Any reasonably sane person might wonder why the Iowa Democratic Party ever thought it was a good idea to create an app, to be used on party volunteers’ personal smartphones, to tally official results from an election. You don’t have to be a software engineer to understand that smartphones are some of the weakest links in security, right up there with pedophiles breaking into nannycams. And this is from a political party that has been bitching and moaning and spreading conspiracy theories for years now about how they get routinely hacked.
Yes, the Iowa caucus chaos is a stunning demonstration of how incompetent the Democratic Party is. Many observers have since quipped that these are the same people who want to run the entire health care system. And that is indeed a terrifying thought. Do you remember the problems when the Obamacare exchanges were rolled out? The system collapsed almost immediately, with the exception of one state – Kentucky. Somehow one of the poorest states in the country ended up with the only stable technology designed to execute a major policy shift.
The chaos in Iowa is not a one-off event, but a pattern that stems from deeply corrupt procurement practices.
The Democratic Party never hires well-established private sector contractors to handle their business. Instead, they rely on networks of politically connected former bureaucrats and campaign operatives to design their systems. They prefer mindless loyalty to actual skills and proficiency.
Hillary Clinton hired campaign operatives to set up her private server while she was at the State Department. The State Department had official procurement relationships to handle technology, but Clinton only trusted family loyalists with her information. That was more important to her than whether they were actually good with technology. And that’s how China (and God knows who else) ended up reading literally every piece of correspondence she received for years.
When the DNC was hacked, they hired a politically connected firm to examine their servers and issue a report on what they found. They refused to turn their equipment over to the FBI for evaluation.
The caucus smartphone app was supposed to be put in place to prevent the kind of data issues that plagued the 2016 Iowa caucus. Back when Sanders and Clinton appeared tied in terms of support, and the Democratic Party awarded the contest to Clinton, and refused to make the final tallies public.
When the Iowa Democratic Party declined to make the contractor responsible for the smartphone app known going into the caucus, one could have been forgiven for assuming that the party did not want folks to know what the political allegiances of the contractor were.
Now we know the company is Shadow, Inc., a subsidiary of the political firm ACRONYM. And predictably, the entire leadership of the company are veterans of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid. This is supposed to assuage voters that the DNC establishment is not picking and choosing who gets to be the party’s nominee, and disenfranchising their own voters? Hilarious.
The CEO of Shadow Inc., Gerard Niemira, was the director of product on Clinton’s campaign, his LinkedIn profile says.
Ahna Rao, the product manager for Shadow Inc., was the special assistant to the chief technology officer on Clinton’s campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Krista Davis, the chief technology officer at Shadow, was a software engineer on Clinton’s campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Campaign finance records show that several state Democratic parties and multiple presidential candidates have paid Shadow Inc. for tech services.
Iowa state campaign finance reports show that the Iowa Democratic Party paid Shadow Inc. $44,666 on Nov. 15 and $18,517 on Dec. 6.
The Nevada State Democratic Party paid Shadow $58,000 on Aug. 27, 2019, for technology services, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Buttigieg’s campaign paid Shadow $42,250 on July 23, 2019, for software rights.
The former South Bend mayor came under some criticism Monday for declaring himself victorious despite the dearth of results.
That’s also a shocking amount of money for anyone to be paid for an unsophisticated smartphone app. Literally the only function it has to perform is kindergarten arithmetic. (And somehow it failed at that.) Major corporations pay less money than that to customize their accounting software. It’s lucrative to be a Clinton stooge, apparently.
The app-maker’s parent company, ACRONYM is not itself a technology company. That company is also made up of Democratic campaign veterans, from both Clinton and Obama, and they have projects like creating websites that spread fake news favorable to Democrats. They are the folks behind Courier Newsroom, which like Media Matters for America, produces fake news ready for partisan mouthbreathers to share on Facebook and Twitter.
The latter is increasingly becoming a core tactic in Democratic races. You will remember the controversy surrounding the Alabama Senate race, where the co-founder of Linked In admitted to funding a large-scale disinformation effort modeled on the Russian and Iranian efforts to shower social media with fake content. It was a sort of prelude to the accuse-every-nominee-of-your-opponent-of-rape trend that has come to characterize the past couple of years.
A company engaged in the same behavior, with tens of millions of dollars from large donors, got awarded a contract by the Democratic Party to tabulate election results. Let that sink in for a moment. The Democratic Party has a company that produces fake news processing election results. And that’s AFTER the party suffered extreme criticism for potentially manipulating primary election results in 2016 to help megadonors’ preferred candidate.
You’ll note also that this task was clearly not bid out by parties at the local level. Nevada is going to use the same software. Surely that is an accident, right? And I’m sure the party is paying duplicate fees, funded by the partisan faithful, for the service.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Iowa primary besides all of this – which has been mostly ignored by the mainstream media – is the spectacularly low turnout. Some of the caucus locations had half of the turnout of the 2016 election. Half. That’s a lot of people who have walked away from this garbage. I think this says a lot about how important a media strategy is to the powerbrokers on the left. Nasty things await anyone who wanders out of their echo chamber, a la Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.