along with several others, have contacted the Utah Republican Party and the Sutherland Institute. Sutherland maintains the list was given to them by the party. Sutherland transparently states, in the opening paragraph of their survey:
Earlier this month, Sutherland Institute sent out an email survey to Republican state delegates. Seven hundred ten (20 percent) of the delegates responded.
Sutherland has made no denials of having the delegate email list and, as I understand it, 700 respondents would equate to 20 percent of the Republican delegates, further indicating that they indeed do have the full email list.
The Utah GOP, including Chair, Thomas Wright, maintains it has never given out the list nor will ever do so. When asked if any elected officials have access to the list, Wright would not answer but a phone operator did look into it and stated that elected officials also had no access to the list and it was not to be shared with them.
The best response Wright, the phone operator, and another GOP official have is that Sutherland was given the list of delegate names but, somehow, managed to compile their own email list. But that seems hardly likely when Sutherland explicitly states that they were given the email list and compiling an accurate list of about 3500 email address by extrapolation and name matching etc is extremely unlikely to say the least. That seems to leave these possibilities:
1. The party did cooperate with Sutherland by providing the emails and doesn’t want to acknowledge it.
2. Someone leaked the emails and the party doesn’t want to investigate (thus undermining their policy and trust with delegates).
3. A legislator or elected official with Sutherland affiliations on immigration/HB116 (Bramble and Lockhart come to mind) was able to get the list (maybe by 1 or 2 above) and passed it on.
4. Sutherland is lying and only has a very small list of delegate emails (rather than the entire list) which they gathered at a convention or website sign ups etc. If they are lying, their “study” is not only deceitful but violates basic statistical ethics and calls into question the veracity of all of their studies. It would also destroy Sutherland’s guise of any credibility.
Any other plausible explanations come to mind?
Who breached the delegate list?