Democratic National Committee

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Democratic National Committee
Founded1848;171 years ago (1848) [1] [2]
Headquarters
430 South Capitol St SE,
Washington, D.C. 20003
,
Key people
Website democrats.org

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. [3]

Democratic Party (United States) political party in the United States

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.

Democratic National Convention series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic 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.

President of the United States Head of state and of government of the United States

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.

Contents

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. [3]

The DNC was established at the 1848 Democratic National Convention. [1] 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.

Republican National Committee top institution of the U.S. Republican Party

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.

Campaign role

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. [4] 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] :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.

Chicago delegation to the January 8, 1912 Democratic National Committee Chicago delegation to the January 8, 1912 meeting of the Democratic National Committee.jpg
Chicago delegation to the January 8, 1912 Democratic National Committee

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 ]

United States presidential primary forms part of the nominating process of United States presidential elections

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: [6]

DNC fundraising

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. [7]

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). [8]

The DNC introduced a small-donor fund raising campaign, the Democracy Bonds program, set up by Howard Dean in the summer of 2005. [9] 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). [10]

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. [11] In July 2015, during the 2016 election cycle, the DNC, led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, reversed this policy. [12]

Current leadership

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.

List of DNC Chairs

OfficeholderTermState [20]
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
Thomas Taggart 1904–1908 Indiana
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
George White 1920–1921 Ohio
Cordell Hull 1921–1924 Tennessee
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
Stephen Mitchell 1952–1955 Illinois
Paul M. Butler 1955–1960 Indiana
Henry M. Jackson 1960–1961 Washington
John Moran Bailey 1961–1968 Connecticut
Larry O'Brien 1968–1969 Massachusetts
Fred R. Harris 1969–1970 Oklahoma
Larry O'Brien 1970–1972 Massachusetts
Jean Westwood 1972 Utah
Robert S. Strauss 1972–1977 Texas
Kenneth M. Curtis 1977–1978 Maine
John C. White 1978–1981 Texas
Charles Manatt 1981–1985 California
Paul G. Kirk 1985–1989 Massachusetts
Ron Brown 1989–1993 New York
David Wilhelm 1993–1994 Ohio
Debra DeLee 1994–1995 Massachusetts
Chris Dodd 1
Donald Fowler
1995–1997 Connecticut
South Carolina
Roy Romer 1
Steven Grossman
1997–1999 Colorado
Massachusetts
Ed Rendell 1
Joe Andrew
1999–2001 Pennsylvania
Indiana
Terry McAuliffe 2001–2005 Virginia
Howard Dean 2005–2009 Vermont
Tim Kaine 2009–2011 Virginia
Donna Brazile 22011 Louisiana
Debbie Wasserman Schultz 2011–2016 [21] Florida
Donna Brazile 22016–2017 Louisiana
Tom Perez 2017–present Maryland
1 — General Chair, served concurrently with National Chair (1995–2001)
2 — Interim Chair

Source

List of DNC Deputy Chairs

OfficeholderTermState
Ben Johnson [22] 2003–2005 Maryland
Mike Honda 2003–2005 California
Susan W. Turnbull 2003–2005 Maryland
Keith Ellison 2017–2018 [23] Minnesota

Controversies

Watergate incident

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.

Chinagate

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. [24] [25] [26]

Illegal fund raising

In 2002, the Federal Election Commission fined the Democratic National Committee $115,000 for its part in fundraising violations in 1996. [27]

DNC hacking

Debbie Wasserman Schultz served as DNC chair from 2011 to 2016. DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks to College Democrats.jpg
Debbie Wasserman Schultz served as DNC chair from 2011 to 2016.

Cyber attacks and hacks were claimed by or attributed to various individual and groups such as:

Alleged coordination with Clinton primary campaign

On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released approximately 20,000 DNC emails. [38] 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. [39] The leaked emails spanned sixteen months, terminating in May 2016. [40] 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. [41]

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. [42]

The DNC subsequently filed a lawsuit in federal court against WikiLeaks and others alleging a conspiracy to influence the election. [43]

History

The Democratic Party's national committee has existed since 1848. [44] 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. [45]

See also


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