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Texas Government Mrs. Triebel Final Exam Ch. 10-13
Terms in this set (137)
A group that joins together to try and get people elected as public officeholders under its own name. Parties try to influence votes and bill passing. Sometimes the parties overlap. Party examples are Republican and Democrat.
A political system in which each of the two dominant parties has the possibility of winning national, statewide, or county elections. Texas has always been dominated by Conservative Democrat/Republican.
A minor political party. There have been many in Texas over the years, but none has had significant success on a statewide level. A few are La Raza Unida, L.U.L.A.C., and M.A.L.D.E.F. (Mex-Am legal defense and education fund).
The presence of two dominant factions organized around regional, economic, or ideological differences within a single political party. For much of the twentieth century, Texas functioned as a one-party system with two dominant factions. Democrat party is mixed conservatism and liberalism.
The domination of elections and governmental processes by a single party; which may be split into different ideological, economic, or regional factions. In Texas, the phrase is used to describe the period from the late 1870's to the late 1970's, when the Democratic Party claimed virtually all elected, partisan offices. (conservative democrat)
A major shift in political party support or identification, which usually occurs around a critical election. In Texas, this was a gradual transformation from a one-party system dominated by Democrats to a two-party system in which Republicans became the dominant party.
The decisions of voters to divide their votes among candidates of more than one political party in the same election.
A view that the party system is breaking up and the electoral influence of political parties is being replaced by interest groups, the media, and well-financed candidates who use their own media campaigns to dominate the nomination and election process.
Member of a political party involved in organizational and electoral activities.
A specific, local voting area created by county commissioners court. The state election code outlines detailed requirements for drawing up these election units.
A local officer in a political party who presides over the precinct convention and serves on the party's county executive committee. Voters in each precinct elect a chair in the party's primary election.
County Executive Committee
A panel responsible on the local level for the organization and management of a political party's primary election. It includes the party's county chair and each precinct chair.
The presiding officer of a political party's county executive committee. Voters in the party primary elect him or her by countywide election.
State Executive Committee
The statewide governing board of a political party. It includes a man and woman elected by party members from each of the thirty-one state senatorial districts and the state chair and vice chair.
State Chair and Vice Chair
The two top state leaders of a political party, one of whom must be a woman. Delegates to the party's state convention select them every two years.
A set of principle or propositions on various issues adopted by a political party at its state or national convention.
An ultraconservative political faction that draws considerable support from fundamentalist religious groups and economic conservatives.
The right to vote
An election in which the Democratic or Republican Party chooses it's nominees for public offices. In presidential election years, the primary also plays a key role in selecting Texas delegates to the parties' national nominating conventions.
A required election if no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes cast in a primary race or in many nonpartisan elections. The runoff is between the top two vote getters.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Was an amendment to Civil Rights act of 1964. A federal law designed to protect the voting rights of minorities by requiring the Justice Department's approval of changes in political districts and certain other electoral procedures. Federal Marshall's, A Republican Watcher, and a Democrat watcher all had to watch every vote made when it was suspected that there were voting discrepancies.
An election for state, federal, and county offices held in November of even-numbered years. The ballot includes nominees of the two major political parties plus other candidates who meet certain legal requirements.
An election for city council, the school board, and certain other local offices. Most of these are nonpartisan.
An election set by the legislature or called by the governor for a specific purpose, such as voting on constitutional amendments or filling a vacancy in a legislative office. Local governments also can call special election.
Absentee (or early) voting
A period before the regularly scheduled election date during which voters are allowed to cast ballots. With recent changes in election law, a person does not have to offer a reason for voting absentee.
A tax that Texas and some other states used to require people to pay before allowing them to vote. The purpose was to discourage minorities and poor whites from participating in the political process. The tax was declared unconstitutional in the 1960's. (Jim Crow Laws)
A series of state laws and party rules that denied African Americans the right to vote in the Democratic primary in Texas in the first half of the twentieth century. (Jim Crow Laws)
Drawing of political district lines in such a way that they favor a particular political party or racial group.
A system in which legislators, city council members, or other public officials are elected from specific geographic areas.
A system under which city council members or other officeholders are elected by voters in the entire city, school district, or single-purpose district. Many of those election systems have been struck down by the federal courts or by the U.S. Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act as discriminatory against minorities.
Motor Voter Registration
Term referring to federal and state laws that allow people to register to vote at offices where they receive their drivers' licenses.
A professional expert who helps political candidates plan, organize, and run their campaigns
Public Opinion Polling
The scientific compiling of people's attitudes toward business products, public issues, public officeholders, or political candidates. It has become a key ingredient of statewide political campaigns and is usually conducted by telephone, using a representative sample of voters.
Paid advertising in the media whose content and presentation are determined by a political candidate or campaign.
An event staged by an officeholder or political candidate that is designed to attract media - especially television coverage.
A term used to describe a wide range of political activities designed to organize and mobilize the electorate at the local level. Modern campaigns are increasingly dominated by the campaign consultants, but such support can prove crucial for political candidates, particularly for those with limited financial resources.
Political Action Committee (PAC)
A committee representing a specific interest group or including employees of a specific company that raises money from its members for distribution to selected officeholders and political candidates.
An individual who contributes a large amount of money to political candidates. Think Walter Umphrey.
The process that begins in early childhood whereby a person assimilates the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of society and acquires views toward the political system and governments. Think about how your parents political views, the media, or even Triebel's class influences your political opinion.
A small segment of the population that is engaged in various political activities.
A theory that the media's choice of which news events and issues to cover helps define what is important for the public to know and what issues to think about. Ex: When Mrs. Triebel sees the news in the morning before class then brings up what is going on. That then gets up talking about and thinking about that topic.
The process of groups or individuals identifying problems or issues that affect them and keeping pressure on policymakers to develop and implement public policy solution.
A pattern in which public interest in an issue or problem is heightened by intensive media coverage. Media attention and public interest will wane after government takes steps to address their concerns, but most issues or problems are never permanently resolved. Another crisis, perhaps years later, will restart the cycle.
A short, quotable phrase by a public official or political candidate that may sound good on television or radio but lacks depth and often is meaningless.
Negative television ads
Television commercials in which political candidates attack their opponents, sometimes over a legitimate issue, but more often over an alleged flaw in their opponent's character or ability to hold office. Many such ads are deliberately misleading or outright false.
Open Meetings and Public Information Acts
Laws that require state and local governmental bodies to conduct most of their actions in public and maintain records for public inspection.
A perception - sometimes real, sometimes imagined - that reporters and news organizations slant their news coverage to favor one side or the other in particular issues or disputes.
The freedom of a local newspaper or television station to set its own news policies independently of absentee owners who may run a chain of media outlets throughout the country.
Capitol Press Corps
Representatives (50) of Texas newspapers, television and radio stations, and wire services who are assigned to Austin full time to report on state government and politics. Most have a C.H.L. - allowed access to the floor of the legislature (with gun).
The presentation of information in the best possible light for a public official or political candidate. It usually is provided by a press secretary, campaign consultant, or another individual representing the officeholder or candidate. Think "Put a SPIN on it to make them look good."
A group of people with common goals who are organized to seek political or policy objectives they are unable to achieve by themselves. Sometimes crossover with political parties.
Mischief of factions
Term coined by James Madison to describe the complex relationships among groups and interests within the American political system and the institutional arrangements that potentially balance the power of groups.
Pluralism / Pluralist
Theories holding that a diversity of groups - and people - are instrumental in the policymaking process and no one group is able to dominate the decisions of government. This helps prevent too much power to any one group.
Elitism / Elitist
The view that political power is primarily held by a few individuals who derive power from leadership positions in large business, civic, or governmental institutions.
In the days of one-party Democratic politics in Texas, it was a loosely knit coalition of Anglo (white) businessmen, oilmen, bankers, and lawyers who controlled state policymaking.
Iron Rule of Oligarchy
A theory developed by Robert Michels, a European sociologist, that all organizations inevitably are dominated by a few individuals.
The rapid expansion of interest groups that serves to disrupt and potentially deadlock the policymaking process.
Iron Triangles of Government
Relationships among the interest groups, the administrative agencies, and the legislative committees involved in drafting the laws and regulations affecting a particular area of the economy or a specific segment of the population.
Single-purpose or highly ideological groups that promote a single issue or cause with only limited regard for the views or interests of other groups. Such groups often are reluctant to compromise.
Public Interest Groups
Groups that are primarily concerned with consumer or environmental protection, the promotion of strong ethical standards for public officials, or increased funding for health and human service programs. Since they often are poorly funded, grassroots, volunteer efforts are crucial to their success.
An effort, usually organized and using a variety of strategies and techniques, to influence the making of laws or public policy.
Activities designed to mobilize public support for a policy position and bring pressure to bear on public officials through electoral activities, public relations campaigns, and sometimes protests or marches.
The communication of information and policy preferences directly to policymakers or their staff.
In the State of Texas; after E.J. Davis and the Radical Republicans were ran out of here, the Republicans were afraid to use that title so they began to call themselves the Conservative Democrat.
ALL the decisions that Government makes whether it's passed or not. Yes or No are both decisions.
Texas has always been a conservative state, even when a liberal was nominated.
Democrats / Liberal
Want: Change, constant vast, sweeping change (federal control); More government; Bigger central Federal; Pro-choice; Protect the accused; Small military budget; minimum wage; gun control; using statistics for affirmative action
Republicans / Conservatives
Want: Status quo; slow, moderate change ONLY if necessary; less government (want states to remain in control); States' rights; pro-life; protect the victim; large defense budget; free enterprise ( let businesses pay what they can afford, not minimum wage); right to bear arms; affirmative action not needed.
Neo-liberal (neo means new)
Neo-conservative (neo means new)
Democrat and Republican
Most people are a mixture of both
Minority voter turn out still remains low
What category does Texas fit in according to Dr. Elazar
Individualist and Traditionalistic
brings people to the state of Texas
Functions of a Political Party
Recruit candidates;mobilize voters; organize government; creates checks and balances (losing party checks power of winning party); Accountability (both parties keep each other accountable for what they stand for); and Adopt a platform (expect the candidate that they endorse to adopt their "platform" or beliefs and candidate must agree with them).
State in Transition
Texas started voting Republican when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. All Texas electoral votes went to a Republican candidate. Ever since, it's always been Republican. Never supported a liberal candidate. Typical of the old South - Confederate states.
When the whole party has the same belief.
Yellow Dog Democrats
Liberal Democrats. Will vote democrat no matter who is on the ballot.
Plessy v Ferguson
Legal segregation - separate but equal
Jim Crow Laws
Poll tax was started, Grandfather clause (grandfather had to have voted), literacy test, and white primary. All laws made to prevent minorities/ slaves from voting.
Smith v Alwright
Outlawed white primaries. Think: Smith made it alright.
The Primary is a bonanza in the state of Texas. In Texas when you vote you either go into the Democrat or Republican room to vote. Voters do "raiding", voting for the most liberal people on the ballot so that when regular elections come around everyone is afraid to vote for them because they are too far left. Therefore, the candidate that they wanted to win, gets most of the votes.
Texas Two-Step Raiding
Screws up the November election because it puts people on the ballot that nobody wants. (see bonanza)
National Election Day
Per constitution the nominated representatives in the electoral college MUST cast ballots based on the votes from the state. It is an honor to be on the electoral college.
Is how the President of the United States (P.O.T.U.S.) is elected. Texas has: House of Rep. - 36 seats and Senate - 2 for a total of 38.
Women's right to vote
Texas was the first state to give women the right to vote ( a year before federal passed a law); but there were no elections so they had to wait until after Federal passed a law as well. Not many women voted, or voted according to their husband's choice. Women were still under the thumb of their husband.
1/3 Voted straight Democrat; 1/3 Voted straight Republican. The other 1/3 determined who the winner would be ( went back and forth).
Functions of Political Parties
Run Primary Party (where a candidate was chosen); Run conventions; and Run General Elections. People could only vote in one primary (either democrat or republican, not both).
Primary precinct meetings are known as grassroots because this these elections are at the bottom and from here the elections move up the "chain".
Are done to make democracy work. Conducted to protect democratic society. Elections make our Government legitimate (listed in our constitutions).
Always trumps states. If there is any conflict, laws must always follow federal rule.
Are expected to adopt the public policy that they promised. Although, it is hard to make them accountable besides not re-electing them.
Is when voters make a strong statement. The elected official had a high percentage of the popular vote. This person is expected to follow through with their promise.
Governor, etc.... get elected by popular vote, therefore held more accountable than President who is elected by Electoral Votes.
Can switch back and forth between both parties. It's not a straight party vote, a democrat can be voted for in one position while a republican can also be voted for in another position.
Most Unusual Primary
Is held in California. Sort of a blanket primary except whichever two persons get popular votes go on the ballot no matter if they are from the same party or not.
Is when several states hold their primaries (1st Tuesday in March) at the same time. It keeps that states primaries from getting too much media attention outside of the state. Texas is included.
Are held in Iowa and New Hampshire. Campaigns are tested in these two states.
Exist in Texas. Libertarian party does hold a primary. Not liberals. Root word is liberty. They are more conservative than Republican party.
Voter Fatigue / Apathy
happens with the ballots. They are long and Texas has many elections.
A lot of money spent on campaigns. Especially for media coverage (most expensive). There is no limitation on how much someone can donate to candidates in Texas. Only rule is full disclosure. But, donor can also do it anonymously (has to be cash).
Kay Bailey Hutchinson
Was the first candidate to run as a Republican (ran against Rick Perry for Governor).
What causes people to participate in primary elections?
Media, parents influence, society influence, Mrs. Triebel, etc....
General Election Turnout
When it is a year that Presidential candidates are on the ballot, it is the highest voter turnout.
Are ballots secure in Texas?
Debatable - They used to be on paper and transported by a locked box. Now voting is done on a computer. Can be hacked (phishing).
Picture ID to vote
Can use: Drivers License, State ID, or even Concealed Hand Gun License (C.H.L.) and need voters card.
Other types of Elections
City, School Board, wet/dry, bond elections, special elections to fill vacancy, etc....
U.S. Citizen, Resident of County where they're voting, 17 years and 10 months old or older, can not be a convicted felon (can get record expunged but expensive and long process), and have to be competent to vote.
Texas has a ten (10) day early voting period. There is a three (3) day dead period before regular voting commences, so it is a total of thirteen (13) days prior. A large percentage of people turn out in early voting.
Texas had rules that kept minorities from voting or taking part in government. Texas often discourage minorities from voting.
Most likely to vote
White Male population. Sixty-five (65) percent go to the polls.
Are illegal. Although, the owner of the company/ etc... may make a personal donation and all of the employees of the corporation may make personal donations.
Fundraising for campaigns
May be done anyway legally possible in the State of Texas.
Plural for medium. Look into the future and share the information.
everything: T.V., books, magazines, plays, newspapers, social media sites, etc....
Media developed in Texas
Shortly after Texas was created - had one newspaper "Gazeta de Tejas." After printing only one edition it went bankrupt. The newspaper was all in Spanish and the communities in Texas by that time were mostly Anglo.
Media's #1 power is to set public agenda. They post an article or announce something and that becomes the talk of the day. Ex: Triebel watches news in the morning and then we discuss in class.
Media's #1 Goal
is to make a profit. In order to make a profit they "entertain" - trained to "sell" violence and sex.
80-90% of reporting is liberal (they have a story to tell). They usually want to make a change. Journalists are liberal - profit makers.
Journalists act as a pack. They all receive the same training. You can typically see the same headlines in all media outlets. Tend to put a spin on the information using a sound bite (15-20 second clip of what was said) when reporting.
During elections, journalist tend to use horse-race aspect when reporting on campaigns. In other words, they don't want to talk about issues, they want to tell who's ahead in the race.
Mirror of society
Media / Journalists claim to be the mirror of society. But they do not reflect the truth in an exact manner.
Claim to be King-makers. Claim to have elected Obama. Media sold him to the young people of the U.S. He was unknown in 49 states.
Try to destroy elected officials or candidates. Ex: Trump
Media would like to remove from society. Instead of having someone just speaking, they prefer to have visions on screen and have a voice over if possible, distort reality. Ex: when media was showing pictures of kids in cages after crossing the border. Talking Heads do not sell in the media.
Are Texans well-informed?
No, most do not really understand what they read or see. Most prefer to see drama or entertainment.
Media and Candidates
Information you get from the media can affect who gets elected. The media can build up a candidate or tear them down.
How can we control the media?
Open meetings Act - government officials have to announce at least 72 hours in advance where they are going to meet so that media has an opportunity to be present.
Little Guys v Big Guys
Little Guys can't afford to buy time in the media like the Big Guys can.
National News Reporting
Very rare to see national news in the local newspaper. Bigger cities are more likely to have national news in their paper.
Media and Political Parties
Media tends to "wipe out" or replace political parties. People get more information about the elections from the media than they do from the political parties.
Can be an individual or a professional (gets paid). They try to influence government officials. Best lobbyist are Best lobbyist are former elected officials. They have a lot of influence and know a lot of people.
Some people say that lobbyist are evil, others say that they are a necessary evil.
Oil and Chemical Industry
Run and Influence Government in Texas
Resources used by Interest Groups
1) Size- larger the size the more influence they have. 2) Unity- all concerned and centered on same subject (cohesive). 3) Education - the better educated they are the better influence they have. 4) Financial Resources - People willing to spend money have more influence. 5) Reputation - have a good reputation to have good influence. 6) Good leaders in their group. 7) Mobilize members to get out and take part.
Major types of Interest Groups
1) Business - largest type, can be oil & chemical, restaurants, etc...Join together in Chamber of Commerce. C.O.C. can represent them all as a whole. Businesses always want support from the community. 2) Professionals - Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, etc... have to be certified/licensed to be a member. Dues paid in are spent on lobbyist for their behalf. 3) Education Groups - Teachers pay dues - also used to hire lobbyist on their behalf. 4) Public Interest Groups - people that want to protect consumers, environment, etc... 5) Minorities - NAACP, LULAC, MALDEF (powerful in Texas), etc... 6) Labor Unions - Texas not a big labor union state because we have "right to work". In a closed state- dues are required to be paid. 7) Government Lobbyist - Mayoral Group of State of Texas, Groups made up of city officials, School Boards, etc.... 8) Agriculture (2nd largest occupation) - We supply 1/3 of agriculture products to the U.S. 9) Religious - have groups that join together. Have united lobby groups. Most are conservative. Largest is Christian Protestant in the state of Texas. Pope speaks for entire Catholic denomination. 10) Single-issue groups: N.R.A. (nat'l rifle assn) is an example; our version is Texas R.A.
Methods used to lobby
1) Public Relations - most expensive and used by large interest groups. 2) Providing written research - many groups hire a college professor to write research documents. 3) Offering technical assistance - not every elected official is computer literate. 4) Asked to testify at a public hearing. 5) Building a coalition - get two groups to join together for a cause. 6) Informal contacts- play golf or eat dinner w/ official. Make contact when and where you can. 7) Write a bill - interest groups can write a bill for or against something. 8) Campaign Contributions - can make unlimited campaign contributions with full disclosure. 9) File a lawsuit.