POLITICO: Unlock the VAN launches, aimed at opening Dems' data

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By Li Zhou, Nancy Scola | Excerpt from POLITICO.

A small collection of tech upstarts, led by the nonpartisan Los Angeles-based NationBuilder, is kicking off a campaign to get the Democratic National Committee, as part of a "repairing process" helmed by new chair Tom Perez, to decouple the tech and data sides of the party's VoteBuilder tool. 

"All we want is competition," says NationBuilder CEO Jim Gilliam, who, post-2016 election, caused agita in progressive circles for celebrating the use of his company's open platform by "outsiders" like then-President-Elect Donald J. Trump. (The goal of companies like NationBuilder, Aristotle, Organizer and others here is to unleash the use of third-party front-ends on party held data, a bit like the way you might use Mint to manage your financial data held by Bank of America.)

The early read, though, is that the DNC isn't biting. "We are in the business of electing Democrats and not bending over for consultants who want to make a buck," said DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa in a statement emailed to POLITICO. Nancy has the full story.

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