Practical Structural Strategy: Building a New National Party?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by one_raven, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I want to form a new National Political Party. I've been researching the laws for weeks and my head is starting to spin.

    I've found lots of information about activity restrictions and funding reporting and voter thresholds and other nuts and bolts, but I can't find any guidance about structure strategy.

    Would the way to do it be to form a State Party Committee, register it as a 527, then expand from there?
    But, states want state parties to focus on state issues, rather than federal.
    Would that mean I'd have to find people from every state to ALSO form State Party Committees, and only THEN form a Federal Party Committee?
    If so, what about central leadership?
    In order to form a Federal Political Party Committee, do you first have to have one at the state level, or can it be formed directly? If so, what are the rules and restrictions around doing that? How exactly IS that done? Is there simply a form that needs to be filled out and a charter attached to?

    This is all very confusing and daunting, and I'd really appreciate some guidance.
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    You can do whatever you want to do. It's your party. If you want a national central committee, that's up to you. But if you want recognition, if you want to appear on ballots, then that's entirely a state issue. There are 50 states and each state has it's own rules and requirements.

    If you want to start a new political party, I suggest you start with your state and then grown into other states if you intend to become a national political party. The process is daunting. You won't start at the top. You need to grow a political party from the ground up. That's what the Green Party has done. That's what the Libertarian Party has done.

    You might first want to begin with a PAC. Each state has its own rules with respect to PACs. But at the federal level you need only fill out federal PAC forms if you spend more than a thousand dollars or want to become an tax exempt organization. You can form all the PACs you want. It's only when you begin spending money that you need to file forms at the federal level.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
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  5. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Is there even an option to form an organization as a 527, without going through a state Political Party Committee?
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  7. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    If you start it as a federation of multiple state parties, how do you maintain central leadership and vision?
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Yes, you first start with a state registered PAC. Then you file for recognition with the IRS. You will also need to file for a Taxpayer ID (TIN). It's really easy. It's how the government identifies you as an entity.

    Once you form a PAC you become subject to filing requirements. You have to report donations and expenditures on a periodic basis.
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  9. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    And the idea would be to use that PAC to fund the the formation of state Party Committees?
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Why do you want to form a political party? Presumably you want to form a new political party because you feel no one is representing your ideas therefore you see a need for a new political party. PAC were created as a tool to help people influence elections. If you feel a new party is needed to influence elections, you can spend PAC money on your new party. You need to check with each state on its rules.
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  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    A longer-term consideration:

    Congratulations! You did it! You created a new national party, won some elections, and now ... what?

    For instance, where did you pick up the votes? This is an important theoretic question because the binary system becomes triune at least; describe, please, how the coalitions work.

    While many discuss a Republican split between conservatives and the alt-Right, the Democratic Party keeps expanding its tent, tying itself in knots to accommodate the newcomers and help them feel welcome, and perpetually alienates its left wing.

    A Green-Democrat or Socialist-Democrat coalition would accomplish what?

    (Toward that end: Are you aware of the term "Blue Dog"? It is possible that the best-case outcome of such a coalition is virtually no practical change after seeing some different letters in parentheses.)​

    A more conservative coalition between, say, alt-Right hardliners and the more centrist-pretending Republican Party would accomplish what?

    In truth, I think the latter has better potential, especially given what we saw in the 2016 cycle.

    And while it is easy enough to guess that I would be displeased with that outcome, neither is that my point.

    I would go so far as to suggest that shortly enough, people would complain about functional reduction to two parties; the sports metaphor would be divisions (Left, Democrat, Republican, Right) within conferences (Liberal, Conservative) within a league (United States). That is to say, everything would be largely as it is, with the main difference that our accusations of corruption and entrenchment get more complicated for the valence of diffusion.

    Honestly, I think there are reasons Americans trend toward two parties; we are a very dualistic society, and also very market-oriented. At the end of the day, the idea of "throwing away your vote" looms; close contests will increase solidarity between coalition factions in order to hold off the common opponent, and the result is dualistic, anyway.​


    More practically speaking, form a club, devise a platform, spread the word as if you're rising a movement, and then, when you're ready, file a candidate and follow the necessary rules to declare, say, the New People's Committee, or whatever you might call the party.

    What will make a national party is the collection of state parties that result. This requires a strong central committee and bureaucracy, and therein lies the danger of concretizing an Establishment, though a party establishment is pretty much inevitable for lasting endeavors.

    Look at CPUSA and the SEP. All they really have, even when we add up their supporters, are the Party Establishments. (Non-participation is a perpetual question of the Left; insurgent-activist participation has brought dubious results; regardless of how one envisions their new party in relationship to the traditional political spectrum, these lessons from history are vital.)

    What made the Libertarian ticket important this year is that they are on the ballot in all states and D.C. This is the eventual goal; you will need your new party to have roots and operations in every state. To be a "national political party", you need to be able to at least purport to win a presidential election, and it's one thing to concede a state in the abstract because, you know, [this candidate] isn't winning Louisiana, but quite another to literally concede, say, North Carolina because you're not on the ballot.

    To that end: I can't help thinking Bill Weld should be president. And what I mean by that is pretty simple: Of Hillary Clinton's opponents, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts was the only one who could remotely hold a candle to her. Quite frankly, in a head to head contest I think he would win. With Weld at the top of the ticket and, you know, a respectable vice presidential candidate at his side―e.g., not the affable but apparently incompetent Gary Johnson―he very well might have been able to wreck the Trump candidacy on the rocks and snatch the presidency from Democrats simply for the fact of giving Republican voters a proper alternative and his ability to draw every remaining hand from the waning centrist bloc of the Republican Establishment.

    Seriously, if Bill Weld, had run atop the Libertarian ticket, campaigning with the incredible grace and acuity he showed, say, in the ostensibly hostile territory of msnbc as Johnson tumbled from the grace of potential into smoking wreckage, he could have been president.

    That's what I saw this year. Or, you know, one among many strange things. It's easy enough to say from this perspective that I would be sanguine with President Weld. Then again there came a point when I was backing Lindsey Graham in the Republican contest on the grounds that he was ostensibly the most capable among the GOP lot, save perhaps for ... uh ... (yawn) ... er ... um ... George ... ah ... George Pa(snore).

    But that's the thing; losing to a capable hand is one thing. I can deal with that. Bill Weld would have been a fine Republican to lose to.

    The key to that potential, though, is being on the ballot in all fifty states, and the District of Columbia. Once you can field a presidential candidate without conceding Electors for not being on the ballot somewhere, you're a proper "national party".

    Which means, yeah, it's going to keep you spinning. Once you figure it out in your state, you get to try again in another. And another. And another. It will be complicated, and expensive. You'll need lawyers. Lots of them.

    Here's a place to start: Secretary of State, Arizona↱. (It was an easy hit on the search; note, at the bottom of the page, "Create a New Political Party" and a current standing minimum petition signature requirement. That's one; forty-nine and the District to go.)

    Good luck.
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  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    A rehab of the national media, especially the news organizations, seems more critical than anything to do with either of the Parties. But that's another topic.

    The only expansion of the Democratic Party's tent since 1968 has been via comparatively high birth and immigration rates among a couple of its key demographics. It hasn't been alienating its left wing - that was marginalized by Hubert Humphrey, permanently - but its libertarian and center factions. It's been shedding people Right and Left both, by its shift toward rightwing authoritarian ideology. It's been losing both the free-market and the union crowd - not an easy trick, but deftly managed by the best professionals Wall Street can supply.

    The upshot of selling its policy initiatives and stances to the high bidders is that it has no intellectual base right now, no cadre of intellectuals to act as media champions - even the centrist Krugmans of this world function mainly as critics and apologists for what its ideology and platform actually contain - although it may pick up a few rightwing pundit types after they get their first unobstructed look at the core of the actual, real life Republican Party they've been marketing.
    And since we already have a Party he could have run in and won - the Democratic Party - why didn't he? And why didn't the Dems attempt to draft him? Primaries are easier to take than nationals, after all.

    Answer that question, and the necessity of a third Party to represent the 2/3 of the country that leans libertarian and/or center-left vanishes. We have had of late two Republican Parties, essentially, and the bigmouth populist "I'm for the people" Republican running in the fascist Party beat the policywonk establishment "I'm the competent one" Republican running in the conservative Party by being more competent at campaigning. What we need from the point of view of voter representation is a second Party, not a third.

    And the Dems are ripe for takeover. The Republicans are set up for the time being - they have their orcs in a line, headed over the cliff into the tar pit with flags flying and bands playing. The Democrats are in a state of muddle - ducks all over the pond, wondering what to do next. Make a flock, say I.
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  13. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
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  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Now With Musical Distractions

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    Click for something entirely unrelated.

    Parody is as parody does, to be certain, but it isn't especially helpful at the moment. That is, I get what you're saying, but, you know ... come on.

    I can, at least, say this:

    My civil rights and quality of life.

    My daughter's human rights and quality of life.

    The difference between Democrat and Republican still has tremendous impact in people's lives.

    The way I see it, voters bear some responsibility in many of the outcomes they lament. To wit, these days I joke that the Blue Dog Caucus wasn't exactly just for a lark. Funny, that; it seems an awfully obscure joke, except you might be surprised how often it comes up. Or not; a lot of people seem to operate under some mistaken notion that the Democratic Party is somehow a liberal party.

    Per your analysis of factions, I would suggest they're not exactly shedding centrists if the definition of the center keeps moving. To wit, if the center keeps drifting rightward, yesterday's centrist becomes tomorrow's liberal, simply by dynamic redefinition. The unanchored American center is a problematic calculation to account, to say the least.

    To the other, this disaster can make me sound like a conservative on one point: I'm not giving over the Electoral College unless the nation sits down and has a long, detailed, sincere, mature discussion about states' rights, first. To the other, my actual worry is that the closer we get to thirty-seven states, the closer we get to a shooting war; there are a number of issues we need, as a society, to resolve before we abandon the College. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we must keep the College. Rather, we're not going to war over this; I refuse to let conservatives have that. The Republic will survive, and that in itself will piss them off.

    History will record a zeitgeist defining Donald Trump's election as the most powerful anti-American demonstration ever recorded.

    You know, there's that question that comes up from somewhere in libertarian or conservative quarters, when there is a big riot, about how minorities take it out on their own neighborhoods. In the voter dissatisfaction narrative, we're looking at a bunch of Americans actually trying to burn down the Republic.

    Still, inasmuch as we might make a flock, or form a line and swim↱, what's the new establishment, and how quickly does it ossify↱? Oh, wait, I should be more hopeful. Opening bid: Warren as Dem Senate Leader, with Murray holding the Whip. And take back the House, as Simon Johnson↱ puts it, though I would also point to the version, two days later, under the title "3 Reasons the Trump coalition will crumble―and Democrats will need to pick up the pieces"↱, because that makes the point more directly. Johnson's subheader at Moyers & Company reads, "As Trump's coalition begins to crumble, will the Democrats propose a more credible (and more widely believed) alternative than what they just put forward?" In either case I doubt the proposition of the "Trump coalition", such as it is, crumbling. This is, of course, one of those things I dearly hope to be wrong about, but as I suggested elsewhere↱:

    Do Donald Trump's voters actually care? Is that question remotely relevant? Once again we face the linchpin of the great #trumpswindle, whether Trump voters are marks or in on the grift. To that end, the "Trump coalition" won't so much crumble as finally implode for the weight of its own antithetical excess, but meanwhile such bedfellows will hang together because, given the choice between infamous dupes or notorious swindlers, most Trump supporters will prefer to not be seen as stupid.

    I digress. Sort of. Mr. Johnson is correct that Democrats need to figure out how to take back the House; that will force them to reckon with the deficit they have built for themselves in rural and exurbian local contests; it will allow them to help their state organizations make progress in the legislatures and governors' mansions ... hopefully.

    Then again, if some of these areas and blocs are so shot through with traditionalist supremacism, the question of who the Democrats sell out becomes proverbially interesting, to say the least.


    Johnson, Simon. "3 Reasons the Trump coalition will crumble―and Democrats will need to pick up the pieces". Salon. 18 November 2016. 2 December 2016.

    —————. "Take Back the House". Moyers & Company. 16 November 2016. 2 December 2016.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Absolutely. Nobody is saying there is no significant difference between a fascist and a conservative Party. A regular Eisenhower Republican, like Clinton, gets my vote in a heartbeat over anyone from the seething monster bucket that the official Republican Party has become.

    But that leaves a whole lot of people without representation, while handing Party status to what should be a faction of whichever Party represents rightwing conservatives.
    "Dynamic redefinition" based on the Party's wanderings? Are we going to change all the dictionary definitions to match Wasserman-Schultz's campaign platforms? And what are we going to call the erstwhile liberals, lefties, etc?

    The political spectrum is not centered by definition on the Democratic Party's latest position, whatever it may be.

    There is a reality. Rightwing authoritarians and conservatives do not become liberals because some Party shifts toward their beliefs. The Party becomes conservative. And when it does, some liberal and center-left people formerly at its center, with representation in the mainstream establishment of the Party, find themselves off to the side, not represented as strongly if at all. Unions, for example, find themselves without Party representation in major trade negotiations and immigration policy decisions.

    If they have no reliable representation in either Party, their voting decisions become unstable.

    Most Americans - the majority of the voters - are currently to the left of both major Parties on important economic issues (e.g. single payer health care, 3/5 public support). Most Americans - the majority of the voters - are currently more libertarian than both major Parties on important security and legal issues (e.g. drug laws and warrantless internet surveillance). The main reason for that is the drift of the Democratic Party to the authoritarian Right.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    You know, Ice, it would be helpful if you could put your petulant side away for a while.

    Dynamic redefinition as we've seen in history. Hey, I got one: 2007's Democrats land to the right of 1970s Republicans on FISA. Here's another one: "Superpredators". You want another? Welfare reform. Balanced budget.

    This is what gets me about your view of politics and history: We voters aren't victims. People talk about what the parties and politicians do as if we voters have no say. The Democrats have never learned to tell people to fuck off the way Republicans have; voters don't reward Democrats for insanity the way they do Republicans.

    But, seriously, tough on crime? Fix the deficit? Welfare reform? National security? The Democrats don't wander through policy arbitrarily. They're trying to meet voters. Doesn't mean they're doing it well, but they never have quite figured out what to do about the idea that in one cycle the voters will demand bipartisanship, and then punish them in the next for selling out. That and they're really elitist because they keep making the mistake of presuming voters smarter than they really are.

    Like Bill Clinton's rightward roll on the economy. We could have sent Jerry Brown, that year, you know. We could have sent more liberal candidates. I'll make the joke, same as anyone else―Bill Clinton as the best Republican president in history―but I don't pretend it was all for a lark.

    To wit, how liberal a platform do Democrats have to throw down in order to sweep the midwest? Human rights for women, human rights for transgender, food security, single payer, police reform including sending a whole bunch of corrupt cops to prison―thousands of them―end of private contract prisons, proper school funding, child care, public option tuition, and serious discussions about firearm safety including powerful legal repercussions for safety violations, paid for with tax increases and a twenty-five percent cut to the defense budget.

    Tell me it'll play in Peoria. Or Ames. Wait, where ... oh, right.

    I get that your obsession with the outgoing DNC chair is strong, just like your hatred of Hillary Clinton and Amy Klobuchar, but really―

    ―quit wasting yourself on the petulance. Unstaple yourself from this cycle; there's more history in all this, and it would be useful if someday you could actually acknowledge that, yes, voters play a role in political outcomes, because ths short answer is pretty damn obvious: No, dynamic redefinition according to voters. Duh.

    Follow the bouncing ball of the individual mandate, from the time the Heritage Foundation decided it might be a good idea to fend off single-payer, through the time Republicans used it to kick Hillary Clinton's ass on health reform, to the time a Republican governor got it passed in a state. This is a pretty clear market dynamic.

    It's one thing for Democratic supporters to have groaned when that's the path Obama followed, but voters redefined their stance and apparently decided they no longer liked this idea.

    Republicans vilified Bob Dole as a Nazi and got away with it. The fuck you want anyone to do about that kind of voter ethic? I admit I'm stumped. Or not, but the proposition that Democrats and liberals need to find a narrative that overcomes fear is just a bit vague.

    Hardline right-wing voters are one thing. But that speaks nothing of Democratic voters or the so-called independents; statistically speaking, there is significant overlap between people who wanted bipartisan health reform solutions and those who vilify the PPACA. This isn't some easy talking point, but an exposed tip of a mystery.

    The Republican Bill Clinton joke; voters today might complain about what the politicians did to them in Clinton's day, but at the time a lot of it was what voters wanted the politicians to do. And as you're aware, Americans can be like this quite often.

    One thing I've never figured is the period before reset; I suspect it's entirely neurotic. But between September, 2001 and November, 2002 isn't quite a fair measure, though we already had rumblings toward war; 9/11 through November, 2004? Maybe. But it was definitely in effect by Spring, 2007, when Congressional Democrats began "owning" the war for being the purse strings, and Republicans actually tried to blame them for invading Iraq.

    For me it's kind of like we can say what we want about the media, but, you know, while it doesn't have to be a perfectly ironic forty-seven percent, it often seems like a Republican can say whatever the hell he wants and it automatically becomes a forty to forty-five percent market sector.

    That Republicans never have to be honest―at all, even once we factor in the fudge factors people allow for the fact of "politicians"―is up to the voters.

    (Edit: Revise and extend my remarks; 4 Dec. 2016, 9.15 PT)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It's not hatred, you Fox-addled bozo, it's depression. This shit is getting old. How big a two by four do they need to be belted with, before they wake up?
    If the Dems think the voters have ever demanded that they sell out, or that selling out is what anyone meant by "bipartisanship", it's not the voters's intelligence they are overestimating.

    I submit to you that Clinton's vote on the Iraq War (the point at which she lost the Presidency, according to observers at the time) was an underestimation, not an overestimation, of the voter's intelligence. And that such underestimations, driving as they appear to her entire career and the DNC itself, contribute significantly to the aura of "elitist" those asshats cannot ever, ever shake.
    There's a depressing thought. That show the DNC just put on was made up of sincere attempts to ingratiate themselves with voters. Wow.
    So do your redefining according to the voters - - - the mass of which are currently left and libertarian of both major political Parties, in various quite significant ways.

    It still won't help you think. It's one thing to note that the center of anything - the Party, the voting public, whatever - has moved. It's another to relabel your scales and rename the positions on them. That just obscures the motion and new position of the "center". Muddle yourself enough with "redefinitions", you'll stop making sense altogether.

    Back in the last century, most of the Dems and Inds and even many Reps (more than 2/3 of the voting public actually surveyed) who were offered a choice of actual plans wanted some kind of single payer or related setup, most of the insurance industry wanted something like this kludge we have now. And so there was a political battle, in Congress. Clinton lost a negotiation in which she had taken all the single payer options off the table in advance, and written in some insurance company preferences - and thus had no leverage with the voters or the insurance companies, since the Republicans pushed the insurance company Plan A, what we have now, unipartisanly, with solid backing. What we have now was never "bipartisan", in other words, but pushed by different Parties at different times - it was the Republican plan of 1993, pushed unipartisanly at that time to wreck health care reform, converted to the Democratic plan of 2010, likewise unipartisan, presented as the best anyone could do given that the voters obviously would not permit anything that made sense or inconvenienced an insurance company. Those silly, silly, voters - who still favored a single payer setup, btw, about 2/1. The voters haven't moved much, on this issue, in forty years - except to clear some of the racial brush, which brings a single payer setup even closer.

    And so the voters - who consistently over two generations have wanted an adult negotiation among all their representatives, "bipartisan", to provide them with a competently structured single-payer setup of some kind - turn out to be unhappy with a childishly negotiated and incompetently structured unipartisan dogfight setup that burdens them with reams of paperwork and mandates huge and rapidly rising payouts to a swarm of profiteering corporate interests. How strangely fickle of them. And when they are unhappy and betrayed, they are easy marks for cons. Who could have guessed?

    The mystery of it all is indeed deep. Will we ever plumb its depths?

    To repeat the overlooked:

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