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POLITICAL SCIENCE Class Notes 4/14 & 4/16

by: Meredith Johnson

POLITICAL SCIENCE Class Notes 4/14 & 4/16 POLS 1336

Marketplace > University of Houston > POLS 1336 > POLITICAL SCIENCE Class Notes 4 14 4 16
Meredith Johnson
GPA 3.4
US and Texas Constitution and Politics
Richard Murray

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Lecture notes from the week of April 14th. Detailed & bulleted for easier understanding.
US and Texas Constitution and Politics
Richard Murray
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Meredith Johnson on Saturday April 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 1336 at University of Houston taught by Richard Murray in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 114 views.

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Date Created: 04/18/15
Four major declared candidate for 2016 election Hillary Clinton Democratic nomination Marco Rubio Ted Cruz amp Rand Paul And more to come 0 Jeb Bush Ben Carson et cetera Most Republican 0 On Democratic side a lot of people talk about running but it looks like Clinton will win the Democratic nomination Unfortunately it doesn39t look like the Democrats are going to be very strong in the election A weak incumbent party low approval ratings etc By next summer that might change In any case an important election President can act when a divided Congress often cannot Judiciary branch has become more important as the President can nominate judges Interest groups 0 Similar to political parties organizations that try to affect political outcomes 0 Don39t run candidates under their names 0 Thousands of interest groups just two parties 0 Why are there more interest groups in US than any other democratic country 0 The Constitution When the framers drafted and added rst amendment clearly gave Constitutional protection to Americans who wanted to organize political groups freedom of speech assembly press right to petition o For much of American history not many interest groups changed in 20th century and continues in 21St century Increased population Changing culture Internet makes it much easier for people to group together The costs of organizing dramatically lower people also more af uent more time and more money New class of rich people Some are putting their enormous wealth towards political interest groups 0 And interest groups get stuff done So politicians encourage interest groups to get their thing done 0 Interest groups emerging in the 20th century 0 NAACP Formed about 100 years ago by white liberals and Blacks who were distressed at discrimination Formed during a chaotic time race riots lynching etc Regular political process not interested in the Black dif culties So people formed a political organization to pursue their goals Continues today based on chapters around the country One of the groups that pioneered vote of court Suing to get things done 0 ACLU American Civil Liberties Union Constitution and amendments have a lot of rights but historically these rights were ignored particularly in wartime When US entered WWI Wilson disliked any criticism of the war attempted to suppress any criticism against the Constitution So some law professors started the ACLU to protect the rights of those who were criticizing government or otherwise advocating an unpopular cause Criticism for its protection of all unpopular causes racist groups et cetera Many interest groups based on economic selfinterest 0 We have a big government hires a lot of people collects a lot of taxes etc 0 So people with a similar economic interest should get together The biggest group the AARP Has a big stake in what the government does with social security and healthcare Organized around protecting those interests 0 NRA like AARP a powerful political group Founded after civil war encourage Americans to become more pro cient with guns Gradually became concerned with sporting and hunting However in 19305 crime rose government began to regulate weapons NRA was ok with that In 19605 highpro le rearm assassinations Led to a push for more weapon regulations most efforts did not go too far but some were enacted A faction within the NRA essentially staged a coup against the leadership and started pushing for second amendment rights New leadership fought government on gun control efforts So in 19605 became a powerful political group and continue to be so today Why is NRA so powerful Many people make their living as a part of it people who make money selling weapons Paradox more owned weapons than ever but fewer people own weapons Gun owners buy more guns 0 So many NRA members are in the weapons business and so don39t want government to impose more control Basis to organize nd an interest the government is affecting and organize a group involved with that interest 0 Free Rider problem Whether one pays their taxes or not many of these public goods are ones that people bene t from clean air army et cetera So a lot of interest groups need people to pay AARP provides selective bene ts for those who join 0 Government often helps or hurts speci c identity groups racial gender et cetera 0 NAACP 0 New political groups emerging to protect the interests of Hispanics MALDEF focused on MexicanAmerican citizens 0 Because government treats people differently people become politically active the quotemulationquot effect If one group is active others see and become active as well 0 So while these groups aren39t responsive directly to economic interests they are related but primarily responsive to a group identity These groups particularly strong in the 20th and 21St century 0 Strongest groups the organized LGBT communities Government not responding to AIDS issue in 805 communities organize and protest and raise attention 0 Other groups are based around morality like environmental groups 0 quotSave the Whalesquot groups et cetera PETA Essentially a huge active diversity of interest groups Quick review Litigation pursue court tactics if ballot box isn39t working for you 0 To pursue a case must have standing show whatever you object to has harmed someone if not necessarily you 0 Legal talent lawyers 0 Time Courts often work slowly 0 Risk if one loses in court that counts against the case More interest group things Remember that interest groups can support candidates but can39t run candidates Litigation is a popular method for interest groups to affect public policy 0 As the balance of power shifts between liberal and conservative interest groups may decide which route to take based on this Healthcare law conservatives litigating in court since a liberal Congress passed healthcare 0 But it39s timeconsuming costly and risky Conservatives group attacking ACA con dent in their success but the decision handed down by the court did not rule in their favor A conservative judge did not side with the conservative group Electioneering 0 Interest groups change makeup of legislatures by supporting a speci c candidate 0 Interest groups can39t run their own candidates but their support may affect an election 0 Center of American nancial system Wall Street Generally welltreated by tax laws Wall Street makes political contributions Because it has so much money fund both Democrats and Republicans investing in both parties are in uential in the White House in either party Money talks Tesla argument 0 Tesla has a subsidy doesn39t want to sell its cars through dealerships Texas laws don39t allow this cars must be bought through dealerships Tesla will probably be unsuccessful 0 Auto dealers are politically active amp are ghting to keep Tesla from being able to sell online quotdisintermediationquot cuts out the middleman aka dealerships ADA Auto Dealership Association diverse put a lot of money into Texas legislator campaign ADA big advantage because they ve been investing in Texas elections for years 0 If you don39t have a lot of money maybe you have a lot of members For example a labor union might get members to quotknock on doorsquot 2008 amp 2012 White working men have become very Republican including union members in Ohio and Pennsylvania These normally Democratic members weren39t enthusiastic about voting for Obama mobilized a lot of people to persuade union members to vote for Obama Typically send 23 union members to work on one reluctant member basically just quotconvincingquot 0 Various means of moving elections money ads knockondoors et cetera Lots of electioneering If you give money to a candidate or support them they ll generally be at least willing to listen to you a good investment Lobbying O In many legislatures civilians cannot go onto the oor without a member to talk to members often have to do it outside the chamber The lobby Lobbying is talking to members outside the body Tesla trying to do this in Austin has not been investing as long as ADA but has hired many people who can work the legislature lobbyists Many are former members as a legislator the salary is terrible so a lot of people learn how the legislature works and then quit and become a lobbyist An important aspect of lobbying informing members of what legislation means Too many bills for members to read lobbyists are continuing professionals and traf c in accurate information if you tell a member something false and they quote it the consequences are Dire Lobbying is of course onesided talks about the upside but usually very accurate And the other side should provide the other information so overall lobbyists provide accurate information a reliable and important information source for members Essentially lobbyists are intermediaries who familiarize members with cases for or against a bill hired by interest groups to push their agenda 0 Other tactics direct action 0 Confronting public officials or citizen behavior and forcing change by more direct action A role model for this Indian political leader Mohandas Gandhi In South Africa Began long campaign to mobilize minority communities not to send representatives but to quotraise hellquot Create disturbances civil disobedience essentially just draw attention and protest Utilized the same methods in India for Indian independence Nonviolent confrontations Wee woo Another MLKJr Studied Gandhi39s methods familiar with these tactics mobilized community against Montgomery bus system Boycotted the buses More and more direct action In Houston led to the gradual desegregation of the city Congress passed Civil Rights act in response to this direct action Sometimes you just have to take to the street shrugging emoji In the US violence is rarely tied to political groups Some exceptions the Black Panthers the Puerto Rican shooting in 405 but for the most part political violence assassinations et cetera are committed by loners Terrorism is not tied to what39s happening in the US international terrorist groups because of what is happening in another part of the world Domestic terrorism is rare To nish up Are interest groups doing more harm or good 0 Give citizens ability to participate politically in more ways than are available in political parties et cetera o Argued that there are so many interest groups that they all balance each other out No one interest group can dominate Another line of thought trouble with pluralist idea is that it39s very elitist o Tilted towards people with more money and more status 0 Bob Dole quotno lobbyists for poor women and children lots of lobbyists for banksquot Not everyone is represented 0 Can distort public policy Groups that actually get quota chance at the tablequot push the policy one way 0 However interest groups are constitutional and are not going to go away Can be regulated differently but are basically part of the American political fabric


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