(Tea Party PAC) – Grab the popcorn.
Primary season is off to a gloriously entertaining start.
The hashtag #MayorCheat was trending on Tuesday after reports that “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana seems to have been behind the botched caucus in this key primary state.
Buttigieg’s campaign, Breitbart reports, poured tens of thousands of dollars into the company that developed an app that was supposed to have streamlined the caucus result reports across the state.
Instead, reported technological glitches set the caucus at an abrupt standstill.
Pete for American, Inc. paid at least $21,250.00 to the firm Shadow Inc. on July 23, 2019, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records for “software rights and subscriptions.”
Then, in November and December 2019, which was a few months later, the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) paid tech company Shadow Inc over $60,000 to develop the app that Iowa Democrat caucus leaders used to upload their results, HuffPost reported.
When the app then failed, it caused a massive delay in reporting the final results of the Iowa Democrat caucus.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who many believe was robbed of the party nomination by the DNC last year, was expected to do well in the Iowa caucuses, according to polls and preliminary results.
As BizPacReview reported Tuesday:
Monday night, the IDP tried to explain that results were indefinitely delayed till later Tuesday due to “quality checks” and “inconsistencies” in some precinct reporting. They said the problems are not the result of a “hack or intrusion.” Whew … apparently Putin can relax.
Regarding the IDP’s “quality control on the results that they’ve received,” Parscale raised the question of whether that indicates the fix is in …
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” the IDP said in a late-night statement. “In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report. This is simply a reporting issue. The app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
According to Fox News, in a conference call with the multiple candidates’ campaigns, an IDP representative told them they would be “getting photos of the paper results sent over.” A number of questions were raised by the campaign staffers in the call before the IDP simply hung up the phone.
The news channel reported, “A campaign staffer told Fox News the IDP’s brief call was ‘crazy.’”
Well, guess who was also behind the app?
Members of the Clinton 2016 campaign.
Wha are the odds?
According to those reports, the company is run by a number of former Hillary Clinton campaign staff members. The chief executive officer is Gerard Niemira, a veteran of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to his LinkedIn page.
The caucus app blamed for the Iowa vote count chaos was created by tech firm Shadow, Inc.
Shadow's CEO Gerard Niemira, product manager Ahna Rao, CTO Krista Davis, and COO James Hickey all worked on the Hillary for America campaign. pic.twitter.com/hA0JPYX5Ig
— Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) February 4, 2020
Update: While they may not list themselves on their own website, staff profiles can be found on LinkedIn.
I'll share some details on a few of them.
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) February 4, 2020
Shadow Inc. is funded by ACRONYM, a Democrat digital non-profit group, according to HuffPost. Niemira previously served as the chief technology officer and chief operating officer of ACRONYM.
David Plouffe, an architect of former President Barack Obama’s campaigns, joined the board of advisers for ACRONYM in 2019, according to Politico. ACRONYM launched a super PAC, PACRONYM, this year to mount a digital effort to attack President Trump.
One of the major donors to PACRONYM is Seth Klarman, a billionaire and hedge fund CEO, who is also a backer of Buttigieg, according to Forbes.
The app was reportedly also vetted by former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. Mook and former Mitt Romney campaign strategist Matthew Rhoades launched a project, called Defending Digital Democracy (DDD), that tested the app used during the Iowa caucus, according to the New York Times.
Mook denied any involvement with the app in a tweet:
Sorry, folks. I did NOT have anythjng to do with building the Iowa caucus app. I dont know anything about it, had no role in it, and dont own a company that makes mobile appa. Please contact @iowademocrats with questions about it.
— Robby Mook (@RobbyMook) February 4, 2020
An ACRONYM spokesman confirmed that the group has invested in Shadow Inc., but tried to distance itself from the company:
— Kyle Tharp (@kylewilsontharp) February 4, 2020
However, ACRONYM’s founder Tara McGowan tweeted on July 18, 2019 — just days before Buttigieg’s campaign donated at least $21,250 to them — that it had acquired a tech company called Groundbase run by Niemira, and formally launched it as Shadow Inc.:
Last year, @anotheracronym acquired a small +mighty tech co, Groundbase, run by the brilliant @gjniemira. Today we are stoked to formally launch its nonprofit-owned reincarnation as @ShadowIncHQ to fill gaps +drive innovation in empowering tech for the progressive movement⚡️✊🏼☄️ https://t.co/xYZ3FrNlel
— Tara McGowan (@taraemcg) July 18, 2019