Party Organization and Financing



As taken from “US Political & Organization”: the naration of party organization comprises of National party, State party and local party: district and county committee. Compared to National party and State party, local party generally doesn’t play important role even in a regional level. In fact, local party aren’t having a functional and essential role. The status of political party can be vary. Political party in United States isn’t literally private organization as well as not fully governmental organization. The exact term used to define the status of political party in US: public institution that is not dependent because their moving is shaped by rules which is made by state legislature. State has authority in establishing political party including specific points: determination about political party, their citizenship how to become a political party membership, and when primary election will be held. In other word, US political party is not fully capable to manage themself as in another democratic nations. This due to the fact that US has experienced which is: state constitution has made possible for state government to fully manage the activity of political party in their own region. There are two reasons why state government inclined to fully control the activity of political party in their region, those are: first, in the early independence there was suspiciousness to the high raising phenomena of political party so that state doesn’t want political party become political power which then outraging—threatening the power of state. Second,after civil war, political parties has been the source of corruption and colution so that makes states inclined to fully control the its life. Political party in US is independent without legitimate membership as parties in Europe. Party is more dependent to its party activist without relying on full support from its member. Organization party in US is more like called as an “election machine” which means as an organization will be very active prior to election.


Organization party in the national extent hosted in Washington DC. National party consists of representative from county distincitve from another. The phenomena is, its leader (national chair person) is not fully recognized by public. If  related party is ruling in White House, then its leader plays as if he were representative of president as if he were a famous political figure.  He plays the interconnectedness between president and congress in which president needs national party leader to contact congress. On the contrary, if related party is not ruling in White House, then its leader will have more significant rule than any ex-president nor lost president candidate. An opposition party leader can easily promote and undergo policy without having adjusted to the present administrative. National party has several ultimate functions: experimenting function, public relation, financing collector and national conferention. Experiment function: done by national party as the preparation to president election nor legistalature election. This makes national party possible to recognize the election pattern done in certain level society and to identify variables related with the election. Public relation function: is closely related with experiment function. This improve what the party has from the result of specific actions so that can help politician appearance. Finance (fund) collector (accumulation): needed to manage party organization in the national, state and local extent. For example, concerning the expansion of Democratic party encourages collector to accumulate huge amount of money. Those fund dedicated to support prior to democratic election process. The specific note for a good fund collector during 1980 was Bill Brock, he was defended by Ronald Reagan as republican leader. The last function is, national conferention: this function places party as the only organization which has the most authority to determine president candidates and party vision.


State party appeared as the model of party leadership. If a party has significantly in rule in certain state, generally an elected governor will be coming from that significant party in which a party leader will establish good cooperation with the elected governor. In fact, a party leader usually an old friend of elected govenor. This condition usually promotes good relationship among them. The financing will be easily conducted and managed because the relationship between executive power and certain political party is well got along. On the contrary, if both parties are in opposition side, then state will be ruled by a leader of state party which is more independent. Both parties will have to find another methods to accumulate donation for its financing. Consequently, leader parties usually will be more both self-sufficient and influential to the state. Besides, state party can appear based on the party system in each state. The party system in state basically distinguished one to another, some states party has significant role in political succesion, particularly on the strong reqruitment of legislature candidate.


The County Committee is composed of all the district committee members in the county. Except in Philadelphia where it is called a city committee, every county has a county committee for each major party. The county chairperson is usually elected by the committee members at a formal meeting. In some counties the chairperson is elected directly by the voters at the primary election. The county chairperson’s influence is strong when decisions are made about nominees, endorsements, appointments, election issues, and campaign strategies.


The District Committee of each party is composed of two people from each  recinct (the election district or precinct is the geographical area in which all voters use the same polling place). Committee members serve for two years and are elected at primary elections in even-numbered years. These two committee members are responsible for keeping in touch with party members in their precinct, for registering new residents in their party, and for getting their party members out to vote. In some areas of the state several election district combine to make up a ward. The ward committee for each party is made up of all the district committee members in that ward. These committee members elect a ward chairperson. If there is no ward, the next level of party organization above the district committee is the city, township, or borough committee. All district committee members are part of one of these committees. They are also members of the county committee.


Fund-raising is a major function of party committees at all levels. Party committees and committees organized to work only for particular candidates are faced with the constant need to raise funds to conduct campaigns. Methods of raising money include mail solicitation, personal contact, bake sales,and receptions and dinners for which tickets are sold. Under Pennsylvania law, which applies to candidates running for local and statewide

office, there are no limits on either campaign expenditures or contributions. Candidates or political committees receiving more than $200 in contributions must file financial reports listing the name, address and occupation of each contributor. A report of all receipts and expenditures must be filed with the state Bureau of Elections prior to the election and a final report must be filed after the election. Candidates for local officers who do not intend to receive or spend more than $200 may simply sign an affidavit to that effect. Campaign expense reporting forms are available from either the county board of elections or the Bureau of Elections. Corporations, associations and unions are prohibited from making political contributions; however, these groups may

form political action committees (PAC’s) through which they may contribute. Political action committees operate under the same reporting rules as other political committees. Candidates in Pennsylvania who are running for national officer must conform to federal laws that limit the amount of money that may

be received from an individual.


US party organization comprises of different arrangement of paties consisting of national party located in US capital city and at the lower level: state party and local party. The most two significants in US party organization is national and state party. Both are conducting different techniques in funding their action and promote their candidate either to run for president or state legislature.


——-. 2005. US Political and Government. the League Women Voters in Pennsylvania.

[1] You may vote for candidates in the primary only if you listed a party affiliation when you registered to vote.


About Renny Candradewi Puspitarini

Lecturer at Panca Marga University Faculty of Social Science and Political Science Department of Public Administration

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