First, the results:
With 62% of the votes tallied, the numbers are as follows:
If the results above hold up as the rest of the results are tallied, several pieces of an unfolding narrative are confirmed: Pete Buttigieg’s creepy victory speech last night, new allegations of Buttigieg funding a secretive data app company, and the lack of viability for Joe Biden in Iowa.
Now, the Backstory:
A day full of DNC ridicule and strange allegations draws closer to a close. Despite assurances from DNC Chair Tom Perez that the messy Iowa caucus system had been improved, in fact it got worse. So much worse, in fact, there’s talk of unseating Iowa from its coveted king-making first state status. (And it’s only Tuesday. And we have yet to see the State of the Union speech tonight.)
From a boastful letter by Perez released early yesterday:
Just like we do every four years, we looked at ways to improve how we choose our presidential nominee. And thanks to the reforms we made, we are excited to have one of the most transparent and inclusive primaries in history. This year’s process has empowered the grassroots and ensured our presidential nominating process reflects the will of the voters who will carry us to victory.Tom Perez, Medium.com
Perez, a former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and United States Secretary of Labor for the Obama administration, was involved in cases involving Trayvon Martin, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, extra rights for LGBT students in schools, and discouraging the enforcement of discipline for minority students in schools to avoid incarceration.
In other words, he has proved loyal to his party.
He beat out fellow subversive leftist, the controversy-tinged Keith Ellison, for the DNC top job in 2017. It’s a plum spot. Sure, there’s a busy season around elections, but the rest is holding the party line, raising funds, and wielding influence effectively. His first move as Chair? Firing everyone. Following the disastrous 2016 debate rigging and Bernie Sanders freeze-out, canning everyone may well have been his crowning achievement.
Perez has failed so miserably as a fundraiser that he held three events in Mexico to chisel cash from expatriates living south of the border. As he prepared for the election season, he was criticized by many for hiring anti-Bernie Sanders political veterans John Podesta and Barney Frank (others objected to the hires simply because Podesta is creepy and Frank is a sex offender). Now he has screwed up the Iowa Caucus so spectacularly that his role as chair is in question.
Did James Bond Writers Name Dem Data Companies?
In the fallout from the Iowa Caucus, some strange information has come to light. First, the faulty app the DNC used to tabulate the caucus votes was designed by former Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama staffers (including Hillary campaign manager Robby Mook). That alone should give voters pause.
Worse, the firm that produced the app is named ACRONYM, and the app itself, SHADOW. Cue the villain music.
As Keith Spencer at Salon points out, not only did Buttigieg fund SHADOW, the founder of the company is a Democratic operative named Tara McGowan, and her husband works for Buttigieg’s campaign.
Many have noted that Shadow Inc. was paid for services both by the Iowa Democratic Party and also by Pete Buttigieg’s campaign. Shadow has a “close and intertwined relationship,” according to Lee Fang’s reporting for The Intercept, with a firm called Acronym, which was founded by Democratic operative Tara McGowan, whose husband is a senior strategist for the Buttigieg campaign. Early on Tuesday morning, Buttigieg gave a speech apparently declaring victory in Iowa, when there was no evidence he had won. Others have suggested that the Shadow app was deliberately sabotaged to slow the perceived momentum of Bernie Sanders, the candidate most feared by the Democratic establishment.Salon.com
This throws Buttigieg’s much-derided “victory speech” late last night, in which he insinuated that he had inside knowledge of the outcome, into frightening relief. Beginning last month, the idea was floated in some corners of the internet that Buttigieg is an intelligence asset. These latest revelations will do nothing to quell those rumors.
The Other Side of Sunny Pete
Boyish looks. Military service. Unassailable-in-our-times sexual preference. Articulate and serious. A serious resumé. The picture is too perfect, say some. From the Daily Beast:
“Put together, a picture forms of an elite-educated, multi-language-speaking employee of the CIA’s consulting firm who currently serves as an intelligence officer in the naval reserves,” Poikonen told The Daily Beast. “If you created a CIA asset in a lab, you’d wind up with Pete Buttigieg.”
Left-wing political writers, podcasters and netizens are increasingly latching on to the meme that Buttigieg is a spy, an intelligence asset, or a Freemason to further the criticism that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is not what he seems.
Last weekend, the popular campaign-themed podcast Worst Year Ever dropped an entire episode about Buttigieg under the lawyer-friendly title, “Is Pete Buttigieg a C.I.A. Agent?” Over the course of the 73-minute episode, hosts Robert Evans, Katy Stoll, and Cody Johnston vacillated between rundowns of more mainstream left-wing critiques of Buttigieg’s candidacy—his unpopularity among black voters, his popularity among Silicon Valley tech tycoons, the whole wine cave episode—and semi-humorous suppositions that Buttigieg is a CIA asset that grew less tongue-in-cheek as the episode went on.
“Conspiracy theory thinking is like a disease that is doing incalculable damage to the body politic, and like I hate jumping into stuff like that, but it’s so fucking sketchy!” Evans exclaims at one point. “It’s so hard to not sound like—to not be, in fact—a conspiracy theorist when you talk about this guy, but there’s so much of it that screams fucking spooks.”The Daily Beast
More to come from this news cycle, but rest assured, the bloom is off the Buttigieg rose. Something stinks.