The bitterly contested and tumultuous Iowa Democratic Party presidential caucus is faced with another twist in the ongoing vote counts: the firm that developed the disastrous app is tied to one of its candidates, according to several investigative reports.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the was app created by a tech firm run by veterans of Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign.
According to The Intercept, at least three different sources say Shadow, Inc. developed the Iowa Democratic caucus app. Those sources told The Intercept that the firm was paid by the Pete Buttigieg campaign, as well as both the Nevada and Iowa Democratic Party organizations.
Buttigieg’s campaign could not be immediately reached for comment. When and if the Buttigieg campaign responds, we will update this story.
According to The Washington Examiner, a spokesman for the Buttigieg campaign said it paid Shadow for “text messaging services to help us contact voters.”
Even though no results were released Monday, South Bend Mayor Buttigieg took to the stage to claim victory. Throughout the night, the hashtag “#MayorCheat” trended on Twitter.
Shadow is funded by PACRONYM, a relatively new Democrat dark money/super PAC hybrid. PACRONYM is a spin-off of ACRONYM, which was founded by Tara McGowan, a former CBS journalist and Barack Obama re-election campaign digital producer. Previously public tweets indicate that McGowan is a Buttigieg supporter.
ACRONYM launched prior to the 2016 election and has raised tens of millions of dollars with the message of how Democrats have fallen behind in digital advertising. During the 2018 election cycle, ACRONYM funded an onslaught of advertising on online platforms like Facebook and Google.
FEC filings also show that in two payments, the Iowa Democratic Party account contributed $63,183 to Shadow over the course of November and December 2019, which suggests the app was developed in recent months.
During an appearance on CBS This Morning on Tuesday, the Democratic presidential hopeful said that it was not too early to call his campaign “victorious.”
“Looking at what happened last night, looking at all of the data that we’ve got, it was an extraordinary night,” Buttigieg told CBS This Morning. “We are absolutely victorious coming into New Hampshire. This is a campaign that when we launched a year ago… And now, here we are, in the position that we are in, coming into New Hampshire for what we think will be another historic night, a week from today.”
The Iowa Democratic Party said it expects to release the caucus results at some point on Tuesday.