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Political parties frame the debate, recruit candidates and raise money.  The Democratic and Republican parties dominate American politics and are organized at the national, state, and local level level.  Other parties (click here) are struggling to gain a foothold.
....Campaign Finance Reform: New law faces many hurdles.

....The Libertarian Party held its 2002 National Convention in Indianapolis on July 3-7; the Green Party held its 2002 Midterm Convention (report) in Philadelphia on July 18-21; and the America First Party held its Founding National Convention in Orlando, Florida on August 8-10.

...The parties gear up for 2002 and beyond.

2002 Election Cycle
National Committees .
Republican National Committee        summary
165 Members of the RNC
Executive Committee: 11 Members
Chairman: Marc Racicot (MT) 
Co-chair: Ann Wagner (MO)
Treasurer: Robert M. "Mike" Duncan (KY)
Secretary: Linda Shaw (NC)
General Counsel: Tom Sansonetti (WY)
Finance Chairman: Lewis M. Eisenberg
Top Political Staff:
Deputy Chairman: Jack Oliver
Deputy Chief of Staff/Exec. Dir. of Political Operations: Terry Nelson
Political Director: Blaise Hazelwood
National Field Director: Randy Kammerdiener
Communications Director: Mindy Tucker
Press Secretary: Jim Dyke
Research Director: Tim Griffin
Director of Network and Online Services: Steve Ellis
Finance Director: Bev Shea
Chief Counsel: Tom Josefiak
Pollster/Strategist: Matthew Dowd
Democratic National Committee        summary
442 Members of the DNC
Executive Committee: 67 Members >
Chairman: Terry McAuliffe
Vice Chairs: Joe Carmichael, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Bill Lynch, Gloria Molina, Lottie Shackelford
Treasurer: Andrew Tobias
Secretary: Alice Travis Germond
National Finance Chair: Maureen White
Top Political Staff:
Chief Operating Officer: Josh Wachs
Chief of Staff: Leah Daughtry
Political Director: Gail Stoltz
Base Vote Director: Mark Spengler
Director of Elections: George Rakis
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs: Ted Nakata
Communications Director: Maria Cardona
Press Secretary: Jennifer Palmieri
Research Director: Jason Miner
Director of Technology and Infrastructure: Doug Kelly
Finance Director: Jay Dunn
General Counsel: Joseph E. Sandler
Senior Counselor/Dir. of Message Dev. and Polling: Michael Meehan
National Chair, Voting Rights Institute: Donna Brazile
Republican Governors Association
Chairman: John G. Rowland (CT)
Vice Chairman: Bill Owens (CO)
Executive Director: Ed Tobin
Policy Director: Flip Casper
Finance Director: Susan Nelson
Corporate Affairs: Tom Katina
Communications Director: Kirsten Fedewa
Democratic Governors Association
Chairman: Parris N. Glendening (MD)
Vice Chairman: Gary Locke (WA)
Executive Director: B.J. Thornberry
Deputy Director: Maureen Garde
Director of Campaigns & Elections: Pam Womack
Director of Policy and Compliance: Cheryl Parker Rose
National Finance Director: John Blandford
Communications Director: Ramona Oliver 
National Republican Congressional Committee
Chairman: Rep. Tom Davis (VA)
Executive Director: John Hishta
Political Director: Michael McElwain
Finance Director: Joe Rachinsky
Communications Director: Steve Schmidt
Research Director: Brian Jones
Legal: Don McGohn (sp?)
...........................................................contribs | expends
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Chairwoman: Rep. Nita M. Lowey (NY)
Executive Director: Howard Wolfson
Political Director: Michael Matthews
National Field Director: Cathy Duvall
Finance Director: Jonathan Mantz
Washington Finance Director: Erin Graefe
Communications Director: Jenny Backus
Research Director: Jamison Foser
CFO: Ann Marie Habershaw
Legal: Judy Corley of Perkins Coie
................................................................contribs | expends
National Republican Senatorial Committee
Chairman: Sen. Bill Frist (TN)
Executive Director: Mitch Bainwol
Political Director: Chris LaCivita
Finance Director: Linus Catignani
Corporate Affairs: Ed Rahal
Communications Director: Ginnie Wolfe
Research Director: J.T. Mastranadi
Legal: Alex Vogel
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Chairwoman: Sen. Patty Murray (WA)
Executive Director: Jim Jordan
Political Director: Andrew Grossman
Finance Director: Diana Rogalle
Communications Director: Tovah Ravitz
Research Director: Michael Gehrke
Legal: Marc E. Elias of Perkins Coie
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
Chairman: Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr (MD) 
Executive Director: Rob Engle
State Parties .
Links to Republican State Parties Link to Democratic State Parties
Official Party Auxiliaries .
National Federation of Republican Women
President: Heidi Smith (NV)
31st Biennial Convention - Sept. 21-23, 2001 in San Antonio, TX.
32nd Biennial Convention -Sept. 19-21, 2003 in Salt Lake City, UT.
National Federation of Democratic Women
Republican National Hispanic Assembly
Chair: Massey Villarreal (TX)
Republican Mayors and Local Officials
President: Patrick McCrory, Mayor of Charlotte, NC
National Conference of Democratic Mayors
Young Republican National Federation
Chair: Dee Dee Benkie (IN).  Co-chair: Michael Mack
National Convention--July 9-13, 2003 in Boston, MA.
Young Democrats of America
President: Scott Butler (GA)
National Convention--August 13-17, 2003 in Buffalo, NY.
College Republican National Committee
Chair: Scott G. Stewart
College Democrats of America
President: Ashley Bell (GA)
National Convention--January 18-20, 2002 in Washington, DC.
National Convention--February 20-23, 2003 in Washington, DC.
Republicans Abroad
Co-Chairs: Joan Shepherd, Christopher Fussner
Democrats Abroad
Chair: Joseph Smallhoover 
Vice Chair: Rachelle Jailer Valladares 
Republican National Lawyers Association
President: Craig S. Burkhardt
Nat'l Fed. of the Grand Order of Pachyderm Clubs, Inc.
President: Joe Briggs (Great Falls, MT)
Partisan Groups  .
Republican Liberty Caucus
represents the G.O.P's libertarian tradition
Democratic Leadership Council
New Democrats
Ripon Society
to promote moderate Republican principles 
(also see: The Moderate Republican)
New Democrat Network
the political action arm of the New Democrat movement 
Republican Leadership Council
emphasizes economic issues and inclusiveness over a narrow moral agenda
Americans for Democratic Action
independent liberal political organization
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
conservative Republican group
National Committee for an Effective Congress
supports progressive candidates
Republican Main Street Partnership
a voice for centrist Republicans
Republican training and education 
21st Century Democrats (formerly Democrats 2000)
recruiting and electing progressive candidates
Republican Jewish Coalition
voice of Jewish Republicans
National Jewish Democratic Council
promoting Jewish values in the Democratic Party
Log Cabin Republicans
gay and lesbian Republican organization
National Convention April 19-21 in Washington, DC.
National Stonewall Democrats
federation which links clubs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democrats 
The WISH List
raises funds for Republican pro-choice women candidates
EMILY's List
electing pro-choice Democratic women candidates
Republican National Coalition for Life
works to ensure adoption of the pro-life plank in the Republican platform 
Democrats for Life of America
elect pro-life Democrats to office and support pro-life Democrats
Republicans for Choice (2)
seeks to remove the anti-choice plank in the Republican platform
Republican Pro-Choice Coalition
seeks to get abortion out of politics
Italian American Democratic Leadership Council

Irish American Democrats

Republicans for Environmental Protection
environmental conscience of the GOP
Teen Age Republicans
House .
Speaker -  Denny Hastert (IL)* Minority Leader - Richard A. Gephardt (MO)*
Majority Leader - Richard A. Armey (TX)* Minority Whip - Nancy Pelosi (CA)*
Majority Whip - Tom DeLay (TX)* Democratic Caucus Chairman - Martin Frost (TX)*
Republican Conference Chair - J.C. Watts (OK)* Democratic Caucus Vice Chair - Robert Menendez (NJ)
Chair, Nat'l Rep. Cong. Comm. - Tom Davis III (VA) Assistant to the Democratic Leader - Rosa DeLauro (CT)
Republican Conference Secretary - Deborah Pryce (OH) Chair, Dem. Congr. Campaign Comm. - Nita M. Lowey (NY)
Republican Policy Comm. Chair - Chris Cox (CA)* Democratic Steering Committee Co-chair - Steny Hoyer (MD)
Chief Deputy Whips - John Lewis (GA), Chet Edwards (TX), Ed Pastor (AZ), Maxine Waters (CA), Max Sandlin (TX), Jan Schakowsky (IL)
Progressive Caucus (57 House members and 1 Senator in the 107th)
Blue Dog Coalition (33 members in the 107th)
Senate .>
Minority Leader - Trent Lott (MS) Majority Leader - Tom Daschle (SD)*
Asst. Minority Ldr/Minority Whip - Don Nickles (OK) Majority Whip - Harry Reid (NV)
Chair, Senate Rep. Conference - Rick Santorum (PA)* Sec. of the Conference - Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Vice Chair, Senate Rep. Conference - Kay Bailey Hutchison  Chief Deputy Whip - John Breaux (LA)
Chair, Rep. Policy Comm. - Larry Craig (ID)* Policy Committee - Byron Dorgan (ND)
Steering and Coordination Committee - John Kerry (MA)
Tech. and Comms. Committee - Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Chair, Nat'l Rep. Sen. Comm. - Bill Frist (TN) Assistant Floor Leader - Richard Durbin (IL)
Chair, Dem. Sen. Campaign Comm. - Patty Murray (WA)
. .
*leadership page

More Parties
In a political landscape dominated by the Democratic and Republican parties, third or minor parties have had trouble getting rooted.  (See Ballot Access News).  Currently, five third parties are working to build a national presence and are running candidates in various states: Greens, Libertarian Party, Natural Law Party, Reform Party, and Constitution Party (formerly U.S. Taxpayers Party). 
Green Party of the United States | Greens/Green Party USA
Libertarian Party
Natural Law Party
Reform Party  | Reform Leadership Council  | American Reform Party  | America First Party
Constitution Party (formerly U.S. Taxpayers Party)

Yet More Parties
In addition, there are a number of other small national parties operating at the fringes:
Communist Party U.S.A.
Labor Party
New Party
Socialist Party USA
Workers World Party

Campaign Finance Reform
Copyright 2002 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.