Democracy Dies In A Shadow

 

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Poor Bernie. All he’s ever wanted was a socialist revolution in America, yet he keeps encountering resistance at every step.

It was a beautiful Iowa night for supporters of Bernie Sanders. After months of knocking on doors, calling phones and grinding through every other electoral task for the sake of getting their guy over the finish line, it was time to taste victory.

Virtually every poll coming out of the state was good for Sanders. Their volunteers on the ground routinely outnumbered those of every other Democrat candidate. All signs pointed to Bernie starting off the election cycle with a resounding victory in Iowa, thereby putting the wind in his sails going into New Hampshire, another state in which he was favored, before heading down south to convert that momentum into a legitimate path to the nomination.

The Dim establishment was in full blown panic mode, sending a laundry list of old guard pundits to mainstream outlets to warn of the coming electoral apocalypse should Bernie be the one to take on Trump. The fear was an is palpable, and Bernie supporters couldn’t get enough of it. You take the most flack when you’re over the target, after all, and by all accounts, the Dim establishment was square within their sights.

That was, until they learned of the well-funded sniper rifle pointing right back at them.

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The music died, so to speak, when the caucuses wrapped up and results were expected to be forthcoming. They weren’t. In fact, results took days to populate, leading even the most skeptical among us to dip their feet into the conspiracy pool.

When results first failed to populate, the word that was the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) were performing “quality control checks” to ensure an accurate count. Fair enough, most thought. Then, after results had been delayed for several hours, information began to surface online about a new vote tabulation app called Shadow, almost as if we were living through a poorly-written script found on a Bernie Bro’s laptop from early 2016.

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What is Shadow?

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Simply put, it’s a smartphone app designed to relay vote counts quickly and easily. The IDP intended to use the app, created by Shadow Inc., to make it easier for the state’s 1,700-odd precincts to report the results of their individual caucuses. The opposite turned out to be true, however, as precincts across the state reported problems not only reporting data to proper authorities but using the app generally.

State campaign finance records indicate the IDP paid Shadow more than $60,000 for “website development” over two installments in November and December of last year. According to Huffington Post, who cite numerous Dim party sources, those payments were for the app that caucus site leaders were supposed to use to upload the results at their locales.

Those facts are innocuous enough, not really anything to raise eyebrows. That was, until a little digging revealed that Shadow, Inc. was launched by members of the very Democrat establishment who have sought to destroy the Sanders campaign since its inception.

Shadow Inc.’s website doesn’t reveal much about its creators, employees or investors. Fortunately, social media investigation has filled in many of those blanks. National File’s review of social media accounts revealed that three of Shadow’s top executives worked on—you guessed it—the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

The CEO of Shadow Inc., Gerard Niemira, was the director of product for the Hillary campaign. Krista Davis, the chief technology officer at Shadow, was a software engineer for Hillary. Ahna Rao, the product manager for Shadow, was the special assistant to Hillary’s chief technology officer.

This of course proves nothing. It’s not like this is a Hunter Biden situation where the people involved have no business in this line of work. Indeed, this is the exact type of project one would expect people of those fields to launch. The problem is, those who were involved with Shadow from the beginning don’t care to have their participation known.

Shadow has been connected to a D.C. “Democratic nonprofit” tech firm called Acronym. According to reports, Shadow partnered with Acronym last year to develop the app. Acronym’s CEO, Tara McGowan, calls herself a former journalist. Apparently, she decided to retire from that profession in 2015, when she married then-Hillary campaign staffer and current Buttigeig campaign strategist Michael Halle.

So, for those keeping score at home, that means the chief strategist of the Buttigieg campaign, the campaign who supposedly won Iowa and announced their victory despite no votes being officially counted, is married to the very woman who launched the voting app that disallowed results from being published in a timely manner and threw the results into question.

One needn’t a tin foil hat to question whether something fishy is afoot.

To make matters worse, McGowan has given conflicting accounts as to her firm’s involvement with Shadow. McGowan last year said her firm was launching Shadow as part of an acquisition of a political customer-relationship management tool.

However, Acronym on Tuesday distanced itself from Shadow, saying it was one of a number of investors in the company. This is a different account from before, when Acronym claimed to “launch” Shadow. While this seems minor, it’s not a distinction without a difference, especially when one takes into account who is involved.

The aforementioned Hillary campaign veteran, Gerard Niemira, is the head of Shadow. His job before that? Chief technology officer and chief operating officer of Acronym. That would make him McGowan’s righthand man, one McGowan acknowledges as having personally launched and Shadow only months before.

So while we cannot (yet) prove any sort of coordinated effort to distort campaign results, we can say without a doubt that the folks who owned, developed and launched Shadow are very cozy with both Hillary Clinton and Pete Buttigieg, both of whom have vested interests in the downfall of Bernie Sanders.

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Data Inconsistencies

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There is more than circumstantial evidence and guilt-by-association innuendo to cast doubt on the veracity of the vote tallies in Iowa. There are the numbers themselves.

Throughout the process, shady reporting and questionable tabulation have come to light, largely thanks to the miracle of social media. The deluge of reporting was so strong and fast that even the Failing New York Times couldn’t ignore it.

The FNYT found inconsistent vote tallies, incorrect delegate allocations and, in a few instances, numbers reported by the IDP that were different than the ones reported by individual precincts.

One error in Indianola’s second precinct in Warren County shows Sanders and Warren picking up support on the final caucus alignment even though neither was recorded as viable in the first alignment, which is not only a violation of caucus rules, but something really hard to do by accident.

In the same precinct, two other candidates, Tom Steyer and Deval Patrick, lost votes in the final alignment, even though both were apparently viable in the first alignment. Caucus rules dictate that, once a candidate is considered viable at a given precinct – usually meaning they notch at least 15 percent support in the first alignment – they cannot lose support on realignment.

In another case, in the Cedar Township precinct in Johnson County, Amy Klobuchar received 0.405 state delegate equivalents after getting 22 votes in the final alignment, while Sanders, who got 28 votes in the final alignment, received zero state delegate equivalents — a fairly significant oopsie.

To their credit, the IDP has already identified and corrected most of the mistakes in the reporting process. And to be clear, mistakes such as these are not unprecedented, especially within chaotic caucus-type models. Additionally, the mistakes were not all in one direction, therefore it would be hard to make the case that there was a concerted effort to fudge the data in any particular direction.

That said, given the totality of all the facts and inexplicable incompetence on behalf of the IDP, one would be hard-pressed to argue that the final vote tally can be trusted on its face.

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