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Democrats Stoop to New Low

Michigan Democrats Release Christine Barnes’ Social Security Number in Ad

LANSING, Mich., October 23, 2018 – The Michigan Republican Party (MRP) is calling upon Michigan Democrats to immediately cease and desist running an ad in the 71st House district in which the Michigan Democrat Party (MDP) revealed the Social Security numbers of State House candidate Christine Barnes and her former husband in violation of state and possibly federal law.

In addition to disclosing Ms. Barnes’ full Social Security number in the ad, MDP also featured documents in a public Dropbox which would allow criminals to piece together Ms. Barnes’ full Social Security number. These actions have put Barnes and her former husband at risk for identity theft and fraud.

“This is despicable,” said Ron Weiser, Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Weiser continued, “Christine Barnes is running for office to improve the lives of her fellow citizens, and the Michigan Democrat Party used all its resources to try to destroy hers. By releasing her Social Security number, they have broken the law and put Barnes’identity and credit at risk. I call upon MDP to immediately pull this ad and shut down the public Dropbox. Further,MDP owes Ms. Barnes an immediate apology.”

Ms. Barnes has filed a police report with the Michigan State Police. Under Michigan law MDP employees face the following criminal penalties for violation of the Michigan Social Security Act:

Those who publicly display with knowledge that the person's conduct violates this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both. See MCL 445.86(1).

MDP is also civilly liable to Ms. Barnes under the following provision for violation of the Michigan Social Security Act:

(2) An individual may bring a civil action against a person who violates section 3 and may recover actual damages. If the person knowingly violates section 3, an individual may recover actual damages or $1,000.00, whichever is greater. If the person knowingly violates section 3, an individual may also recover reasonable attorney fees. Except for good cause, not later than 60 days before filing a civil action, an individual must make a written demand to the person for a violation of section 3 for the amount of his or her actual damages with reasonable documentation of the violation and the actual damages caused by the violation. This subsection does not apply to a person for conduct by an employee or agent of the person in violation of a privacy policy created pursuant to section 4 or in compliance with the fair credit reporting act, 15 USC 1681 to 1681v, or subtitle A of title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act, 15 USC 6801 to 6809, if the person has taken reasonable measures to enforce its policy and to correct and prevent the reoccurrence of any known violations.  See MCL 445.86(2).