POLS 2306 Week 7 Notes
POLS 2306 Week 7 Notes POLS 2306
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Popular in State and Local Government
Popular in Political Science
This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cindy Cattey on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 2306 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi taught by Dr. Paula Arledge in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see State and Local Government in Political Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
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Date Created: 10/10/16
Lecture Notes Week 7 Key ideas Definitions Court Cases Executive Branch (10/10/16) • Decentralized o Within the states, power is divided up in the executive branch o Officials are individually elected, so they are not accountable to the governor o Internal check § No one person has ultimate power, and this controls the power of the government • Problems with decentralization o Political competition: many people in the state exec branch are using it as a stepping stone to higher positions (like governor) § They are not interested in making the gov look good because, if he looks bad, it might open the position o Telescopic views: the only member of the state gov’t who sees the “whole forest” is the gov. § The other officials are only concerned with the interests of their parts of gov’t o Lack of accountability: one of the main reasons we have elections is to hold officials accountable, but in the state exec branch, citizens only really know the gov’s name, so he is blamed for everything o Undue interest group influence: multiple pathways for interest groups to access officials • Insuring accountability o Open meeting laws: the TX Const says that most gov’t meetings are open to the public and press o Open records laws: officials produce millions of records a year, and they must keep records of communications dealing with their agency § Press requests these more often than the public o Whistleblowers: reveal gov’t misconduct § 30yrs ago, they were discriminated against or fired, but they have protection now o Ombudsmen: a gov’t employee who works directly for the public (eyes and ears), expected to make any problems public § paid by state gov’t, but they owe loyalty to the public § ex: ensure that juvenile detention centers have safe conditions, good education options, etc. • Lt. Gov Dan Patrick: primary role is to preside over the senate o Separate election or team? § About half of the states elect the gov and lt. gov as a team § The other half elect them separately (including TX) ¨ In these cases, the gov often doesn’t know or like the lt. gov, so he won’t assign him much power ¨ In about 2/3 of the states, the gov can give the lt. gov as much power as he wants • Attorney general: most powerful person in the state, second only to the gov. Lecture Notes Week 7 o Role: all legal, a “lawyer by definition” § Interpretation: within the executive branch, A.G. interprets constitutional and state law. Unless it is brought to the state Sup Ct, his ruling is the rule of record § Representation: represents the state in court (Rick Perry was famous for suing the nat’l gov’t) § Supervision: supervises the law enforcement agencies of the state, ensures full and complete investigations • Treasurer (TX calls it a “comptroller”): responsible for funds necessary to run state government o Collects and distributes money based on the budget o Most restricted: no independent discretion, more rules that explicitly dictate their role than any other position • Secretary of state o Supervise elections (most important duty): makes sure all ballots are printed correctly, makes sure poll watchers are present, compiles the vote o In TX, this is the only person in the exec branch that the gov appoints (no election)
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