Clinton campaign veterans linked with app that contributed to caucus chaos

As reported by Des Moines Register

he smartphone application blamed in part for the ongoing delay in reporting results of the Monday Iowa caucuses is linked with key Iowa and national Democrats associated with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The revelation came as the Nevada Democratic Party announced Tuesday it would not be using the same app in its Feb. 22 caucuses, despite earlier reports to the contrary.

The app was issued by Jimmy Hickey of Shadow Inc., metadata of the program that the Des Moines Register analyzed Tuesday shows. Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, who worked for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, co-founded Shadow.

Company officials did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment. But a short time after the Des Moines Register published a story revealing the link, the company tweeted an apology.

“We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses and the uncertainty it has caused to the candidates, their campaigns, and Democratic caucus-goers,” Shadow’s message said.

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owa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price worked as Clinton’s 2016 Iowa political director. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday about the relationship between the party and Shadow, which it paid $63,184 for website development and travel expenses, according to reports filed with the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board.

The Nevada party paid Shadow $50,143 for “monetary expenses,” filings with the Nevada secretary of state show. The filings provided no further details.

It was unclear whether the Iowa Democratic Party had chosen the app on its own, or had received guidance from the national party. Shadow’s website indicates close ties to the National Democratic Party.

“When a light is shining, Shadows are a constant companion,” it says. “We see ourselves as building a long-term, side-by-side ‘Shadow’ of tech infrastructure to the Democratic Party and the progressive community at large.”

Security watchdogs had called on Iowa Democrats to be more transparent about the development and testing of the app prior to Monday’s caucuses. But Democrats declined to name the developer or provide testing details, saying top cybersecurity experts advised against releasing too much information because it could result in the vendor being targeted.