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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the formal governing body for the United States Democratic Party. The committee coordinates strategy to support Democratic Party candidates throughout the country for local, state, and national office. It organizes the Democratic National Convention held every four years to nominate and confirm a candidate for president, and to formulate the party platform. While it provides support for party candidates, it does not have direct authority over elected officials.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.
The Democratic National Convention (DNC) is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic Party. They have been administered by the Democratic National Committee since the 1852 national convention. The primary goal of the Democratic National Convention is to nominate and confirm a candidate for president and vice president, adopt a comprehensive party platform and unify the party. Pledged delegates from all fifty U.S. states and from American dependencies and territories such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and superdelegates which are unpledged delegates representing the Democratic establishment, attend the convention and cast their votes to choose the Party's presidential candidate. Like the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention marks the formal end of the primary election period and the start of the general election season.
The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
The DNC is composed of the chairs and vice-chairs of each state Democratic Party committee and more than 200 members elected by Democrats in all 50 states and the territories. Its chair is elected by the committee. It conducts fundraising to support its activities.
The DNC was established at the 1848 Democratic National Convention.The DNC's main counterpart is the Republican National Committee.
The 1848 Democratic National Convention, a presidential nominating convention of United States Democratic Party delegates representing all thirty states in the union at the time, met in Baltimore on May 22, 1848.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is a U.S. political committee that provides national leadership for the Republican Party of the United States. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. It is also responsible for organizing and running the Republican National Convention. Similar committees exist in every U.S. state and most U.S. counties, although in some states party organization is structured by congressional district, allied campaign organizations being governed by a national committee. Ronna Romney McDaniel is the current committee chairwoman.
The DNC is responsible for articulating and promoting the Democratic platform and coordinating party organizational activity. When the president is a Democrat, the party generally works closely with the president. In presidential elections it supervises the national convention and, both independently and in coordination with the presidential candidate, raises funds, commissions polls, and coordinates campaign strategy. Following the selection of a party nominee, the public funding laws permit the national party to coordinate certain expenditures with the nominee, but additional funds are spent on general, party-building activities.There are state committees in every state, as well as local committees in most cities, wards, and towns (and, in most states, counties).
The chairperson of the DNC is elected by vote of members of the Democratic National Committee. 5 The DNC is composed of the chairs and vice-chairs of each state Democratic Party's central committee, two hundred members apportioned among the states based on population and generally elected either on the ballot by primary voters or by the state Democratic Party committee, a number of elected officials serving in an ex officio capacity, and a variety of representatives of major Democratic Party constituencies.:
An ex officio member is a member of a body who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term ex officio is Latin, meaning literally "from the office", and the sense intended is "by right of office"; its use dates back to the Roman Republic.
The DNC establishes rules for the caucuses and primaries which choose delegates to the Democratic National Convention, but the caucuses and primaries themselves are most often run not by the DNC but instead by each individual state. Primary elections, in particular, are invariably conducted by state governments according to their own laws. Political parties may choose to participate or not participate in a state's primary election, but no political party executives have any jurisdiction over the dates of primary elections, or how they are conducted.[ citation needed ]
The presidential primary elections and caucuses held in the various states, the District of Columbia, and territories of the United States form part of the nominating process of candidates for United States presidential elections. The United States Constitution has never specified the process; political parties have developed their own procedures over time. Some states hold only primary elections, some hold only caucuses, and others use a combination of both. These primaries and caucuses are staggered, generally beginning sometime in January or February, and ending about mid-June before the general election in November. State and local governments run the primary elections, while caucuses are private events that are directly run by the political parties themselves. A state's primary election or caucus is usually an indirect election: instead of voters directly selecting a particular person running for president, they determine the number of delegates each party's national convention will receive from their respective state. These delegates then in turn select their party's presidential nominee. The first state in the United States to hold its presidential primary was New Hampshire in 1920.
Outside of the process of nominating a presidential candidate, the DNC's role in actually selecting candidates to run on the party ticket is minimal.[ citation needed ]
All DNC members are superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention whose role can influence a close primary race. These delegates, officially described as "unpledged party leader and elected official delegates," fall into three categories based on other positions they hold:
In the 2002 election cycle, the DNC and its affiliated committees (which include numerous local committees and committees formed to coordinate expenditures for specific districts or races) raised a total of US$162,062,084, 42% of which was hard money. The largest contributor, with US$7,297,937 was the Saban Capital Group, founded in 2001 by Haim Saban. Fred Eychaner, the owner of Newsweb Corporation, gave the second highest amount of money to the DNC and its affiliates, US$5,175,000. The third largest contributor was Steve Bing of Shangri-La Entertainment, who gave US$4,758,000.
In the 2006 election cycle, the DNC raised a total of US$37,939,887. The three largest contributors were investment bank Goldman Sachs (US$225,600). University of California (US$121,980) and Pond North LLP (US$109,296).
The DNC introduced a small-donor fund raising campaign, the Democracy Bonds program, set up by Howard Dean in the summer of 2005.There were only 31,000 Democracy Bond donors by May 2006, off-pace from the goal of 1 million donors by 2008. The program no longer is in place.
In the 2016 election cycle, the DNC raised a total of US$75,945,536 as of July 21, 2016. The three largest contributors were hedge fund Renaissance Technologies (US$677,850), Newsweb Corp (US$334,000) and Total Wine (US$298,100).
In June 2008, after Senator Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Dean announced that the DNC, emulating the Obama campaign, would no longer accept donations from federal lobbyists.In July 2015, during the 2016 election cycle, the DNC, led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, reversed this policy.
In addition, a National Advisory Board exists for purposes of fundraising and advising the executive. The present chair is Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal.
|Benjamin F. Hallett||1848–1852||Massachusetts|
|Robert Milligan McLane||1852–1856||Maryland|
|David Allen Smalley||1856–1860||Vermont|
|August Belmont||1860–1872||New York|
|Augustus Schell||1872–1876||New York|
|Abram Stevens Hewitt||1876–1877||New York|
|William H. Barnum||1877–1889||Connecticut|
|Calvin Stewart Brice||1889–1892||Ohio|
|William F. Harrity||1892–1896||Pennsylvania|
|James K. Jones||1896–1904||Arkansas|
|Norman E. Mack||1908–1912||New York|
|William F. McCombs||1912–1916||New York|
|Vance C. McCormick||1916–1919||Pennsylvania|
|Homer S. Cummings||1919–1920||Connecticut|
|Clem L. Shaver||1924–1928||West Virginia|
|John J. Raskob||1928–1932||New York|
|James A. Farley||1932–1940||New York|
|Edward J. Flynn||1940–1943||New York|
|Frank C. Walker||1943–1944||Pennsylvania|
|Robert E. Hannegan||1944–1947||Missouri|
|J. Howard McGrath||1947–1949||Rhode Island|
|William M. Boyle||1949–1951||Missouri|
|Frank E. McKinney||1951–1952||Indiana|
|Paul M. Butler||1955–1960||Indiana|
|Henry M. Jackson||1960–1961||Washington|
|John Moran Bailey||1961–1968||Connecticut|
|Fred R. Harris||1969–1970||Oklahoma|
|Robert S. Strauss||1972–1977||Texas|
|Kenneth M. Curtis||1977–1978||Maine|
|John C. White||1978–1981||Texas|
|Paul G. Kirk||1985–1989||Massachusetts|
|Ron Brown||1989–1993||New York|
| Chris Dodd 1|
|1995–1997|| Connecticut |
| Roy Romer 1|
|1997–1999|| Colorado |
| Ed Rendell 1|
|1999–2001|| Pennsylvania |
|Donna Brazile 2||2011||Louisiana|
|Debbie Wasserman Schultz||2011–2016||Florida|
|Donna Brazile 2||2016–2017||Louisiana|
|1 — General Chair, served concurrently with National Chair (1995–2001)|
2 — Interim Chair
|Susan W. Turnbull||2003–2005||Maryland|
In the 1970s, the DNC had its head office in the Watergate complex, which were burglarized by entities working for Richard Nixon's administration during the Watergate scandal.
The Chinagate was an alleged effort by the People's Republic of China to influence domestic American politics prior to and during the Clinton administration and also involved the fund-raising practices of the administration itself.
In 2002, the Federal Election Commission fined the Democratic National Committee $115,000 for its part in fundraising violations in 1996.
Cyber attacks and hacks were claimed by or attributed to various individual and groups such as:
On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released approximately 20,000 DNC emails.Critics claimed that the Committee unequally favored Hillary Clinton and acted in support of her nomination while opposing the candidacy of her primary challenger Bernie Sanders. Donna Brazile corroborated these allegations in an excerpt of her book published by Politico in November 2017, and also claimed that the Clinton campaign bought control of the DNC. The leaked emails spanned sixteen months, terminating in May 2016. The hack was claimed by Guccifer 2.0, but several cybersecurity firms believe this assertion is false, instead alleging that the hacks were perpetrated by Russia, as mentioned above.
The WikiLeaks releases led to the resignations of Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Communications Director Luis Miranda, Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall and Chief Executive Amy Dacey.
The DNC subsequently filed a lawsuit in federal court against WikiLeaks and others alleging a conspiracy to influence the election.
The Democratic Party's national committee has existed since 1848.During the 1848 Democratic National Convention, a resolution was passed creating the Democratic National Committee, composed of thirty members, one person per state, chosen by the states' delegations, and chaired by Benjamin F. Hallett.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States House of Representatives, working to elect Democrats to that body and discourage primary challengers. The DCCC recruits candidates, raises funds, and organizes races in districts that are expected to yield politically notable or close elections. The structure of the committee consists, essentially, of the Chairperson, their staff, and other Democratic members of Congress that serve in roles supporting the functions of the committee.
Donna Lease Brazile is an American political strategist, campaign manager, political analyst, author, and Fox News contributor. She is a member of the Democratic Party, briefly serving as the interim chairperson for the Democratic National Committee in spring 2011, and assumed that role again in July 2016, until February 2017.
Deborah Wasserman Schultz is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Florida's 23rd congressional district, first elected to Congress in 2004. A Democrat, she is a past Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Roger Jason Stone Jr. is an American political consultant, author, lobbyist and strategist known for his use of opposition research, usually for candidates of the Republican Party. Since the 1970s, Stone has worked on the campaigns of Republican politicians including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole and Donald Trump.
WikiLeaks is an international non-profit organisation that publishes news leaks, and classified media provided by anonymous sources. Its website, initiated in 2006 in Iceland by the organisation Sunshine Press, claims a database of 10 million documents in 10 years since its launch. Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, is generally described as its founder and director. Since September 2018, Kristinn Hrafnsson has served as its editor-in-chief.
The 2016 Democratic National Convention was a presidential nominating convention, held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 25 through to July 28, 2016. The convention gathered delegates of the Democratic Party, the majority of them elected through a preceding series of primaries and caucuses, to nominate a candidate for president and vice president in the 2016 United States presidential election. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was chosen as the party's nominee for president by a 54% majority of delegates present at the convention roll call, defeating primary rival Senator Bernie Sanders, who received 46% of votes from delegates, and becoming the first female candidate to be formally nominated for president by a major political party in the United States. Her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia, was confirmed by delegates as the party's nominee for vice president by acclamation.
The 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses were a series of electoral contests organized by the Democratic Party to select the 4,051 delegates to the Democratic National Convention held July 25–28 and determine the nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The elections took place within all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories and occurred between February 1 and June 14, 2016.
Jennifer Palmieri is the former White House Director of Communications and Director of Communications for the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.
Fancy Bear is a Russian cyber espionage group. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has said with a medium level of confidence that it is associated with the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and security firms SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and Fireeye's Mandiant, have also said the group is sponsored by the Russian government. In 2018, an indictment by the United States Special Counsel identified Fancy Bear as two GRU units known as Unit 26165 and Unit 74455.
Timothy A. "Tim" Canova is an American politician and law professor specializing in banking and finance. Canova sought to represent Florida's 23rd congressional district, challenging then-Democratic National Committee chair, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in the August 30, 2016, Florida Democratic Party primary election. On June 15, 2017, Canova confirmed that he would again challenge Wasserman-Schultz in the 2018 Democratic Primary. On April 2, 2018, he announced that he would instead be challenging her in the general election as an independent candidate. Canova received 4.9 percent of the vote in his second attempt to oust Wasserman Schultz.
The Democratic National Committee cyber attacks took place in 2015 and 2016, in which computer hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer network, leading to a data breach. Some cybersecurity experts, as well as the U.S. government, stated that the cyberespionage was the work of Russian intelligence agencies.
The 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak is a collection of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails stolen by one or more hackers operating under the pseudonym "Guccifer 2.0" who are alleged to be Russian intelligence agency hackers, according to indictments carried out by the Mueller investigation. These emails were subsequently published (leaked) by DCLeaks in June and July 2016 and by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016, just before the 2016 Democratic National Convention. This collection included 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the DNC, the governing body of the United States' Democratic Party. The leak includes emails from seven key DNC staff members, and date from January 2015 to May 2016.
"Guccifer 2.0" is a persona which claimed to be the hacker(s) that hacked into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer network and then leaked its documents to the media, the website WikiLeaks, and a conference event. According to indictments in February 2018, the persona is operated by Russian military intelligence (GRU). Some of the documents Guccifer 2.0 released to the media appear to be forgeries cobbled together from public information and previous hacks, which had been salted with disinformation. On July 13, 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 GRU agents for allegedly perpetrating the cyberattacks.
The murder of Seth Rich occurred on Sunday, July 10, 2016, at 4:20 a.m. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Rich died from two gunshot wounds to the back. He was murdered by unknown perpetrators for unknown reasons, but police suspected he had been the victim of an attempted robbery.
DCLeaks is a website that was established in June 2016. Since its creation, it has been responsible for publishing leaks of emails belonging to multiple prominent figures in the United States government and military. Cybersecurity research firms say the site is a front for the Russian cyber-espionage group Fancy Bear. On July 13, 2018, an indictment was made against 12 Russian GRU military officers; it alleges that DC Leaks is part of a Russian military operation.
In March 2016, the personal Gmail account of John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff and chair of Hillary Clinton's 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, was compromised in a data breach, and some of his emails, many of which were work-related, were stolen. Cybersecurity researchers as well as the United States government attributed responsibility for the breach, which was accomplished via a spear-phishing attack, to the hacking group Fancy Bear, allegedly affiliated with Russian intelligence services.
The Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goal of harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, and increasing political discord in the United States. Russia's covert activities were first publicly disclosed by members of the United States Congress on September 22, 2016, confirmed by the United States Intelligence Community on October 7, 2016, and further detailed by the Director of National Intelligence office three months later. According to U.S. intelligence agencies, the operation was ordered directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Former FBI director Robert Mueller led the Special Counsel investigation into the interference from May 2017 to March 2019.
The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election is a non-fiction book by Malcolm Nance about what the author describes as Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. It was published in paperback, audiobook, and e-book formats in 2016 by Skyhorse Publishing. A second edition was also published the same year, and a third edition in 2017. Nance researched Russian intelligence, working as a Russian interpreter and studying KGB history.
Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections was a report issued by the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence that made an assessment of the extent and basis of Russia's supposed interference in United States' elections in 2016. Published on January 6, 2017, the report includes an appraisal by the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the type and breadth of action allegedly undertaken by Russia and affiliated elements during the elections. The report examines Russia's alleged utilization of cyberspace such as hacking and the use of internet trolls and bots, and an intensive media campaign to influence public opinion in the United States. Additionally, it analyzes Russia's intentions and motivations in regards to the alleged influence campaign. Issued in two forms, a classified version and a declassified version, the report included no verifiable evidence, but claimed to draw its conclusions based on highly classified intelligence, an understanding of past Russian actions, and sensitive sources and methods.
Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation, et al. is a civil lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Russian Federation and other entities and individuals. The case, relating to Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, was filed on April 20, 2018. Judge John G. Koeltl will preside over the case.
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