Anti-Sanders billionaires, behind the app
that delayed Iowa’s voting results
Pro-Israel Buttigieg backer Seth Klarman is top
funder of group behind Iowa’s disastrous voting app
By Max Blumenthal
Behind the app that delayed Iowa’s voting
results is a dark money operation funded by
anti-Sanders billionaires. Its top donor,
Seth Klarman, is a Buttigieg backer who has
dumped money into pro-settler Israel lobby
February 04, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" -At the time of publication, twelve hours
after voting in the Democratic Party’s Iowa caucuses
ended, the results have not been announced. The
delay in reporting is the result of a failed app
developed by a company appropriately named Shadow
This firm was
staffed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaign
veterans and created by a Democratic dark money
nonprofit backed by hedge fund billionaires
including Seth Klarman. A prolific funder of
pro-settler Israel lobby organizations, Klarman has
also contributed directly to Pete Buttigieg’s
The delay in the vote reporting denied a victory
speech to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the presumptive
winner of the opening contest in the Democratic
presidential primary. Though not one exit poll
indicated that Buttigieg would have won, the South
Bend, Indiana mayor took to Twitter to confidently
proclaim himself the victor.
Iowa, you have shocked the nation.
By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious. #IowaCaucuses
Though a dark money Democratic operation turned
out to be the source of the disastrous app,
suspicion initially centered on former Hillary
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and his
Russiagate-related elections integrity initiative.
Leveraging Russia hysteria into
lucrative election opportunities
While Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price
refused to say who was behind the failed app,
he told NPR that he “worked with the national
party’s cybersecurity team and Harvard University’s
Defending Digital Democracy project…” Price did not
offer details on his collaboration with the Harvard
The New York Times
reported that this same outfit had teamed up
with Iowa Democrats to run a “drill of worst-case
scenarios” and possible foreign threats, but was
also vague on details.
He founded the organization with help from Matt
Rhoades, a former campaign manager for Republican
Mitt Romney whose public relations company was
sued by a Silicon Valley investor after it
branded him “an agent of the Russian government” and
“a friend of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.”
Rhoades’ firm had been contracted by a business
rival to destroy the investor’s reputation.
As outrage grew over the delay in Iowa caucus
results, Mook publicly denied any role in designing
the notorious app.
Hours later, journalist
Lee Fang reported that a previously unknown tech
outfit called Shadow Inc. had contracted with the
Iowa Democratic Party to create the failed
technology. The firm was comprised of former
staffers for Obama, Clinton and the tech industry,
and had been paid for services by the Buttigieg
An Israel lobby moneyman’s path
to Mayor Pete’s wine cave
Shadow Inc. was
launched by a major Democratic dark money
nonprofit called Acronym, which also gave birth to a
$7.7 million Super PAC known as Pacronym.
Sludge, Pacronym’s largest donor is Seth Klarman.
A billionaire hedge funder, Klarman also happens to
be a top donor to Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.
Though he has attracted some attention for his
role in the campaign, Klarman’s prolific funding of
the pro-settler Israel lobby and Islamophobic
has gone almost entirely unmentioned.
Seth Klarman is the founder of the Boston-based
Baupost Group hedge fund and a longtime donor to
corporate Republican candidates. After Donald Trump
called for forgiving Puerto Rico’s debt, Klarman –
the owner of $911 million of the island’s bonds
– flipped and began funding Trump’s opponents.
The billionaire’s crusade against Trump
ultimately led him to Mayor Pete’s wine cave.
By the end of 2019, Klarman had
donated $5600 to Buttigieg and pumped money into
the campaigns of Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and
Kamala Harris as well.
The billionaire’s support centrist candidates
appears to be not only by his own financial
interests, but by his deep and abiding ideological
commitment to Israel and its expansionist project.
I reported for Mondoweiss, Klarman has been a
top funder for major Israel lobby outfits, including
those that support the expansion of illegal
settlements and Islamophobic initiatives.
Klarman has heaped hundreds of thousands of
dollars on the Middle East Media Research Institute
(MEMRI) and the American Jewish Committee. And he
funded The David Project, which was established to
suppress Palestine solidarity organizing on campuses
across the US and battled to block the establishment
of a Muslim community center in Boston.
Through his support for the Friends of Ir David
Inc, Klarman directly involved himself in the
Israeli settlement enterprise, assisting the
US-based tax exempt arm of the organization
that oversaw a wave of Palestinian expulsions in
the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
Other pro-Israel groups reaping the benefits of
Klarman’s generosity include Birthright Israel, the
AIPAC-founded Washington Institute for Near East
Policy, and the Foundation for the Defense of
Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative think tank that
helped devise Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign of
economic warfare on Iran.
In recent weeks, Buttigieg has
sought to distinguish himself from Sanders on
the issue of Israel-Palestine. During a testy
exchange this January with a self-proclaimed Jewish
supporter of Palestinian human rights, the South
Bend mayor backtracked on a previous pledge to
withhold military aid to Israel if it annexed parts
of the West Bank.
As Democratic elites like the Sussmans braced for a
Bernie Sanders triumph in Iowa, a mysterious piece
of technology spun out by a group they supported
delayed the vote results, preventing Sanders from
delivering a victory speech. And the politician many
of them supported, Pete Buttigieg, exploited the
moment to declare himself the winner. In such a
strange scenario, the conspiracy theories write
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning
journalist and the author of several
books, including best-selling
Republican Gomorrah, Goliath,
The Fifty One Day War, and
The Management of Savagery. He has
produced print articles for an array of
publications, many video reports, and
several documentaries, including Killing
Gaza. Blumenthal founded The
Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic
light on America’s state of perpetual
war and its dangerous domestic
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