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Politics of the United States
POLI 101 Midterm 1
Terms in this set (47)
the ability of govt to respond effectively, to make decisions efficiently and responsibly, and manage conflict
-states and localities have the capacity to play central roles in the US federal system
-Capacity is tied to govt capability and performance
-States with communities with more capacity work better than those with less
-Refers to political participation.
-Either exit to find better policy
-States try to offer incentives to keep business and advantaged citizens
-Voice to bring attention to an issue and change policy
Ex: Voting, Protest (Book says voting is an example of loyalty)
-Loyalty is staying where you are.
-Built through state pride, public policy
-Inputs go into political system which produces outputs
-Political system: attitudes and beliefs people have toward govt. Includes ideology and participation.
-Outputs: result of those policies going through the political system.
Migration flows: domestic/international
-16% of Americans move every year.
-Fastest growing states are out west.
-Nevada grew by 45%. Georgia was fastest growing southern state.
-About 1 million Americans arrive every year (CA, NY, FL).
-Moving to less crowded parts of the country. Away from west and frost-belt.
-power and influence tend to follow population. States gain or lose house representatives based on their population. Population size matters for local governments, too. For example, if a city's population is eclipsed by the suburban population, its political power diminishes.
2015: the year when America's schools begin to service children who are a majority-minority
In 2010, 46.5% of children were minorities. By 2015, minorities will be the majority.
-The current form of government in the United States.
-Power is shared between state governments and a centralized federal government.
-Based on democracy and rule of the people.
-Halfway between a confederacy, where all power resides with the states and a very weak central government exists, and a unitary government, where the central government has too much power over the states.
-A statute or regulation that requires a state or local government to perform certain actions, with no money provided for fulfilling the requirements
Issue of unfunded mandates (the costly requirements that federal legislation imposes on states and localities) - BIG PROBLEM
-To increase visibility of the issue: National Unfunded Mandate Day
-"Unfunded mandates devastate our budgets, inhibit flexibility, preempt important state initiatives, deprives states of their responsibility to set priorities"
-Congress responded by passing a mandate relief bill that requires cost-benefit analyses of proposed mandates
(However there have been loopholes that weaken the act)
Ex: Motor Voter Laws, Megan's Law (requires states to have police register sex offenders to an access registry online)
A system in which the national government has absolute supreme authority. There is no sharing of powers.
-The system in place before the Constitution.
-Under a confederate system, states held the most power and the federal government was very decentralized.
Powers that are not explicitly written down in the Constitution. These powers are given by the 10th amendment to the states and the people.
-The amendment to the constitution ratified in 1791 reserving powers to the states
-Debate about state-centered federalism is about meaning of the reserved powers clause of the 10th amendment
-Reserved powers - those powers residing with the states by virtue of the 10th amendment
-Smothering (Then Resuscitating) The 10th Amendment
-Actions by congress have undermined the 10th amend
-US v Lopez reaffirmed 10th amendment since this in 1995, Congress has been slowly giving the states more rights
U.S. Supreme Court as "umpire of the federal system"
Federalism divides the powers of government, and conflicts frequently arise between national and state governments. By settling such disputes, the federal court system, particularly the Supreme Court, plays a key role as an umpire for our federal system.
-Delegating powers from the federal level to the state level.
-States gain responsibility for matters that were previously handled at the federal level.
State constitutions and their revisions
-Early state constitutions were simple documents reflecting the times they lived in -- agrarian societies
as economies and states expanded, constitutions were changed
-recent reforms have attempted to make state governments more efficient
-states can elevate their roles through reform and respond to changing needs and opinions of state citizens
Ratification of state constitutions
-Ratification - the formal approval of a constitution or constitutional amendment by a majority of the voters of a state
-First, the state legislature or voters, propose (initiate) a constitutional change, then the proposed amendment is submitted to the voters for approval (ratification)
Rights granted under state constitutions
-Most, but not all, of the rights listed in the "Bill of Rights" (the first ten Amendments to the Federal Constitution) have been "incorporated" to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, meaning that the State must respect those rights as well.
-The Fifth Amendment's "Right to Indictment by Grand Jury," and the Eighth Amendment's protection against "Excessive Bail," are not "incorporated to the states," and thus do not have to be observed in state prosecutions.
-For the most part, the rights described in state constitutions usually resemble those in the Federal Constitution. However, many states have provisions which offer broader protections than the Federal Constitution.
-States can only add to your Federal constitutional rights -- they cannot pass constitutional amendments that restrict the rights you receive under the Federal Constitution.
-Dual federalism: responsibilities and activities of the national and state governments are separate and distinct (1787-1932), compact theory-- layered cake
-Cooperative federalism: stresses linkages and joint arrangements among the three levels of government (1933-1964) started by FDR-- marble cake
-Creative federalism: a model of cooperative federalism in which many new grants-in-aid, including direct national-local financial arrangements, were made (devised by President Lyndon B. Johnson)
Types of Federal grants
-Categorical Grant: A form of financial aid from one level of government to another to be used for a narrowly defined purpose.
-Block Grant: A form of financial aid from one level of government to another for use in a broad, functional area.
-Formula grant: allocated based on state and local conditions
-Project grant: awarded based on the strength of the applicant govt.'s proposal
The principle that national laws take precedence over state laws.
The amount of people who cast a vote.
Alabama literacy test
A tool used to deny suffrage mainly to African Americans during segregation. African Americans were given the version of the test that asked hard questions, required someone to come with you and vouch for you, and if you passed they printed your name and address in the newspaper for the KKK to see and track you down.
Taking away the right of convicted felons to vote, either permanently or for a defined period of time.
Voter ID laws: strict photo laws vs. non photo laws
-A voter must have a government-approved photo or other kind of identification in order to vote.
-Issues with voter ID.
-Partisan issue. Minorities are disproportionately affected by voter ID laws. Not everyone has these kinds of ID's, not everyone has access or resources to obtain them.
-Minorities tend to vote Democratic, and the Republican party has been a large driving force behind voter ID laws.
-These laws are promoted as measures against voter fraud. The extent of voter fraud as a problem is questioned.
-Adds another hurdle to the voting process.
Convenience voting laws
Laws that expand the vote, encouraging people to vote. Increases accessibility, ease of the process, generally cuts down on hurdles to vote. Makes it more convenient to vote.
Inconvenient voting laws
Opposite of the above, makes it more inconvenient to vote.
Motor voter law
The law expanded voting rights by requiring state governments to offer voter registration opportunities to any eligible person who applies for or renews a driver's license. This increases voter registration because it is easy! However, voter turnout has declined because not everyone who is registered goes out and votes (not as easy!)
Vote on the same day you register to vote. This promotes a larger voter turnout.
Difference between voting age population and voting eligible population as a measure of voter turnout
-Voting age population is everyone over 18.
-Voting eligible population is voting age minus convicted felons, non-citizens, etc.
Direct democracy: Initiative/referendum/recall
-Forms of direct democracy. Essentially legislative action initiated by the general public.
-Initiative: the general public proposing legislation. Direct, the public drafts the legislation and puts it up for a vote to institute it (bypassing the legislature). Indirect, the public propose it and the legislature drafts it.
-Referendum: the public votes on a bill the legislature has already passed in order to decide whether to remove it or leave it on the books.
-Recall: call someone out of office
Role of money in initiative and recall campaigns
-In a number of US states in particular, concern has been expressed that the use of citizen initiatives is increasingly professionalized, and that the "initiative industry," rather than citizens, determine which measures make it onto the ballot.
-One area of concern to some observers has been the use of paid signature collectors to circulate the initiative in an effort to qualify the measure for the ballot. This is perhaps because the use of companies acting for profit to collect signatures arguably seems most at odds with the concept of citizen backed initiatives which are promoted by volunteers who believe in a measure.
-During the process of drafting a rule an agency should seek information on content from numerous sources.
-It is during the drafting stage when many problems, interests and jurisdictional conflicts can be dealt with preventing greater problems from arising during public hearings or legislative review.
-Proposal drafted by proponents. Proponents circulate petitions. State verifies the number of signatures.
Initiatives that have specific words in them that negate or oppose the true purpose of the initiative, putting in place the reverse policy or a poorer one
Initiative as a "gun behind the door" strategy
According to Woodrow Wilson, just the threat of an initiative could cause the legislators to act.
Closed: A primary in which only voters registered in the party are allowed to participate.
Open: Voters decide which party's primary they will participate in.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
The law that effectively enfranchised racial minorities by giving the national government the power to decide whether individuals are qualified to vote and to intercede in state and local electoral operations when necessary.
Responsible party model
-Political parties have distinct platforms which they should carry out when their members get elected.
-To accept this model, you must believe that there are clear ideological and philosophical differences between the parties.
-Those distinct parties would accept responsibility related to the government's performance while they are in charge.
Resulting from a state that offers credible candidates from both the Democrats and the Republicans for state office. This increased competition leads to more progressive policies.
The workers and activists who make up the party's formal organizational structure.
A citizen's personal affinity for a political party, usually expressed by his or her tendency to vote for the candidates of that party.
Not consistently voting for candidates from one party across the board on a ballot- aka no straight ticket voting.
Divided government/unified government
Unified government: when the executive and legislative branch are controlled by the same party.
Divided government: when the executive and legislative branch are controlled by opposing parties.
Media market penetration vs. state boundaries
Penetrated Markets: Getting coverage of local politics from out of state sources.
Less coverage of own. Ex: NJ and NY
State Boundaries: State capital in a big city. Best local coverage. Journalists live there, constant coverage.
In-depth State capital in remote location: least amount of coverage because journalists just zoom in and out. There is no continuous exposure.
The process by which groups and individuals attempt to influence policy makers.
When individuals band together and contact a public official directly
Core beliefs about the nature and role of the political system. Democrats tend to be more liberal, preferring an activist government, while Republicans tend to be more conservative, favoring a limited role for government.
Types of organized interests
-Economic Interest Groups - Those that seek some sort of economic advantage for their members, are the most common type of interest group.
-Cause Interest Groups - Those that represent a segment of society but whose primary purpose is noneconomic and usually focused on promoting a particular cause or value.
-Private and Public Institutional Interests - They constitute another important category. These are private organizations such as businesses or public entities such as government departments. However, similar to interest groups, they attempt to affect public policy in their favor.
-Governmental Institutional Interests - Are often the most important interests in authoritarian regimes, where private interest groups are severely restricted or banned.
Ethics laws governing lobbyist-legislator interactions
-All states require registration and disclosure (name of client they're working for and what they're working on).
-Gifts/meals for legislature (can't accept anything in some states).
-Contingency contracts (lobbyists gets paid only if he/she gets the bill passed).
-"Revolving door" (people who have served in legislature turn to lobbying).
-Lobbyist contributions to campaigns (can't hold fundraisers during legislative sessions - cap on funding too).
-Helps level the playing field ie less corruption, bribery-esque things.
-Change culture of the capital - more women, people go home at night and do normal things rather than go out with lobbyists who want their support SO those who value their free time are happy, those who want presents and parties aren't.
Recommended textbook explanations
United States Government: Principles in Practice
Luis Ricardo Fraga
Magruder's American Government
William A. McClenaghan
United States Government: Democracy In Action
Richard C. Remy
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