Factionalism in the Democratic Party in Winnebago County - 1960
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This paper, in short, attempts to show the reasons for the factional behavior in the Democratic party in Winnebago County in 1960. In preparing this paper, the author used as sources the Rockford newspapers, many charts and statistics obtained from, various sources within the community, and numerous books on political philosophy and political behavior. Some of the theories advanced in the latter material were applied to the specific subject of the paper. In addition, the author interviewed at length upwards of 40 prominent Democrats regarding the party struggle. This paper discusses the reasons for the factional split. The author also shows by means of statistics that the Victory Club (opposition to the regular organization) was led by and received their hard core support from white collar workers living in wards that were predominantly Republican. Housing values that Victory Clubbers represented were usually in excess of those representing the regular organization. A number of political opportunists who craved central committee positions were also found in this group. On the other hand, the hard core of the regular organization came from blue collar workers living in wards where the majority voted Democratic. The houses owned by these people were usually valued at less than homes owned by Victory Clubbers. In addition, the regular organization was in coalition with a strong Italian-American group who were primarily patronage oriented. The paper concludes with a summary of the situation and the suggestion that before real Democratic victory can come to Winnebago County, all of the interest groups which were at odds in 1960 will have to make adjustments in their political philosophy. A unifying factor which can cement together the two consistently antagonistic groups must be found.