The progressive digital advocacy group Acronym has, in a short period of time, become one of the most influential and lavishly funded political machines in Democratic politics. But it took the implosion of one of its key portfolio companies for the American people to finally get some insight into the byzantine way in which it operates.
“Coding errors” in the app developed to tabulate votes at Monday’s Iowa caucuses by one of the companies in the Acronym umbrella—the digital startup Shadow Inc.—compounded delays and confusion in the Democrats’ first presidential nominating contest. And while Shadow has suffered potentially irreparable reputational damage as a result, the fiasco has also blown back on Acronym, its top investor.
On Wednesday, Acronym Chief Executive Tara McGowan penned an open letter defending her group, a “dark-money” nonprofit that’s worked since 2017 to help build Democrats’ digital infrastructure. “We have literally nothing to hide,” she said in a thread of tweets about the Iowa fallout.