GOV 2306 Final Review
Make sure to bring a scantron (882E) and a pencil for Thursday’s class
Won’t get a grade unless you hand in physical questionnaire
Also make sure you have or know your NetID
Zero tolerance policy
50 multiplechoice questions, choices AE
Subjects and chapters covered:
Political Culture (TP, Chapter 10; RASLG, Chapter 2)
Campaigns and Elections (TP, Chapter 11) If you want to learn more check out Where and when did clay pots become popular?
Public Policy (TP, Chapter 12)
Local Government (TP, Chapter 13; RASLG, Chapter 10)
10 questions on culture, 10 on campaigns, rest on policy and local gov.
Bonus questions are based on lecture content
Texas Political Culture
What is political culture? We also discuss several other topics like What causes population to change?
Broadly shared values, beliefs, and attitudes about how the government should function and politics should operate
Why is it powerful?
How do we internalize culture?
The process by which people acquire beliefs, values, and habits of thought and action related to government, politics, and society.
Goes beyond learning how the world operates to include point of view about how people and institutions should operate
Even if not explicit, cues are picked up
Main ideological currents in Texas:
1. classical liberalism
a political philosophy that places a high value on individual freedom, based on a belief in natural rights that exist independent of government.
right to “do your own thing”
often at the root of opposition to government involvement in social issues emphasizes reliance on private initiatives or the free market to determine the best outcomes (entrepreneurship and the market economy)
in contrast to ideological liberalism, which holds that government should intervene in society to foster socially and economically just We also discuss several other topics like Who painted "the last judgment"?
2. social conservatism
supports government involvement in reinforcing traditional social relations 1
values established customs, especially JudeoChristian religious beliefs and practices
social change often seen as a threat
respects conventional authority figures such as business, military, and religious leaders
a term broadly used to describe any movement having popular backing and perceived to be acting in the interests of ordinary people. If you want to learn more check out How do we gather the information to reconstruct history?
support for policies which establish a baseline of wellbeing for all members of society, rich and poor alike
used to pursue both progressive (liberal) and conservative ends (i.e., expansion of Medicaid and limiting immigration)
Classification of state political cultures: (know basic beliefs of how gov. should function, and general)
belief that government should limit its role to providing order in society, so that citizens can pursue their economic selfinterest We also discuss several other topics like What is the equation of population standard deviation (sigma)?
originated in middle states
places low value on citizen participation in politics
politics is for professionals (rather than citizens) who serve themselves
values commerce (exchange of goods, services, and ideas)
belief that government should be active in promoting the public good and that citizens should participate in politics and civic activities to ensure If you want to learn more check out What are the two largest continental glaciers on earth?
originated in New England; Puritans and the Good Society
government = positive instrument in society
politics is concern of everyone; citizen participation = positive
community over personal ties
values agrarianism (pg. 22 of RASLG)
belief that government should be dominated by political elites and guided by tradition
developed initially in the South; slave plantation economies and Jim Crow emphasize social hierarchy and close, familial relations
citizen participation is limited
government = positive instrument, but power should be confined to elites values legitimacy (pg. 22 of RASLG)
Population growth in Texas (don't need to know a ton, just general recent trends) 1. natural increase as a result of the difference between births and deaths (54% of population growth in 2013)
2. international immigration, particularly from Mexico (16.8% of growth) 3. domestic immigration from other states (29.7% of growth)
What is public opinion and what does it measure?
underlying attitudes about a politician, policy, institution, or even a general disposition regarding what the government ought or ought not to be involved in
measures attitude = a combination of predispositions (preexisting beliefs and values that are often grounded in political culture) and information (typically more
recently acquired facts and opinions); these attitudes exist within a person’s head
Texas political culture and the bathroom bill
Campaigns & Elections
Types and features of elections in Texas
open: don't have to be party member to vote (party affiliation declared by voting) closed: must be party member to vote (done by registering)
general: the election in which voters cast ballots to select public officials primary: a ballot vote in which citizens select a party’s nominee for the general election runoff: help between top 2 candidates when neither received a majority (50+%) of votes special election: an election that is not held on a regularly scheduled basis in Texas, a special election is called to:
fill a vacancy in office
give approval to state gov’t to borrow money
ratify amendments to Texas Constitution
Nonpartisan vs. Partisan elections
nonpartisan: local elections
partisan: everything else
History of the franchise in Texas (franchise = both the act of voting and the right to vote) 1918: women allowed to vote in Texas primaries in 1918
(TX first southern state to ratify 20th Amendment)
1902: poll tax enacted
1966: Supreme Court banned use in state elections
prohibited nonproperty owners from voting in bond and tax elections until 1975 longterm residency requirements struck down by courts in 1970
1921: The White Primary prohibited nonwhite voters from participating until 1927 set other qualifications for voting in primaries to parties until 1944
1965: Voting Rights Act stopped these restrictions
2011–Texas passes Voter ID law
Access of third parties and independent and writein candidates to the ballot Measuring voter turnout; what affects voter turnout; increasing voter turnout Voting trends in Texas vs. United States
Campaigns in Texas
Financing a campaign in Texas (don't need to know much, just advertising, name recognition, not so much financing)
What is public policy?
broadly = outputs of governmental institutions
narrowly = the expressed goals of a governmental body backed by incentives or sanctions
(incentives = i.e., subsidies encouraging public to act in certain ways)
(sanctions = i.e., monetary or criminal penalties that punish public for engaging in certain actions)
public policies found in laws passed by legislative bodies and also in the rules, regulations, and orders from properly authorized agencies
How is policy made? (don't know book's 6 stages, know class 4 stages)
1. Problem identification (issue emergence)
society at large and political actors develop an understanding of how we must think about and address a particular issue
set of ideas = systemic agenda, used by citizens and policy makers as conceptual framework to understand nature of public problems and shape and
direct way policy makers will develop public policy aimed at them ideology (our ideas about the way society works) plays a major role in defining public policymaking
2. Policy formulation (agenda setting and policy selection)
more general ideas we have about social and political problems are clarified and strategies for dealing with these problems are developed.
involves both the detailed procedures in passing legislation and making
administrative rules and regulations.
includes setting the agenda on what problems will be discussed; discussing how these problems will be understood
what concrete measures will be taken to address them
3. Policy implementation (policy enactment and implementation)
goals of public policy along with incentives or sanctions to support them are put into effect by particular government agency.
identifying the appropriate agency to implement policy is crucial.
budgetary policy also plays a major role, as good public policy can be
dashed by poorly executed or poorly funded implementation.
bureaucracy has direct responsibility for interpreting and implementing policy. 4. Policy evaluation
all public policy must be evaluated for their effectiveness
good evaluation procedures assess the state goals of a particular
policy against the actual outcomes of implemented policy
closing the loop between problem identification and program evaluation is one of most difficult problems
Rational and efficient public policy
rationality = idea that we have clearly identified goals and that we seek to achieve these goals in an optimal or efficient manner
efficiency/optimality = idea that policy will be developed that will maximize outputs of government with minimal commitment of resources
policymaking process is highly complex involving vagueness and political compromise 4
governments work incrementally, building on existing/previous policy
policy makers and other actors may not behave strictly rationally or efficiently seek to “satisfice” = reach a decision that is satisfactory rather than optimal; also called “bounded rationality”
Sources of state revenue
(know major sources, not percentages)
The money collected by the government through taxes, fees, fines, and federal transfers. Texas income tax
TX is one of seven states that doesn’t have an income tax.
income tax seen as progressive tax (a type of tax where tax burden falls more heavily on upperincome individuals)
constitutional amendment was passed in 1993, which required voter approval of any income tax
thus, income tax unlikely in Texas in the foreseeable future
Texans and taxation
Texas = low tax, low service state
Texans’ have general resistance to increasing revenue via taxes
turn to increasing user and licensing fees
on one hand, limiting ability of government to raise revenue forces efficiency and prevents potential “program creep”
on the other hand, critical programs can be cut in bad times and cutting state expenditures can result in loss of critical services.
Types of taxation
1. progressive tax: those with higher incomes, pay greater percentage of their income on taxes (e.g. income tax)
2. regressive tax: those with lower incomes, pay greater percentage of their income on taxes (e.g. sales and property taxes)
Texas expenditures (not percentages, just the biggest ones)
health and human services (HHS): 43.6 billion (44%)
education: 34.8 billion (33%)
transportation: $8.5 billion (8%)
public safety and corrections: $4.6 billion (4%)
employee benefits: $4 billion (4%)
general government: $2.93 billion (3%)
Healthcare, education, water, and transportation policy in Texas
know majority Texans not in support of affordable care act
know 2 things from affordable care act TX didn't participate in
Types of local government in Texas
Councils of government (COGs)
Cities: roles, organization, and government
city/municipal governments are creation of the state
perform greatest number of governmental functions
generally, unit of local government with the most power (especially home rule) 2 categories: general law and home rule cities
remember that a statute is an individual law created by a legislature
a regulation enacted by a municipality or other local government.
have the force of law but must comply with state and national laws.
municipal and other local ordinances are issued under the authority derived from a grant of power (such as a city charter) by a sovereign
entity (such as a state)
Forms of Municipal Government
authority is divided among mayor (executive authority, CEO) and city council members (exercise powers akin to those of a legislative branch)
oldest form of municipal government
dominant among general law cities; not popular in homerule cities
strong mayor = executive powers concentrated in office of mayor
weak mayor = executive powers of mayor are much more limited and
fragmented; receives limited compensation
usually found in small cities
governed by an elected commission that exercises both executive and legislative powers
usually between 5 and 7 members • Elected atlarge (AL)
the “Texas Idea” (Galveston 1900)
reflected desire to bring good business practices to city government
and escape politics and inefficiencies found in the mayorcouncil form
today, no city in Texas has a pure commission form of government (26 have some variation of it)
the “Texas Idea” led to third form of municipal government in which
commissioners were replaced by a single citymanager
an elected city council performs legislative functions and hires/appoints a professional administrator to execute and manage the daily
functioning of government
chief executive and administrative officer
a professional; most have graduate degrees; receive large salary
mayor and council salaries remain low; seen as parttime job
powers of mayor varies; elected AL
council members usually elected in SMD
popular in cities with over 10,000 residents
of 335 home rule cities, 251 have councilmanager
goal to balance an efficient city government with democratic political processes Local elections
AtLarge Election (AL)
election in which officials are selected by voters of the entire geographical area
Singlemember district (SMD)
an electorate (geographic area) that elects only one officeholder to a body with multiple members such as a legislature.
used by larger cities with councils greater than ten
Populous Texas cities (know they're all home rule, know which thing they are like council manager or mayorcouncil, etc.)
Voters influence on local government
initiative: a proposal seeking legislation on a particular issue that is originated by the voters or residents of a city.
referendum: an election held to affirm or repeal a law or other political act by a government entity.
recall: the legal process by which voters may remove an elected official before his or her term in office has ended.
petition: formal request affirmed by multiple signatures put before a government body expressing a position or requesting a specific action
Businesses and local tax incentives (RASLG)
Counties: roles, organization, and government (leadership)
(know school vs. other, examples of each)
unit of local government that performs a single service, such as education or sanitation, within a limited geographic area.
can be created to serve an entire county, a part of a county, all of 2+ counties, or parts of 2+ counties
number of special districts in Texas has increased by 600% in the last 50 years. 2,309 special districts in Texas, not including school districts
2 types of special districts:
school districts: provide public education (preK through 12th grade) in a designated area
nonschool special districts: any special district other than a school district 7
Councils of government (COGs)
regional planning boards composed of local elected officials and some private citizens from the same area
promote coordination and planning across all local governments in a particular region cannot levy taxes, impose user fees, or incur debt
24 COGs in Texas that deal with regional policy issues and planning needs that reach across boundaries of local government
law enforcement training
regional economic development (airports)
Local debt and bonding authority