Sh*t-can Perez and the DNC

Hooray for Bernie Sanders!

He waited until he had the numbers and now he’s calling it. He won Iowa!

Maybe the same corporate media that have been touting Pete Buttigieg as the “presumptive winner” in the messy Iowa Caucus, now that their story is collapsing are unwilling to call it for Bernie.

Sanders, in a televised announcement Thursday from New Hampshire, finally took action, saying, “Even though the vote tabulations have been extremely slow, we are now at a point with some 97% of the precincts reporting, where our campaign is winning the popular initial vote by some 6,000 votes.” He adds, “And when 6,000 more people come out for you in an election than your nearest opponent, we here in northern New England call that a victory.”

I agree. I’m a native from Connecticut, another New England state, and as in New Hampshire and all the other New England states, we have always, and still do (except in our largest cities), rely on the town meeting form of government to run things. In those meetings, where the people actually meet, argue and vote in person on issues from putting in a street light to passing a budget, we know quite well the meaning of one-person, one vote. And we know that assigning different numbers of state delegates to different precincts, irrespective of number of residents, is called gaming the system, not democracy.

Bernie won Iowa fair and square. Pete Buttigieg, used a dirty trick to get the last Iowa poll (which we now know would have shown Sanders winning and Biden tanking, which is about how the actual vote turned out), blocked and its findings withheld from the public. Then as the reporting of the caucus vote results got increasy chaotic and delayed, he declared himself the winner before any returns had been reported. Most major media shamelessly began anointing him the “winner” anyway. So now this sad little man whose only governing experience was eight years as mayor of South Bend, a small city of 100,000 in Indiana, has become the Juan Guaidó of American politics, like his Venezuelan namesake trying to fake his way into being considered a national leader.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the same US national media that embarrassed themselves by touting the ludicrous Guaidó as Venezuela’s “authentic” if unelected president, have also bought Buttigieg’s sham claim to the title of Iowa Caucus winner. Buttigieg should at this point, as his fraud collapses, be laughed out of future primaries by voters for his premature and fact-free Iowa “victory” charade.

Meanwhile, now that Bernie has Iowa in his pocket, he and his hundreds of thousands of supporters across the country should demand the resignation or firing of Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and the entire corrupt DNC, which have shown themselves to be incapable of being impartial overseers of a national primary, and what’s almost as bad, as incompetent. Too incompetent even to successfully steal an election, apparently.

Look at Perez’s recent actions: He just recently nominated a gaggle of Clinton and Obama holdovers from the prior decade to be members of the coming National Convention Committee when most of them, like Clinton and Obama themselves, have reportedly been conspiring about how to “block” Sanders. Perez also eased the way for billionaire former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg to jump into the middle of the campaign as a member of the debates, without his having entered any primaries (this after Bloomberg wrote the DNC a check for $300,000). And we’ve learned that earlier this year Perez hired a bunch of Clinton campaign veterans, working for a tech company they founded called Shadow Inc., to quickly and secretly develop a smart-phone app for counting votes for use in the Iowa Caucuses and future primaries like the upcoming one in Nevada. These acts by Perez are more than enough reasons to send him packing.

I should add that Perez and the DNC also kept the name of the company that made this vote tallying app, Shadow Inc., in the shadows, and wouldn’t release the names of its owners and principals to inquiring reporters. Also not mentioned by either Perez or by Buttigieg was that Buttegieg’s campaign ad paid the secretive firm $42,500 in July, allegedly for “messaging software.” Uh-huh, this to a firm with no product history to show for itself? Right.

I mean, really! Does anyone really believe that the Shadow Inc app just failed in Iowa because it was poorly designed, poorly tested and poorly used, causing a collapse of the caucuses? Even the NY York Times‘ polling experts seem to have their doubts about this story line. This wasn’t just a question of the app’s failing. As I wrote as early as 10:20 on Tuesday night, the app was actually doing very suspicious things. The very first caucus report to emerge from that system before it totally crashed, which was published as an image in a NY Times story by Nick Corasaniti, showed Sanders receiving 1900 votes on the first round of voting, compared to some 1200 for Buttigieg, with the rest of the leading candidates, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar down in the teens, but in the column for the second-round voting, in which leading candidates could pick up votes from people who had supported candidates who didn’t make the 15% support cutoff, Sanders actually was shown to have somehow lost 600 votes, dropping to 1382, while Buttigieg’s tally rose to almost that level. The problem is, since Sanders’ first vote total was over 15%, then by caucus rules, all his votes were supposedly “locked in” and couldn’t decline. (The Times by the next morning had pulled that image off of Corasaniti’s article, but without offering any explanation for its removal. Today, two days after the Iowa Caucus, a Times article is running headlined: “Iowa Caucus Results Riddled With Errors and Inconsistencies.”) Yet he Times, which had highlighted Buttigieg as the likely caucus winner since Tuesday night, inexplicably continued to do so until late Thursday evening.

What was the likelihood that of all 1711 precincts in Iowa, the very first precinct to report its results would show this kind of fraudulent transfer of votes from the leading candidate’s tally, but would also represent the only case of such an “error” in the whole state? Yet the sham of Buttigieg’s “victory” continued to be the story line for days in the national news. The initial reporting error, though, probably explains why the reporting of votes in Iowa was quickly halted by the state Democratic Party, and why numbers weren’t fully released until late Thursday while the state party ran what it’s calling a “quality control checks” on all the precinct numbers. (Update: Those checks found plenty of “quality control” problems in vote tallies fraught with errors and possible fraud. In one case discovered on review, for example, all of Sanders’ initial votes were found to have been listed as going to former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who isn’t even running!)

Perez is now calling for a “recanvass” of the Caucus results but Sanders is brushing that idea off. As he notes, a recanvass, which would in any case have to be requested not by the DNC but by a candidate who had competed in the caucus, will not change the number of convention delegates either he or Buttigieg won (which will be 11 each), and he is confident it won’t change the reality that he won the popular vote by more than 6000. “We won an eight-person election by some 6,000 votes,” Sanders said. “That is not going to be changed.”

He’s right. The corporate media have been focusing for days now not on the popular vote, which at many news sites remains hard to even discover. The reason of course is that those numbers always consistently have shown Sanders in the lead. Instead, they focused on a fictional number — the number of State Delegate Equivalents or SDEs — that each candidate had “won.” That’s how Iowa establishes the rankings in its caucus, we are told, but of course it has no meaning. The allocation of SDEs, it turns out, are not equal in different precincts, so winning 1000 votes in one precinct can lead to a different number of SDEs than 1000 votes in another precinct, making it a poor and deceptive way to determine the real “winner” of the caucus. Besides, whatever Iowa may do, the Democratic Convention and the national media usually look not at SDEs (which most states don’t even have) but rather at number of votes a candidate wins, and the number of actual national Convention delegates they collect. (In any case in prior years, the Iowa Democratic Caucus always tracked and reported the number of votes candidates were receiving.)

Sanders is on a roll, with Times polling guru Nate Silver now predicting that he has the greatest probability (currently a 48% chance) of winning the Democratic Party presidential nomination outright on a first ballot. That probability will continue to rise if Sanders’ polling numbers in coming primary states keep rising and if he keeps piling up victories in those coming primaries.

That’s got the Democratic Party elite — and the corporate media hacks — running scared. They tried first to ignore Sanders, and next have tried to bump him off early in Iowa. Now they’re thrown back on their heels by the exposure of their counting app as a menace. The Nevada Democratic Party, which had planned to use the Shadow Inc. phone app to run its primary set for Feb. 20, has dropped it like a rotten apple, and is falling back on more traditional methods for counting its primary votes now.

That means the DNC will have to scramble for another way to defeat Bernie than technical fraud.

For now, though, hooray for Bernie! Hooray too for the diligence of his campaign team, which among other things quietly developed in advance their own phone-based counting app, which all their precinct captains in Iowa used to track the first and second-round voting. That is what gave Sanders an accurate up-to-the minute tally of his vote total as well as that of his competitors like Buttiguaido.

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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