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University of Texas Rio GrandeValleyPolitical Science 2306Fall Semester 2018Notes for First Test on Texas State andLocal PoliticalParties, Interest Groups, andElectionCampaigns____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________What is a Political Party?
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Among the more important third parties today are the Reform Party and the Libertarian Party.Parties are made up of three types of “members”:the office holders and candidatesworkers and activiststhose who vote for the party or consider themselves to be allied orassociated with it.Some past and present Third PartiesThe Structure of Political PartiesThe major political parties are organized at the local (usually county), state, and national levels.Party leaders and activists are involved in choosing people to run for office, managing andfinancing campaigns, and developing positions and policies that appeal to party constituents. Thenational party organizations play key roles in presidential elections.Local party organizationPolitical parties operate at the local level in municipal and county elections (though many citieschoose officials---mayors and members of city council---through nonpartisan elections, in whichcandidates effectively run as independents without party affiliation).Inpartisan elections,the party is involved in identifying candidates, providing professional staff,and taking positions on issues of immediate concern to voters. The party leadership recognizes thatthe interaction between party workers, candidates, and voters is important.In the late 19th century on through a good part of the 20th century, political machines flourished inseveral large cities;Tammany Hallin New York,Frank Haguein Jersey City, thePendergastfamilyin Kansas City, andRichard Daleyin Chicago are examples. The political bosses, the mayors, andthe party leaders used their control of patronage jobs to reward party loyalty and provide a broadrange of social services. Reforms in the civil service and the growth of primary elections graduallybrought an end to machine politics.2
(Tammany Hall:As 19th century immigrants arrived in New York City,they were assisted by Tammany Hall. But Tammany Hall was no longer runby noble-minded people. Organized in 1789, the Society of Saint Tammany(initially created for patriotic and social purposes) had become wedded toNew York City politics. Using a blend of charity and patronage, Tammanymembers initially helped people moving to New York City to find jobs and