Calling Out The DailyKos’ Anti-Democratic Tactics

The DailyKos Made My Vote (And Thousands More) Disappear

I was one of the 24,124+ DailyKos members who voted for Andrew Yang in the DailyKos’ most recent online straw poll.

But, my vote wasn’t counted.

Well, it was, until the DailyKos realized the result was not what they hoped for… that’s when they pulled a Putin and made my vote — and all votes they didn’t like (any for Andrew Yang) — in the DailyKos’ own words, “disappear” leading to this completely fictitious headline:

But why? Why did they do it?

There’s gotta be a good reason the Daily Kos made my vote and thousands more vanish…

After all, the Daily Kos says that their mission is to “elect Democrats” and the official Democratic Party Platform states that:

“Democrats know that Americans’ right to vote is sacred and fundamental” adding that, “The Democratic Party was founded on the promise of an expanded democracy. The right to vote is at the heart of our national vision. It is a core principle of the Democratic Party to maximize voter participation… we must make it easier to vote, not harder.”

And believe it or not, this isn’t the first time the Daily Kos has done something like this… They actually offered a lengthy apology recently for removing Yang votes from a previously conducted online straw poll. However, the lengthy apology blog-post has since been removed from their site. No joke.

A partial screenshot of the now-deleted apology can be found here.

So, the Daily Kos must have a good reason to erase all of Andrew Yang’s votes (again), right?

The explanation offered by “Daily Kos Staff” for pulling the kind of polling shenanigans that the far-Right is regularly accused of… all boils down to an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory.

Note: the Daily Kos’ staff-sponsored conspiracy theory is a flagrant violation of the Daily Kos’ own “Rules of the Road” (shown below):

The conspiracy theory — or unverified rumor (at best) — about those who voted for Andrew Yang in the Daily Kos’ straw poll (including me) is that, in the words of DailyKos staff,

“Andrew Yang supporters … have [spammed] polls … [using] fake email addresses to vote. They’re not progressives… [Yang voters] are not interested in joining the site’s mission to elect more and better Democrats while fighting for progressive policy at the national and local levels. They’re not even pretending to try… So it’s no surprise that… it’s the Yang votes that disappear.”

The Daily Kos’s explanation is… a bunch of bullshit. And I’ll prove it.

But before I dissect why the Daily Kos’ accusations are so clearly nonsensical, I want to point out the other two obvious violations of the Daily Kos’ own Rules of The Road (violated in the process of making their ugly accusations and in making thousands of votes disappear):

First, is their complete abandonment of their Rule of The Road DO #12:

  • Under what possible scenario could anyone argue that disappearing votes and acting like they never even happened is an example of “fighting fair”?
  • Does it look like the Daily Kos “remembered” themselves — as they tell others to — that those of us in the #YangGang are “just as passionate” and “committed” to our candidate and our progressive vision for America as they are?
  • Does it appear that they are embracing the “big tent” philosophy they preach when they make 10s-of-thousands of votes, including mine, disappear because they obviously just don’t like Andrew Yang’s particular vision for the Democratic Party?

Correct Answers are: None. No. No.

Next, there’s Rule of the Road, DO #13:

Obviously, DailyKos staff — who exult the value they supposedly hold for equality, and who regularly chide big bad corporatists for “playing by a different set of rules than everyone else” — believe, evidently, that they get to play by a different set of rules themselves; their own “Rules of The Road” apparently don’t apply equally across the Daily Kos community — they certainly don’t apply to Daily Kos staff.

IF the Daily Kos DID follow their own rules… they would have:

  • ACCEPTED the results of the straw poll. (DO #13)

IF the Daily Kos DID follow their own rules… they would NOT have:

  • Thrown personal insults at those of us who voted for Andrew Yang.
  • Leveled unsubstantiated conspiracy theories against the #YangGang
  • Accused the #YangGang of shilling for Andrew Yang.
  • Been complete dicks to the #YangGang.

Now, let’s dissect all the reasons why the Daily Kos’ conspiracy theory is (like most conspiracy theories are) a bunch of BS.

Dissecting the DailyKos Bullshit YangGang Conspiracy Theory

As a reminder, here’s the conspiracy theory that DailyKos staff gave for disappearing my vote and thousands more:

“Andrew Yang supporters … have [spammed] polls … [using] fake email addresses to vote. They’re not progressives… [Yang voters] are not interested in joining the site’s mission to elect more and better Democrats while fighting for progressive policy at the national and local levels. They’re not even pretending to try… So it’s no surprise that… it’s the Yang votes that disappear.”

Charge #1: “Andrew Yang supporters … have [spammed] polls … [using] fake email addresses to vote.”

  • DailyKos has not offered any evidence to substantiate this claim.
  • DailyKos doesn’t claim to have performed any kind of impartial audit to toss out just “fake” email addresses (whatever that means) — if they had, my vote would have remained in the tally. Instead, they uniformly discarded every last vote for Yang — even though the Daily Kos created the poll in the first place and chose to include Yang as an option to vote for…

    This suggests the Daily Kos only included Yang because they assumed he would do very poorly in the poll which would allow them to say, “Look how bad he did! Loser! Drop out!” But it didn’t work out that way, so they scrambled and did their best to rig the results to suit their narrative after the fact (and destroy the evidence that they’ve previously acknowledged that discarding votes is a bad idea and un-Democratic, by deleting their previous apology to Yang’s supporters.)

Truthfully, the analysis of this first absurd charge should just end here, but the irony of the actual #Math involved here is just too much…

  • In previous anti-YangGang statements, the DailyKos has pointed out the disproportionate number of votes for Yang have come from Twitter users, and that’s somehow dubious — because, ya knowTwitter Bots!!!

    There are several problems with this accusation, but perhaps, none bigger than this one: it turns out, an independent analysis performed by “TwitterAudit” shows that, compared to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang has the best ratio of Real vs. Fake Twitter Followers with 96% Real Followers and just 4% Fake Followers.

    In comparison, Elizabeth Warren ( @ ewarren ) — who was declared the winner of the straw poll that Yang actually won — has an Audit Score of 84% (12 points worse than Yang) with 16% Fake Followers, Bernie Sanders — declared runner up to Warren — does far worse than both Yang and Warren, with an Audit Score of 67%… but best of all (or at least, most ironically of all), the Audit Score of The Daily Kos (@ dailykos) comes in at 75% Real and 25% Fake, which is 21 points worse than Andrew Yang’s score.

Charge #2: “Andrew Yang supporters [are] not progressives… [and] are not interested in joining the site’s mission to elect more and better Democrats while fighting for progressive policy at the national and local levels. They’re not even pretending to try.”

The arrogance of this accusation is truly baffling.

The Daily Kos staff is portending to know the specific political persuasions and motivations of, literally, thousands of people who voted for Andrew Yang in their straw poll.

And quite frankly, this was the part that really pissed me off… because included in their arrogant assessment of thousands of people who took the time to log on to the Daily Kos’ site, abide by the rules set out by the Daily Kos, and faithfully cast their vote for their favored candidate… was me.

By stating that “Yang supporters are not progressives, blah, blah, blah…” they were talking about me, and I’d be happy to put my record as a progressive leader up against anyone — including any online social justice warrior.

Now, it’s worth reiterating that the Daily Kos did not require that, in order to vote in their sham straw poll, you had to be a member of the Daily Kos community for X-period-of-time or that you had to have demonstrated a certain level of engagement on the Daily Kos’ platform, or submit a resume validating that you are a “real progressive” in the eyes of the all-knowing and all-powerful Daily Kos staff…

But, since my commitment to the Democratic / Progressive cause was called into question by the Daily Kos Staff who are too sheepish to use their real names when casting insults and insinuations at the ever-evolving Democratic / Progressive Grassroots, let me educate the Daily Kos on who I am… who’s vote they invalidated…

✔️ Least significant of all: I’ve been a DK member for 8 years (will be deleting my account today)

✔️ At the age of 20, I became the youngest-ever-elected chairman of my local Democratic Party.

✔️ In the year (a non-presidential, off-year… always less favorable to DEMs) that I served as Chairman of my local Dem Party, our county went from being represented by one Democrat and one Republican in the State Assembly and a Republican in the State Senate, to a Democrat in every one of those seats…*No other county party did as well as we did.

✔️ In the year that I served as Chairman of my local Dem Party, I was a prominent figure in the fight against Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature’s attacks on unions in our state; I was honored to work tirelessly alongside the progressive grassroots and the labor movement in the fight.

✔️ In the year that I served as Chairman of my local Dem Party, we saw explosive growth in our membership, fundraising, and participation in Party functions of all kinds.

✔️ I have worked on dozens of national, state, and local political campaigns and advocacy campaigns, all for Dems or progressive candidates / causes.

✔️ I am most proud of my work as an Obama Organizing Fellow in 2008, and then as field staff for Obama, and eventually as a community organizer for Organizing for America after Obama’s election.

✔️ In 2009, at the age of 19, I ran a progressive campaign for local office against two longtime incumbents much older than I was… I lost by three votes. Then, in 2014, I ran for a county-level office as a progressive candidate against a well-funded conservative… and I won.

✔️ Today, I am proud to be supporting the candidacy of another progressive candidate for President: Andrew Yang.

✔️ Oh, and the email address I used to create my Daily Kos account (eight years ago) and which I used to vote for Andrew Yang in the straw poll, is basically My Name @ (standard email address . com) — so the claim that all of us in the YangGang used fake emails is a load of crap.

To wrap this up, I want to offer some suggestions for the Daily Kos and the YangGang…

First, the #YangGang

I may only be 29, but this election ain’t my first rodeo… whether it was the early days of the Obama Campaign or Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016, there is no shortage of examples of powerful individuals, organizations, and institutions that try to make insurgent candidates and campaigns feel less-than or simply invalid, so this sleazy tactic by the Daily Kos is not surprising at all or anything new. Still, it is completely repugnant.

Just remember, YangGang… Even though your votes should always be counted, and it’s BS that your votes weren’t counted here… votes in online polls don’t really mean shit when you compare it to the votes that really matter; the votes you get to make on Election Day and the votes your neighbors get to make on Election Day — so let this Daily Kos BS fuel your resolve to get your butt to the polls on Election Day and sign up to volunteer; talk to people, Yang ’Em, and make sure they get to the polls, too.

I am tremendously grateful to be a part of the YangGang. The diversity of the YangGang’s identity is beautiful and fills me with hope, even if it fills the virtue-signalling Left with fear; the fact that so many of you voted for Trump, or simply have never voted for a Democrat before, and are now joining me and many other progressive Democrats in supporting the same candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, is what politics should be about… put another way, it’s not Left, it’s not Right, it’s Forward.

And lastly, YangGang… If you are one of the folks who rarely — if ever — votes for candidates with a “D” after their name, please believe me when I say that the Daily Kos’ arrogance and un-democratic gross tactics and behavior shown in this straw poll saga, is NOT representative of all Democrats and/or all Progressives.

Now, to the Daily Kos, some suggestions:

✔️ You’ve got decent Rules of The Road. Don’t be hypocrites. Follow your own freaking rules.

✔️ If you’re going to demean and diminish people in the future, show a spine and put your names to your writing. (No more of this, “Daily Kos Staff” crap.)

✔️ If you don’t want certain people to vote in your poll… don’t allow them to… Be forthright in your arbitrary exclusion, but don’t invite them to participate in your polls and then toss their unwanted votes into the trash.

✔️Don’t adjust your rules after the fact. Clearly, you want to exclude people. Personally, I think that’s gross and both un-democratic and un-Democratic, but it’s your site and your poll, so if you’re going to be exclusionary, do it with some amount of integrity (oxymoronic, I know…) Try saying something like: “The only way you get to vote is if you: (1) Promise not to vote for Andrew Yang. (2) Offer the Daily Kos a photo-ID like Republicans do at the polls which we Democrats hate. (3) Can show that you’ve commented on X-number of Daily Kos stories…” or something along those lines?

✔️Do the rest of the Democratic Party and Democratic / Progressive Movement a favor and stop suggesting you have any real interest in winning real elections in real life (maybe you once did, but your asinine behavior here shows how far you’ve strayed from your originally stated interests)

Afterall, if you’re going to say stupid things like, “Andrew Yang Democrats aren’t REAL Democrats” then you’re effectively saying to all the former Trump supporters, former Independents, or anyone-who-used-to-be-anything-other-than-a-Democrat, who may feel right at home in the YangGang (organized around a progressive DEMOCRATIC candidate for President) or a group like ours, that the Democratic Party (in the eyes of the mighty Daily Kos) will not welcome you… Losing and regression is the only outcome of that strategy and philosophy.

Lastly, if your message is going to continue to be as exclusionary as that, from this point forward… don’t act so surprised when we lose the next election, and don’t give me the phony sense of pained-wonder and ask, “Why do those people keep voting for Republicans? Why don’t those people want to join our side when we will serve them better?” [People aren’t going to join a party that makes the feel invalid — or generally, like shit — and when the sign on the door to the party says, “You are not welcome.”]

Thanks for reading.


Twitter Audit Reports as of 11/12/2019

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Accomplished public servant and former elected official turned civic & cultural commentator and consultant 🔗

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