Florida GOP operative asked for – and received -- Russian hackers’ help in congressional race

The Journal writes that “The episode shows how the hacker’s activities extended to exposing Democrats’ get-out-the-vote strategies in swing states and informing a Trump ally of hacked data during the national campaign.”

The DCCC documents the Russian hackers sent Nevins analyzed specific Florida districts, showing how many people were dependable Democratic voters, how many were likely Democratic voters, how many were leaning Democratic but required a nudge, how many were frequent voters but were not committed, and how many were committed Republican voters.

The documents sent to Nevins also include detailed analysis of congressional districts in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Texas.

Nevins then posted some of the stolen files to the website blog HelloFLA, which he runs. The files included a “vulnerabilities” assessment of Randy Perkins, a Democratic candidate who ran to fill a congressional seat vacated by incumbent Democrat Patrick Murphy. The information stolen by the GRU and FSB hackers at Nevins’s request yielded damaging headlines on his website, such as: “Randy Perkins has donated $1.6 million to Republicans” and “Perkins has been sued by contractors for non-payment.

Nevins also used the stolen DCCC documents sent to him by Guccifer 2.0 for a detailed analysis of the Florida Democratic Party’s get-out-the-vote strategy, an analysis he posted on his website. A few days after the analysis appeared on his site, Guccifer 2.0 sent a link to Nevin’s analysis to Roger Stone, a long-time informal adviser to Donald Trump.

Perkins lost the election to Brian Mast, a Republican. Murphy, the Democratic candidate for the Senate, lost the election to incumbent Marco Rubio.

Nevins told the Journal that in addition to posting some of the stolen information on his website, he passed some of it to Florida journalists – but he insisted that he did not use any of the information sent to him in his political consulting business.

When the Journal asked Nevins whether it was right to collaborate with the Russian government to undermine a congressional race in the United States, he responded: “If your interests align,” he said, “never shut any doors in politics.”

Gizmodo notes that Nevins has gained a reputation in Florida for his political stunts – and that in some circles he is regarded as a crackpot.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Nevins tried to shut down a highway – US 441 — in Broward County on 8 November 2016, Election Day, by claiming he had a right to hold an “amateur car race.” The highway serves as a corridor through “many black communities,” the Sun Sentinel notes. Nevins announced that the race would be held from 7a.m. to 7p.m. – the exact voting hours in Florida – but denied any intent to make it more difficult for likely-Democratic voters to reach the polls.

The county sheriff’s office denied Nevins’s car race application because the application was not accompanied by the required permits.