Political Review (*)
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right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged by US or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude
right of citizens of US to vote shall not be denied or abridged by US or by any State on account of sex
right of citizens to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax
What factors give incumbents in House and Senate the edge in election campaigns?
name recognition, credit claiming, casework, franking privilege, access to media, ease in fund-raising, experience in running a campaign, redistricting
What are the roots of the federal judiciary?
- -Framers gave federal judges tenure for life “with good behavior
- -Hamilton argued “independence of judges” was needed to guard Constitution and rights of individuals
What areas are within the original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court?
- •Two or more states
- •Maritime issues
- –Four % of the Supreme Court’s caseload
What are the most important duties of the Chief Justice?
- –Impeachment Trials: Presides over impeachment trials of President
- –Seniority: Chairs weekly conference where cases are discussed and voted on by the Justices
Cases with certain characteristics are more likely to be heard
- •involve federal government as a party
- •presenting federal question based on claim under Constitution
- •involving civil suits in which citizens are from different states
- •Unresolved cases can be heard by Courts of Appeals and then Supreme Court
What are the two types of filing petitions in the
Writ of Certiorari and In forma pauperis
What occurs in the weekly conference?
- -Friday Conference (weekly); secret
- •Once petition accepted, schedules oral arguments
- •2/3rds (6) of justices must be present
- •30 min argument given by one lawyer on each side
- •After oral argument Justices
- •Most senior Justice (majority) assigns task of writing majority opinion. Majority opinion speaks for final decision of Court
- •Most senior Justice (minority) decides who will write dissenting decision
Typically federal judges have...
- –held previous political office such as prosecutor/state court judge
- –political experience such as running campaign
- –prior judicial experience
- –traditionally been mostly white males
- –been lawyers
What are the important criteria for federal judges?
- -No constitutional qualifications
- -Ideology/Policy Preferences
- -Pursuit of Political Support
- -Race and gender
What is the total number of electors in the Electoral College and how many electoral votes are required to win the presidency?
538 electoral votes, majority of 270 wins the presidency
How is the number of electors from each state selected?
The number of electors is determined by the federal representation for each state
What is the process for choosing electors?
- •On Election Day, voters in each state
- cast their ballot for slate of electors
•slate of electors for presidential ticket that receives most votes is appointed
- •candidate needs to win a majority of electoral votes- 270
- •December, the electors cast their ballots for president & vice president
- •Votes are counted at joint session of Congress
Campaigns for the presidency as well as Congress are very expensive. How much do the average House and Senate races cost in 2012?
House races can cost over $5 million, Senate races can cost more than $10 million
How much was spent in the presidential races of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney?
Where does the money come from for a political campaign?
Most political money (except Super PACS) is regulated by federal government under Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971, 1974, and 1976
How much can an individual give to a candidates political campaign?
- -maximum of $47,500 in gifts to all candidates combined each year per two-year cycle
- -up to $78,800 to all PACs and parties each year
Who do Political Action Committees (PACs) give their money to?
national parties and congressional candidates
What is the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and how does it work?
- -Public funds; donations from tax revenues to campaigns of qualifying candidates
- -Only presidential candidates receive public funds
- -Candidates can apply for federal matching funds for every dollar raised from individuals in amounts less that $251
Are most of the Super PAC funds spent to support candidates or to oppose candidates?
They may raise and spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates
- •Income: higher incomes; higher tendency to vote
- •Age: older vote more often than younger
- •Gender: women, higher tendency to vote for Democrats
- •Race: whites tend to vote more than African-Americans
- •Education: No College Degree, some college, postgraduate (Dem) & college for Rep
- •Religion: Jewish vote more for Dem, Protestant for Rep
- •Location: Northeast for Dem, South for Rep
- •Marital Status: married for Rep, single for Dem
- •Ideology: Liberal for Dem, Conservative for Rep
What the roots of the American party system?
- -Hamilton and Jefferson, as heads of Federalist and Anti-Federalist groups are often considered “fathers” of modern party system
- -South went for Democrats, North went for Republicans
What was the role of the two political parties in the years 1870 to 1920?
They helped new immigrants settle in, provided jobs, social services, community events, and gave food and housing to the poor
In 1920’s through 1950 the role of party declined. What were some of factors involved?
- -flow of immigrants
- -government taking over important functions
- -World War II
What are the functions of the American party system?
- -to resolve political and social conflicts
- -Mobilizing Support and Gathering Power
- -Force for Stability (moderate public opinion)
- -recruit candidates for political office
- -provide organization, money, and people to run election campaigns
- -Policy Formulation and Promotion
Why do third parties arise?
- –Sectionalism (Dixiecrats)
- –Economic protest: Believed government should work on behalf of common people
- –Specific issues: Green Party and Environment
- –Ideology: Socialists, Communists
- –Charismatic personalities
- –Failures of major parties
Why do third parties tend to remain minor?
- •Electoral system
- •Dem & Rep in state legislatures protect their interests; automatic place on ballot
- •Legislatures are organized on party basis and aim to perpetuate that arrangement
- •generous public funding of campaigns
- •News media tendencies
- •Voter behavior
- •Can’t win syndrome
- •State laws
What is the current Tea Party Movement?
•driven by: Growing federal government, Rapidly expanding budget, Rapidly growing debt
What beliefs drive this movement?
- -more concerned about shaping people’s attitudes about where country is going than being involved in political campaigns
- -no: actual “Tea Party”, single leader, party structure, defining issue
Who is the Tea Party?
- -1500 adults throughout U.S. including 881 who said they were supporters
- Demographics: men (59%), white (89%), age 45+ (75%), college students (37%)
5 Main Functions of Interest Groups
- -To give voice to public
- –To give members sense of political power through participation
- –To inform and educate public concerning their issues
- –To give focus to issues that are often ignored
- –To assess effectiveness of government programs
What do Interest Groups do?
-lobbying or seeking to influence and persuade others to support your group's position
What are lobbyists and what do they do?
- someone whose task it is to influence legislation or policy-making
- -Inside lobbying refers to appeals directly to lawmakers and legislative staffs
- -Outside lobbying is attempt to influence decision makers indirectly
What are some of the techniques used by lobbyists to influence Congress?
- -Direct Techniques: Lobbying; private meetings, drafting legislation, Donating $
- -Indirect Techniques: Generating Public Pressure
What are some of the techniques used by lobbyists for Executive Branch?
-to try to influence policy at formulation and implementation stages of process
What are some of the techniques used by lobbyists for Courts?
- -Many court cases are either sponsored by an interest group
- -also attempt to influence judicial appoints seeking judges who might be sympathetic
- to their issues
What techniques are used with the general public?
- •Interest groups mobilize individuals at grassroots through door-to-door campaigns or petition drives
- •Automated telephone calls and Internet lobbying are popular
What makes an interest group successful?
- (There is no one thing that makes an interest group successful)
- –If goal is to affect policy-making
- –Reliable information
- –Leadership Skills and Prestige
- –Power in numbers
- –Group Unity
- –Money: more success; funding critical
- –Groups defending status quo more successful
How much money did interest groups spend in 2012 trying to influence the government?
How many registered lobbyists were there in the U.S. in 2012?
$3.30 Billion, 12,389 lobbyists
Congress has passed several laws curtailing the activities of lobbyists. How is a lobbyist, who works with Congress, defined?
- Lobbying Disclosure Act 1995
- -registers with Clerk of House, report clients and issues and agency they lobbied, and estimate amount they're paid by each client
What does the term “revolving door” refer to? How did the 1978 Ethics in Government Act try
to curtail that revolving door?
government-to-industry, government-to-lobbying and industry-to-government
What are main requirements of Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007?
- –Strengthens public disclosure requirements concerning lobbying activity and funding
- –Places more restrictions on gifts for members of Congress and their staffs
- –Provisions for mandatory disclosure of earmarks or expenditure bills
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