10 months later, Democrats in Iowa accuse National Party of caucus merger

Dec 13, 2020 Travel News

10 months later, Democrats in Iowa accuse National Party of caucus merger

With Iowa’s closely watched presidential caucuses more under threat than ever after a disastrous demonstration in February that delayed results by days, the Iowa Democratic Party sought Saturday to blame the committee for the collapse. national democrat.

More than 10 months after the fiasco marred Iowa’s first nominating competition, the state party circulated a mind-boggling internal report claiming the national party had meddled and delayed development of a reporting results, implemented coding errors in its back-end results reporting system, and required new data which further complicated the process.

The new sniper between the Iowa Democrats and the National Party comes at a critical time for the future of Iowa’s position at the start of the presidential nomination schedule. Caucuses are a tradition dear to the Iowans, but a growing number of National Democrats say they are overwhelmed and undemocratic.

The heart of Iowa’s 26-page report blames the DNC for the delay in caucus night results. He says the National Party, weeks before the Feb. 3 caucuses, demanded a new tool to give him real-time results. The new tool, the report says, included coding errors that gave inaccurate results, leading to a delay of several days before former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, India and Sen.Bernie Sanders of Vermont virtually tied for first place.

“When the DNC database conversion tool was not functioning properly, it caused the DNC to wrongly prevent the IDP from reporting its results, and the entire planned IDP reporting process was disrupted.” , indicates the report. “If the DNC had not interjected into the results reporting process based on its erroneous data conversion, the caucus night could have gone according to the PDI’s original plan.

The nation’s premier status of Iowa was in jeopardy even before the disaster of 2020.

Black and Hispanic Democrats argued that a state with 90 percent white population does not properly represent an increasingly diverse party. The caucuses themselves, which force people to attend in person, often for hours, and navigate maze-like rules, are less democratic than primaries, critics say. And the party’s internal record keeping from caucus sites turned out to be of poor quality for a second consecutive presidential election.

“The caucus system itself is an undemocratic relic that we must eliminate,” said on Saturday Julián Castro, the former US housing secretary who, as the 2020 presidential candidate, was the most vocal in attacking the Iowa’s early state status. “But it must also be a priority for the next president of the DNC to reorganize our primaries so that they reflect the diversity and values ​​of our party. Iowa and New Hampshire are wonderful places, but they shouldn’t come first anymore. “

Democrats in Iowa no longer have an ally leading their party in Washington. While Barack Obama owed his presidency to a surprise victory in the Iowa caucuses in 2008, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. never built the solid Iowa organization of his main 2020 caucus rivals and finished distant fourth once the results were finally released.

Mr Biden, as chairman, will select the next DNC ​​leader. He has yet to reveal his selection, but the party over the summer began a review of its presidential nomination procedures which it said “will bring improvements to the 2024 nomination process.”

The DNC declined to participate in the Iowa Democratic Party report. David Bergstein, a spokesperson for the committee, said the DNC’s involvement in setting up the caucus was validated by a litany of errors in the results reporting process.

“The underlying technical issues were caused by errors from the IDP vendor,” he said, referring to a tech company that created the caucus results reporting app for smartphones.

The New York Times found that more than 100 Iowa caucus ridings reported results that were internally inconsistent or missing data.

Iowa has long held its place at the start of the nominating calendar by working en bloc with its early states, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, but for months there have been signs that these alliances are breaking down. are frayed.

Harry Reid, the former Senate Majority Leader who remains the functional leader of the Nevada Democrats, called in February for an end to all Democratic presidential caucuses. Jaime Harrison, the former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman who is one of the main contenders for the national party, declined on Saturday to say whether Iowa should retain its status as the nation’s premier.

There is no indication that Republicans will replace Iowa at the top of their 2024 presidential nomination timeline.

Of 10 key “takeaways” in a fact sheet distributed to members of the Iowa Democratic Party, six accuse the DNC of caucus night problems.

The report, prepared by Bonnie Campbell, former Iowa attorney general, and Nick Klinefeldt, former Iowa federal prosecutor, also blames the Iowa Democratic Party for failing to anticipate problems in its “boiler room”. caucus night, citing a lack of training and too few phone lines to receive results. Only 439 of 1,765 constituencies successfully submitted results through the party’s smartphone app, and phone lines were blocked as constituency leaders tried to call instead.

Troy Price, who oversaw failed caucuses as chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, resigned a week later.

The New York Times reported in February that the Iowa boiler room official did not know how to use the Google Spreadsheet app that the Democrats in Iowa were using to enter data once the results report application had failed.

The report also criticized reporters for calling county officials and party headquarters on caucus night for information when no results were made public.

“The media indirectly interfered with the results reporting process by directly contacting county presidents for information and calling the boiler room hotline, blocking the already busy telephone bank,” the report said.