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Pol 101 Notes, April 19 and 21

by: Michaela Musselman

Pol 101 Notes, April 19 and 21 Pol 101

Marketplace > University of Mississippi > Liberal Arts > Pol 101 > Pol 101 Notes April 19 and 21
Michaela Musselman
GPA 3.35

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Notes from April 19 and 21, with Check Your Knowledge.
Introduction to American National Government
Heather Ondercin
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michaela Musselman on Tuesday May 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pol 101 at University of Mississippi taught by Heather Ondercin in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Introduction to American National Government in Liberal Arts at University of Mississippi.

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Date Created: 05/03/16
Check Your Knowledge  According to Fenno, what are the three goals for a member of Congress?  What is racial gerrymandering?  What is casework and why do members of Congress spend time doing it? Power of Incumbency  What gives incumbents an advantage over non-incumbents? o How we draw district lines o The institutional structure of Congress o Strategic behavior Committees  Types of Committees o Standing Committees o Select Committees o Joint Committees o Conference Committees  Standing Committees o Have a set jurisdiction o They are responsible for a select group of things o These committees are also permanent o Found in both the House and the Senate, but are independent of each other  Select Committees o Can be temporary or permanent o Very narrow jurisdiction o Their only purpose is gathering information  Joint Committee o They are joint between the senate and the House o They also only have the purpose of gathering information o Can be temporary or permanent  Conference Committees o Always temporary o Only happens when the House and Senate pass two bills that are similar and have to work out the differences in them o Contains House and Senate members o Formed by the leading members of the standing committee in which the piece of legislation originated  Power and Committee o Rules Committee in the House is a standing committee that gathers every piece of legislation going to the House and creates rules for it o It is the most powerful committee in the House  Senate does not have a rules committee How does a Member of Congress receive their Committee Assignment?  A lot depends on what you represent and who you represent  You want to be on a committee that benefits your party  Where does the influence come from? o They influence legislation and raise money Strategic Behavior  At every election, members of Congress face three options: o Run for re-election o Retire o Run for higher office  Challengers also exhibit strategic behavior o Open seats have the best chance of being won o Weak incumbents are challenged (they’ve had scandals or are out of touch) o National trends in Congress approval ratings Do We Have a Problem?  Do you think we need term limits?  Advantages o Promotes Competition  Disadvantages o Loss of expertise o Greater power to the unelected (interest groups, staff, etc) o Constrains choices Congress Checks and Balances  Impeachment o “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” o House charges o Senate acts as the judge and jury  Oversight: Process of reviewing agency operations to determine whether the agency is carrying out policies Check Your Knowledge Answers  Produce good public policy, re-election, and gain power  The act of redistricting and drawing district lines through neighborhoods with high concentrations of black or latino citizens (minority) (or making majority-minority areas)  Individual things members do for individuals that gains favor with the people Check Your Knowledge  What is indirect lobbying?  Provide an example of an equal opportunity interest group  What is the collective action problem? Goals of Members of Congress  Richard Fenno- 3 goals of a Member of Congress o Produce good public policy o Gain power in Congress o Re-election  Richard Mayhew- only one goal of a member of Congress o Re-election Re-Election Goal  Running Scared: The fear of not being re-elected will shape behavior and actions What Shapes Votes  Constituency- by far the most important aspect of shaping their votes  Party- part of the money you need to run comes from your political party; also, when members go too far from their party, other members will try to unseat them  Peers  Personal preference Power of Incumbency  Power of Incumbency: Advantages already elected members of congress have over challengers  There are high re-election rates  What gives incumbents an advantage over non-incumbents? o How we draw district lines o The institutional structure of Congress o Strategic behavior  Re-districting: the process were congressional district lines are adjusted after the census  Partisan Gerrymandering: Altering congressional districts to help one political party  Racial gerrymandering  Name recognition: Making sure your constituency knows what you are doing for them  Advertising o Franking Privilege: The bonus of being part of Congress in which you can send postage for free to your constituents to let them know what you are doing o Other methods of communication o Appearances  Credit Claiming o Issues important to your district o Bringing projects back to your district o Casework  Position taking o Floor Speeches o Roll-call votes Check Your Knowledge Answers  Lobbying to change the hearts and minds of the people, so they will go to their representatives in Congress  NAACP  When you’re trying to get a large number of people to contribute towards a greater collective benefit, it is hard to carry out.


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