Tulsi Gabbard: DNC ‘Rigging’ Primary for Billionaire Candidates

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: Democratic Presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) par
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Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) criticized the Iowa Democratic Party Tuesday for botching its first-in-the-nation caucus, accusing the Democrat National Committee (DNC) of “rigging” its primary contest in favor of billionaire candidates like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“Thousands of people turned out to cast the first votes of this presidential primary in the Iowa Caucuses last night,”  Gabbard said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the voices of the people of Iowa have yet to be heard as the vote count continues, leaving voters frustrated and without the transparency and integrity in this process that they expect and deserve.”

She continued: “It’s clear that the corporate media, the military-industrial complex, and the party establishment are threatened by [my] message, because it challenges their grip on power. They will do everything to silence us, while also rigging the primary process for billionaire candidates who think they can bypass the kind of grassroots campaigning that is the fuel of our movement.”

Last week, the DNC said it is changing the criteria to qualify for its February debate in Las Vegas, allowing for candidates to appear on stage without any individual-donor requirement. The move benefits Bloomberg, who has no donors due to his self-funded campaign.

Gabbard’s remarks come as Iowa Democrat officials are racing to solve technical issues behind the state’s delayed caucus voting results.

State Democrat Party Chairman Troy Price said in a statement “underlying data collected” on a smartphone app that reports vote tallies were “sound,” but a coding issue in the system has only produced partial results.

“This issue was identified and fixed,” he said. “The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.”

Price did not know exactly when the results would be reported but predicted it would happen “as soon as possible today.” The ultimate goal, he said, is to ensure the “integrity and accuracy of the process.” He added the party has “every indication” the app was secure and there was no hacking.

Some Iowa precinct chairs had noticed problems with the app during tests earlier Monday but assumed they were only sporadic issues, the Des Moines Register reported. The issue turned into a paralyzing malfunction after the caucuses concluded, and organizers found they were unable to log into the app. Price said the trouble was first spotted when initial results began to arrive and officials vetted them with accuracy checks.

Democrat presidential hopefuls who’d spent a number of days in Iowa left for New Hampshire — the next stop on the primary calendar — without knowing how they performed. New Hampshire will stage its primary next Tuesday.

Officials reportedly told campaigns that it hopes to release around half of the results by 5:00 P.M. EST today.

The UPI contributed to this report. 


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