Stanley Grossman (past International Treasurer and DNC member) wrote a piece called "Alphabet Soup" for the first Democrats Abroad (DA) Handbook. It was a helpful guide to the many acronyms that are too-easily tossed around our discussions. The latest version of Stanley's work is from 2013 and available
from the DPCA-Leadership archives.
This informal guide draws from Stanley's work and intentions, although it is much less discursive. We hope that these short descriptions will help orient new leaders and we welcome your comments and further questions.
Country Committees are constituent units of Democrats Abroad as defined by the DA Charter. We use the term so often that "CC" has become a very common acronym. Members of DA that don't live in countries served by CCs are served directly by their Regional Vice Chair (RVC).
The financial relationship between CCs and the rest of the Democratic Party can be counter-intuitive. Stanley wrote:
No CC is registered with the FEC... This has several important consequences:
• No CC has to file any report to the FEC: not monthly, not ever.
• There are no limits on how much an individual US citizen can donate to his or her CC. If someone (a US citizen) wanted to give $1 million to DA Moldova, DAM could accept it without violating any US campaign finance law. [Note added in 2017: CCs may not accept donations from corporations of any kind, whether American or not.]
• However, no CC can spend any money on partisan political activity. DAM, for example, could not give any part of its $1 million to any federal candidate or registered political party to pay for a partisan ad promoting any candidate or party. ...
• In particular, this means that a CC cannot give money to the DPCA! This counter intuitive fact is central to all fundraising activities. Individual members of a CC—or, indeed, any American citizen—can give money directly to the DPCA. But money given to a CC can never be passed on to the DPCA. On the other hand, the DPCA can pay directly for any political “communication” organized by a CC.
If you have further questions about CC finances or you are planning extraordinary fundraisers, you must check with the International Treasurer and International Counsel to ensure that the arrangement follows all applicable laws and practices. This short entry isn't enough to make informed decisions!
DPCA = Democratic Party Committee Abroad