Iowa Caucus Debacle
by Jason Frerichs
The caucus on 2/3/2020 was an absolute debacle. Volunteers spent numerous hours over the past few months organizing and for the most part, pulled off an excellent event. Unfortunately, the paid leadership of the Iowa Democratic Party combined with the garbage app made by toxic Clinton loyalists have made Iowa a laughing stock. I was a precinct captain and the chair of my precinct did a phenomenal job.
I have zero confidence in the Iowa Democratic Party. If you’re part of the in-crowd you can do no wrong. Pottawattamie County Central Committee violated Article XII, “Section 5 of the IDP constitution when they threw a citizen journalist out of a public meeting – “Open Meetings: All meetings of Democratic Central Committees and Conventions, and of their committees, shall be open in the same manner as an agency of the state government is required to hold open meetings.” Instead of using this as a teachable moment the party wonks circled the wagons. I was personally asked not to bring this up at a State Central Committee meeting. The wagons were circled and absolutely thing happened.
When the Chair of the Native American Caucus Tisha Dumkrieger made known her disgusting transphobic views known she suffered absolutely no blowback from the Iowa Democratic Party other than a weak statement about accepting Dumkrieger’s apology. She was a little embarrassed but not asked to resign. In fact, I was at the next State Central Committee meeting after this came out. No censure, no discussion, no repercussions. Iowa Safe Schools presented training about LGBTQ issues but that was the end of it. If one can express disgusting bigotry and still keep a leadership position, what does that tell our transgender Democrats?
Finally, the debacle of the caucus. Days before the event, an app was given that was supposed to make the process easier. It was not properly tested. There were not enough people to handle the emergency phone back up in case the app failed and fail did it over. We’re now more than 24 hours out and we still don’t have the final results.
The company that designed the app only formed in September. The app failed miserably and nearly 70% of Precinct Chairs were unable to even download it. A couple of high schoolers paid with vape pens and red bull could have designed a better app. Party officials hung up on precinct chairs, reporters, and campaign staff when they called in to get information. We were treated to a 1 am conference call with the State Party Chair who spoke for one minute then ended the call. Nobody was given an opportunity to ask questions.
In closing, this debacle likely spells the end of the caucus and Iowa’s First in the Nation status. Once again, the Democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead of campaigns moving on to New Hampshire with the momentum we are still waiting for the final results. “I am not a member of any organized party. I am a Democrat.” – Will Rogers