Iowa Caucus App Developed By Shadow / Acronym Whose Founder is Married to Buttigieg Staffer
The malfunctioning app used for tallying the votes in the Iowa caucuses of the Democratic Party was developed by Shadow, Inc.
Shadow Inc. is a technology and software development company whose stated aim is to “build political power for the progressive movement.” It boasts that its technology has been used by Google, Kiva, Apple, the AFL-CIO, the DNC, and the campaigns of former presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Gerard Niemira is the CEO of Shadow, Inc. He joined Twitter only in April 2013 where he has 357 followers; his account is currently private. His Github account gives Redwood City in the Bay Area of Northern California as his location and indicates that he is a developer who uses the Ruby programming language
According to Crunchbase, Niemira at one point held the title “Interim Vice President of Product” at Kiva.
Niemira graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas, a private liberal arts college in Sparkill, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
Shadow Inc. was acquired by Acronym (aka “Another Acronym”) in 2019. ACRONYM is a left-of-center political and advocacy organization designed to launch voter mobilization and digital advertising programs while also working on communications and organizing for left-progressive causes. ACRONYM advances a left-of-center agenda at the local, state, and national levels. On social media, ACRONYM describes itself as “an organization committed to building power + digital infrastructure for progressives.”
Though ACRONYM is a 501(c)(4) organization whose funds are required to be used for social welfare causes, ACRONYM has been described as the umbrella organization for numerous for-profit, left-wing organizations and has participated in numerous initiatives with the Democratic Party.
Tara McGowan, a 34-year-old Democratic political strategist, founded ACRONYM in 2017. As of 2018, ACRONYM had raised more than $18 million and registered 60,000 people to vote. The organization has run 105 targeted ad campaigns covering 15 states, helping to elect 63 left-of-center candidates and winning 61 percent of all races in which they were involved.
McGowan is married to Pete Buttigieg strategist Michael Halle.
Wedding Announcement 2015 The wedding of Tara Elizabeth McGowan and Michael Mackay Halle took place Sept. 5 at Black Point, Portsmouth, with Stephen Neuman, chief of staff to Rhode Island Governor Raimondo, officiating. The bride is the daughter of Laurie McGowan and Andrew McGown of Portsmouth. She is a graduate of New York University and is employed by Priorities USA in Washington, D.C. The groom, son of Debra Gabler Halle and Jim Halle of Champaign, Ill., is a graduate of Illinois State University, Normal, Ill. He is employed by Hillary Clinton for America in Des Moines, Iowa. Attending the couple were Andrew C. McGowan, brother of the bride; Benjamin Halle, brother of the groom; Caitlin Halle, sister of the groom, and Samantha Moni. The couple will travel to Africa and Europe for a belated honeymoon after the 2016 election. They live in Des Moines.
ACRONYM has been consistently linked to the Democratic Party and its initiatives. ACRONYM controls a number of for-profit companies that are major players in Democratic Party politics, including campaign consulting firm Lockwood Strategy, a peer-to-peer political technology company known as Shadow, and a media company that invests in local left-leaning news outlets called FWIW Media.
According to Lee Fang, “Nevada Dem federal account paid Shadow $58k in August, Iowa Dems state account paid Shadow $63,183 in two payments over Nov & Dec, suggesting app wasn’t developed until just months ago? Both caucus states. Shadow is a spin-off from PACRONYM, a new Dem dark money/superPAC hybrid.”
Confirmed by Kevin Robiliard.
When Iowans caucused Monday evening for their preferred Democratic presidential nominee, party leaders encouraged the faithful to use a new smartphone app to tally and transmit results. The app would allow caucus managers — Democrats who run the caucus process in each of Iowa’s 1,678 precincts — to quickly report results back to the state for tabulation. But that’s about all party leaders in Iowa have said about the app: It exists. (Fortune article, paywall)
Last week, party officials said keeping specifics of the app confidential is a strategic move to ensure it remains secure and out of hackers’ crosshairs. “We are confident in the security systems we have in place,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price told the Wall Street Journal (paywall).
Not great optics here, folks:
– Dems paid company literally called Shadow to create caucus app
– Buttigieg campaign also paid Shadow, FEC records show
– Caucus app fails
– Buttigieg declares himself Iowa winner with no results