Democratic National Committee

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the principal organization governing the United States Democratic Party on a day to day basis. While it is responsible for overseeing the process of writing a platform every four years, the DNC's central focus is on campaign and political activity in support of Democratic Party candidates, and not on public policy. The DNC was established at the 1848 Democratic National Convention.

The Democratic National Committee provides national leadership for the Democratic Party of the United States. It is responsible for promoting the Democratic political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy.

Its main counterpart is the Republican National Committee.

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. 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 (currently Howard Dean) is elected by vote of members of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC is composed of the chairs and vice-chairs of each state Democratic Party 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.

Dean ran against numerous candidates to win his position in early 2005. Rather than focusing just on close "swing states," Dean proposed the "50 State Strategy". His goal is for the Democratic Party to be committed to winning elections at every level in every region of the country, with Democrats organized in every single voting precinct in the country.

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 state. All DNC members are superdelegates and can influence a close Presidential race. Outside of the process of nominating a Presidential candidate, the DNC's role in actually selecting candidates to run on the Democratic Party ticket is minimal.

The chairperson is a superdelegate for life.

DNC fundraising

In the 2001-2005 election cycle, the DNC and its affiliated committees (which includes 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 $9,280,000 was the Saban Capital Group, founded in 2001 by Haim Saban, who also founded Fox Family group. Fred Eychaner, the owner of Newsweb Corporation, gave the second highest amount of money to the DNC and its affiliates, US $7,390,000. The third largest contributor was Steve Bing of Shangri-La Entertainment, who gave US $6,700,000.

In the 2005-2006 election cycle, the DNC raised a total of US $61,141,823, all of it hard money. Most contributions came from small donors, giving less than $250, who accounted for over 80% of total dollars raised in the first half of 2006. The three largest individual contributors were law firm Hill Wallack ($100,000), development firm Jonathan Rose & Co. ($100,000), and investment firm Bain Capital ($53,400).

The DNC also relies on the monthly contributions of over 35,000 small-dollar donors through what is known as the Democracy Bonds program, set up by Howard Dean in the summer of 2005 .

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

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.

Current DNC leadership

The National Advisory Board exists for purposes of fundrasing and advising the executive. The present chair is Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal.

DNC National Chairpersons

Chairperson Term State

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 (1912-1914) New York
Homer S. Cummings (1914-1916) Connecticut
Vance C. McCormick (1916-1919) Pennsylvania
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 H. Boyle, Jr. (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
Lawrence F. O'Brien (1968-1969) Massachusetts
Fred R. Harris (1969-1970) Oklahoma
Lawrence F. O'Brien (1970-1972) Massachusetts
Jean Westwood (1972) Utah
Robert S. Strauss (1972-1977) Texas
Kenneth M. Curtis (1977-1978) Maine (now in Florida)
John C. White (1978-1981) Texas
Charles T. Manatt (1981-1985) California
Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (1985-1989) Massachusetts
Ron Brown (1989-1993) New York
David Wilhelm (1993-1994) Ohio
Debra DeLee (1994-1995) Massachusetts
Christopher J. Dodd1 (1995-1997) Connecticut
Donald Fowler (1995-1997) South Carolina
Roy Romer1 (1997-1999) Colorado
Steven Grossman (1997-1999) Massachusetts
Edward G. Rendell1 (1999-2001) Pennsylvania
Joseph Andrew (1999-2001) Indiana
Terrence R. McAuliffe (2001-2005) Virginia
Howard Dean (2005-) Vermont
1 General Chairperson
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See also

External links

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