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News Clash

Dear Bernie: Tech Firm Behind Iowa Caucus Debacle Is Run By Hillary 2016 Alumni

***UPDATE: Feb. 5, 2020 10:25 Eastern

Tara McGowan, founder of ACRONYM has released a statement stating that she had nothing to do with Shadow Inc.

Here is the relevant portion of her Twitter thread:

Take McGowan’s statement as you will.


Feeling Burned 2.0? There’s no surprise there when you take a peek behind the curtain.

To be fair, it wasn’t just Senator Bernie Sanders(D-VT) that was hurt by the complete failure at every possible level of the Iowa caucus — Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Warren were also hurt because they weren’t able to quickly claim victory. Although, they all did that anyway after Senator Amy Klobuchar(D-MN) decided to take advantage of the stalled news cycle when no precincts were reporting and give a speech.

It’s understandable that Bernie and his supporters would be skeptical when the reporting was delayed. He had an impressive amount of support in Iowa and was expected to take the top spot, but after the DNC rigging the primary for Hillary in 2016, it is reasonable that they’d think that it was more of the same when zero numbers were being reported hours after the caucuses should have been completed.

For several months, some of the Democratic candidates have been complaining that the primary has been unfair in some way or another. The complaints about there being too many or too few candidates during the debates, the rule change that allowed Mike Bloomberg to join the debate in Nevada where he isn’t even on the ballot, and various and sundry bellyaching.

But it turns out that there should have been a bit more digging into what was going on in Iowa.

It turns out a couple of the people that were helping Hillary lose an election were also involved in the infamous app that failed so horribly.

Should we really be surprised at the cluster*bleep* that the Iowa caucus turned out to be?

The Huffington Post reported that the app was developed by Shadow Inc., which was founded by Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, who both worked on Hillary’s 2016 campaign. According to LinkedIn, Niemira worked on Hillary’s campaign as director of product and Davis as a software engineer. Ahna Rao, Shadow Inc.’s Project Manager, also worked for the Clinton campaign as a special assistant to the campaign’s chief technology officer.

Shadow is an affiliate of Acronym, a Democratic non-profit. Acronym’s website states it is an “organization committed to building power and digital infrastructure for the progressive movement.”

The Iowa Democratic Party had refused to disclose the company building its caucus reporting app due to cybersecurity concerns. HuffPost reported that the Nevada Democratic Party also paid Shadow to design its caucus reporting app. The Nevada Caucus will be held February 22.

Source: National Review

Despite state-level officials being warned ahead of time by local Democratic officials that the app wasn’t working properly, problems weren’t fixed ahead of caucus day.

Shadow Inc. issued an apology late Tuesday afternoon.

Too little too late.

Speaking of too late, before the announcement of partial results being released at 5 pm Eastern, Sean Davis of The Federalist tweeted out that the data was corrupted and all of the original ballots cannot be tracked down. It might mean tossing out the entire Iowa caucus and start over.


That’s not the only problem, though.

There’s another problem with Shadow Inc. itself.

The parent company of Shadow Inc. is ACRONYM, a nonprofit campaign consulting company, which is run by Tara McGowan who was a digital producer for Obama for America 2011. McGowan raised around $25 million from wealthy liberal donors to create a “progressive” media company called Courier Newsroom. It’s a liberal-friendly news source designed to counter what she considers to be right-wing disinformation.

Courier is rolling out newspapers in swing states to counter what McGowan believes is right-wing spin on Facebook and across the digital domain.

McGowan plans on spending roughly $75 million on digital ads to rebut what Democrats believe is President Donald Trump’s insurmountable edge in battleground states, Bloomberg Businessweek reported in November.

Along with the Courier Newsroom, McGowan is also creating Virginia Dogwood and Arizona’s Copper Courier, among others that are expected to roll out in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, all battleground states.

The Dogwood, for its part, publishes articles that appear to be local in an effort to help develop trust among readers in the area.

McGowan says that objective journalism no longer exists, so it’s time for reinvention.

If objective journalism no longer exists, then why is it a problem to have right-leaning news?

It seems that owning every mainstream outlet besides Fox News isn’t enough for the left — they must own it all and have everyone conform.

Joining her in this endeavor is another Obama alum, David Plouffe, who was Barry’s campaign manager in 2008. Plouffe recently joined the board of ACRONYM.

“Everybody who clicks on, likes, or shares an article … we get that data back to create a lookalike audience to find other people with similar attributes in the same area. So we continually grow our ability to find people,” said McGowan, a former journalist who worked for CBS News…

…“A lot of people I respect will see this media company as an affront to journalistic integrity because it won’t, in their eyes, be balanced,” McGowan noted. “What I say to them is, Balance does not exist anymore, unfortunately.”

She added: “We’re losing the information war to verified liars pouring millions of dollars into Facebook.”

Source: The Daily Caller

An alternate, and less condescending view, is that people don’t like to be denounced for their legitimate political beliefs and are looking for alternatives to the constant vilification by the left. For example, many on the right — including visible minorities — are tired of being called racist for wanting to stop illegal immigration or wanting hiring processes based on merit rather than racial quotas.

But this is the Democratic party.

Their operatives get high-profile jobs in media. Just look at Barry and Michelle creating content for Netflix now that his former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, is on the board.

But the prime example of this nefarious political realm intersecting with “journalism” is Bill Clinton’s hatchet man who squashed the “bimbo eruptions”, George Stephanopoulos, who is now a serious and allegedly neutral news anchor for ABC News. That would be the same ABC News that killed the story about the sex abuse allegations against Stephanopoulos’s friend, Jeffrey Epstein.

So, yeah. The left needs yet another media outlet to fight all of that alleged “deceptive right-wing spin” on the news.

It’s a darn good gig if you can get it.

According to state finance reports, Shadow Inc. received $44,666 on Nov. 15, 2019, and $18,517 on Dec. 6, 2019 from the Iowa Democratic Party. Federal Election Commission records show that the Nevada State Democratic Party gave Shadow Inc. $58,000 on Aug. 27, 2019, which means we might get a repeat of this in a couple of weeks. Even Mayor Pete’s campaign has sunk some cash into Shadow Inc. to the tune of $42,250 in July 2019.

All that cash and we don’t even have a complete result yet.

This just confirmed one thing — old-fashioned voting techniques like a paper and a ballot aren’t antiquated, they’re reliable. 

K. Walker

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker