Democratic National Committee
|Founded||May 22, 1848|
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|Donna Brazile, Interim Chair
Amy Dacey, Executive Director
Andrew Tobias, Treasurer
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Secretary
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 DNC is composed of the chairs and vice-chairs of each state Democratic Party committee and over 200 members elected by Democrats in all 50 states and the territories. Its chairperson is elected by the committee. It conducts fundraising to support its activities.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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:
- Elected members of the Democratic National Committee.
- Sitting Democratic governors and members of Congress.
- Distinguished party leaders, consisting of current and former presidents, vice presidents, congressional leaders, and DNC chairs, are all superdelegates for life.
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 2006, 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).
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. At some time during the 2016 election cycle the DNC, led by Debbie Schultz, reversed this policy.
- National Chair: Debbie Wasserman Schultz (will resign on July 28, 2016)
- Interim National Chair: Donna Brazile
- Vice Chairs:
- Executive Director: Amy Dacey
- Treasurer: Andrew Tobias, businessman, author, and financial self-help guru
- Secretary: Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore
- Communications Director: Luis Miranda
- National Finance Chair: Henry Muñoz III
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.
DNC National Chairs
- The hacker Guccifer 2.0 claimed he leaked the DNC emails to the whistleblowing website Wikileaks
- According to committee officials and security experts, two competing Russian intelligence services were discovered on D.N.C. computer networks sometime in May 2016. One intelligence service achieved infiltration beginning in the summer of 2015 and the other service breached and roamed the network beginning in April 2016. The two groups accessed emails, chats and research on an opposing presidential candidate. They were expelled from the D.N.C. system in June 2016.
On July 22, 2016 Wikileaks released almost 20,000 internal emails from the DNC. According to The Huffington Post, that leak "appears to support the long-held suspicions of some Bernie Sanders supporters that the DNC was working against him" "Leaked emails suggest DNC was conspiring against Bernie Sanders" That leak exposed that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton long before any votes were cast. As the leaked emails cover the January 2015 to May 2016 period. "Most of the emails released come from seven prominent DNC staff members". The hack was claimed by hacker Guccifer 2.0, who wrote, "At last!", and, "Yeah man, as I promised."
- Party History. Retrieved February 17, 2007. Archived November 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Public Funding of Presidential Elections". Federal Election Commission. February 2005. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- "Delegate Selection Materials For the 2016 Democratic National Convention" (PDF). December 15, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- Top Soft Money Donors: 2002 Election Cycle. Retrieved February 17, 2007. Archived August 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2006 Top Contributors: Democratic National Committee. Retrieved February 17, 2007. Archived September 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2006 Democracy Bonds. Retrieved on August 2, 2007. Archived August 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "DNC fined for illegal 1996 fund raising", CNN.com, September 23, 2002. Archived May 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Rhee, Foon (June 5, 2008). "DNC bars Washington lobbyist money". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on July 15, 2008.
- Democratic National Committee (January 22, 2013). "Democratic National Committee Elects New Officers at Meeting in Washington Today". www.democrats.org. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- John Fritze (January 21, 2013). "Rawlings-Blake to take leadership post at DNC". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Lawrence Kestenbaum. "A Database of Historic Cemeteries". The Political Graveyard web site. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
- Joshua Cohen (2011-05-04). "Breaking News: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Elected DNC Chair". Democrats.org. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Nakashima, Ellem (14 June 2016). "Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump". The Washington Post (Washington D C). Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Sanger, David E. and Rick Corasaniti (14 June 2016). "D.N.C. Says Russian Hackers Penetrated Its Files, Including Dossier on Donald Trump". The New York Times (New York City). Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Hanson, Hilary (2016-07-23). "Leaked Emails Suggest DNC Was Conspiring Against Bernie Sanders". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
- Biddle, Sam (2016-07-22). "New Leak: Top DNC Official Wanted to Use Bernie Sanders’s Religious Beliefs Against Him". The Intercept. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
- Uchill, Joe (2016-07-22). "WikiLeaks posts 20,000 DNC emails". The Hill. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
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