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Iowa Democratic Party chair resigns after caucus fiasco

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The Iowa Democratic Party chairman is stepping down, he announced Wednesday, eight days after the Iowa caucuses became a national fiasco for the Democrats.

“The fact is that Democrats deserved better than what happened on caucus night. As chair of this party, I am deeply sorry for what happened and bear the responsibility for any failures on behalf of the Iowa Democratic Party,” Troy Price wrote in his resignation letter to the State Central Committee.

“While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult.”

The Iowa Democratic Party, or IDP, put out the reporting totals in fits and spurts in the days after the caucuses. Results were delayed by what Price said were “coding issues” with a smartphone app that was being used to help tabulate results in the contest for the first time.

That wasn’t the only issue. The caucus results were also rife with potential errors and inconsistencies that could affect the outcome, according to a review by the NBC News Decision Desk.

Both Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg claimed victory, and the confusion resulted in delegates’ not being awarded until Friday — three days after the election. Buttigieg was awarded 14 delegates and Sanders 12.

The Democratic National Committee and the Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns have asked for a recanvass of certain areas, essentially a double-checking of the vote. The party said earlier Wednesday that the recanvass would begin Sunday and would last two days.

The mess has led some Democrats to call for doing away with caucuses altogether.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked the Democrats for the vote counting mess, and he did again earlier on Wednesday. “We were actually able to quickly count our votes. We knew within minutes after the poll how many votes we had, unlike the Democrats,” he told reporters at the White House during a meeting with Ecuador’s president.

While Price accepted ultimate responsibility for what happened, he said in his resignation letter that there’s plenty of blame to go around.

“There is no doubt that the process of reporting results did not work. It was simply unacceptable,” he said. “It is why I called for an independent review of the decisions and processes that lead to this failure. While this process is just beginning, know that the IDP is not the only party to blame for what happened last week. We worked collaboratively with our partners, our vendors, and the DNC in this process, and I am confident the review will be able to determine exactly what went wrong, what went right, and how we can avoid this from ever happening again.”

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Price also defended his staff’s handling of the caucus fallout, saying they “worked under immense pressure” and endured “threats to personal safety, taunts, and anger from people around the globe.”

“These are people who are working hard towards our common goal of electing Democrats in November, and I deeply regret that these dedicated employees of our party had to endure such abuse,” he said.

Price was asked whether he would step down on the night of the caucuses when it became clear that the results were a mess. He said his focus was on completing the count.

The party will meet Saturday to elect an interim chair.

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Sturgeon FURIOUS and fires back at ‘bonkers’ claims she is not dedicated to independence

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NICOLA STURGEON has furiously hit back at critics who questioned her commitment to the Scottish independent cause, branding their claims “bonkers”.

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Coronavirus update: Second lockdown will DESTROY British pubs – we won't survive

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RURAL pub landlords have warned that a second lockdown could force them to close their businesses permanently, ripping the hearts out of towns and villages across the country.

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Trump to sign executive order on coronavirus economic relief

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on coronavirus economic relief Saturday, according to a White House official.

The expected signing comes after talks with Democrats hit an impasse Friday over another round of assistance. He is expected to sign an order at a news conference at his New Jersey golf club at 3:30 p.m.

Trump suggested at a Friday night press conference that he would take executive action on payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits, eviction moratoriums and student loans.

Democrats promised last week to file a legal challenge if Trump acted through executive order to circumvent Congress, which has the constitutional authority to determine federal spending.

Trump brushed off those challenges Friday, telling reporters, “You always get sued.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows indicated after talks with Democrats appeared to break down on Friday that Trump could act on his own to implement three pieces under discussion: renewing federal unemployment benefits, extending an eviction moratorium and providing student loan relief.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had previously indicated Trump may have the authority to extend the eviction moratorium.

Trump first threatened Thursday that if a deal was not reached by the end of the week — a largely arbitrary deadline — then he would utilize executive orders to circumvent Congress and enact jobless benefits and an eviction moratorium on his own.

At the last-minute press conference Friday night, Trump said that an executive order was “being drawn right now” and accused Democrats of holding “critical relief hostage.”

The Democratic negotiators, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, told reporters on Friday they had offered the White House a compromise that would have included about $2 trillion in aid, which was rejected.

The greater than trillion-dollar gap remaining between the parties includes their disagreement on continued unemployment benefits. Congress created a $600-a-week additional payment for the jobless earlier this year, but was unable to find a deal to extend the payments after they expired at the end of July.

The two sides also remain apart on how school funding should be disbursed. Pelosi told reporters the White House wants the money to go largely to schools that reopen; Democrats want the aid to also fund schools that are unable to reopen and must spend to launch and implement distance learning programs.



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