Lesson 5bL - “Groups organized under labels or names in order to gain elective office.” Or groups with common interest vying for office Notice

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Unformatted text preview: “Groups organized under labels or names in order to gain elective office.” Or, groups with common interest, vying for office. Notice, that organizations that are NOT trying to get an elected official in office is an interest group. Factions Aka interest groups. Madison feared influence of “selfish” factions. Fear that these narrowly-focused self-interested groups would undermine the new government, and either corrupt it or tear it apart. Today, parties are broad-based coalitions. Simplify selection of candidates. Like a brand name (McDonalds, Coca Cola, etc.)… you know what you’re going to get. Encourage people to participate in politics. In particular, getting them to vote. You can’t be elected without people to vote for you. Help control interest groups. To dilute their (possibly extreme) goals. In the beginning, people were loyal to the party because that’s all they knew. It was difficult to learn about the ’ h diffi l h candidates themselves due to lack of information. But slowly, there was less emphasis on the party itself. Less available patronage. Or, jobs or favors given to supporters. People volunteer to work on campaigns on the hope that if their candidate wins, they get a job with/from them. Ticket-splitting. Crossing Crossing party lines to vote for candidates of both parties. Personality sells. People are more willing to vote for “the other guy.” Look at California (traditionally a Democratic state) electing Arnold (a Republican) After a period of decline, as of late people are becoming more loyal to parties. Party unity is growing. Flexible campaign funding rules. Easier to be “loyal” when money talks. Continued diversification of parties. Both major parties have tried to attract more voters by appealing to the middle. li th Republican Party Originated from Whig Party. Civil War Platform. Anti-slavery. Tariffs to protect domestic products. Settlement of Northwestern lands. Support Base The North (duh) The religious, small towns, and big business. and Democratic Party Roots traced to Thomas Jefferson. Civil War Platform. Ad Advocated negotiations with Confederacy. Support Base The South, if only to spite the Republicans and the North. Political machines in North & Midwest, and immigrants. Republicans were mostly libertarians and conservatives. Held majority view that economy required li little regulation. Country was prosperous, with high living standards and and industrial growth. Pres. Hoover saw little need for liberal and populist reforms. Why fix what’s not broken? The Great Depression. 24% unemployment. Today = 4.7% (Aug 06) Pres. Hoover was a libertarian. Did not see need for government to intervene to combat the the Depression. The free market will fix itself. Majority voted FDR (D) into office. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Gave Democrats major party status. First time a Democrat has held the Presidency. New Deal legislation. Governmental intervention on economy It IS broken, and we’re going to fix it! Federal work relief. Wage Wage and hour regulation. Thank FDR for overtime and minimum wage. Encouraged labor unions. Easier Easier for groups to negotiate with the big businesses. After WWII, Dems began to support civil rights. (Wars have this funny effect of helping the economy. WWII brought the US out of the Depression. Now that the economy is fixed, it’s time to fix things in the morality realm) Lost Southern whites. Aft After riots and crime in black community, Dems bl lost some conservative and populist whites. And lost even more white votes with affirmative action policies. …and some more votes lost from working class b/c of cost cost these programs. Republicans capitalized on floundering Democratic party. Between 1968-1988, Reps won 5 of 6 pres. elections. Lost one because of Watergate (Nixon) Gained ground in the South. In 1980, Reagan won all Southern states except GA. In ’84 & ’88, Reps won all Southern states. Won Congressional Majority in ’94 & ’96. ’94 3 types of party members. Party in electorate. Party organization. Party in government. The ordinary citizens who support a party. You, me, your neighbors, etc. Generally for the Dems… Racial minorities, women, the poor. Generally for the Reps… The religious, men, the rich. Decentralized, compared to other countries. Members pay no dues. Members can switch at will. No punishment for doing so. At the top is the National Committee. The “spoils system” Rewarding loyal party workers with government positions. No strict party discipline. You don’t always have to vote with your party. And you won’t be punished for doing so. National party rarely gets involved in state/local elections. Party in Government has no effect in non-partisan elections. Or, where no party affiliation indicated. E.g., Nebraska (by state law), judicial elections (judges are supposed to be unbiased). Difficult to be in a two-party system. Formed when ideas or interests are inadequately represented by the 2 major parties. Can effect elections by taking votes. Main goal is to communicate views. But getting someone elected would be nice. Selecting the candidate for each party. Caucus – candidates chosen in meetings by delegates selected in local meetings. Conventions – assemblies of delegates. Difference between the above two is that delegates in a caucus can make independent decision, while convention delegates abide while by the popular opinion in their districts. Also, the party MAY reject the delegates selection, and make them them pick another candidate. Primary elections – voters of the states choose the candidates. No party approval required for primary. Since this is a purely democratic process. Closed primary Can only vote in registered party’s primary. California (you must be registered AND declare your party 15 days before election) Open primary Can choose party on day of election. Blanket primary Voters can vote in both parties’ primaries. primaries Voters will choose the strongest candidate of their party, or weakest candidate of other party. But it all evens out in the end. Effect of selection process. Party leadership has no say in primaries. E.g., David Duke. GRAND GRAND WIZARD of the KKK who won the Republican KKK th primary for a seat in the Louisiana state legislature. AND the Reps couldn’t reject him. For Presidential elections, held over 5 months. held Exhausts candidates. Good thing the current President can use Air Force One. Eliminates most candidates early on. By the end, we know who will be the candidates. Voter turnout The number of eligible voters who actually vote. What effects voter turnout? EDUCATION – biggest factor. The more educated you are, the more likely you are to go vote. Age – the older vote more often. Sex – men vote more often. men Party affiliation. Not so much… now more about the individual. now Clinton won in 1992 & 1996 without a majority of popular votes. Perot won 19% (!) in 1992 & 8% in 1996. Major numbers for a 3rd party candidate. Helped Clinton win. By taking away the conservative vote. Popular Vote. Actual number of votes cast. Electoral College. Formed by the Framers as a check on the majority, and as a compromise. Constitutional amendment required for a change. # of electoral votes = # of House and Senate seats. 23rd Amendment – gave DC 3 electoral votes. 538 total up for grabs (270 needed to win). CA has 55 votes now (gained 1 after 2000 census). Candidates ignore states where… …results are already a given. E.g., Bush Sr. didn’t campaign in CA in 1992. E.g., Junior didn’t campaign much in CA in 2004 Junior California is a traditional Democrat stronghold …there aren’t many votes at stake. Wh Who cares about Rhode Island? Rh Candidates favor larger states. CA CA=55, TX=34, NY=31. Can give 3rd parties bargaining power. By working to get votes in exchange for favors. E.g., Have the KKK work to try and get Rhode Island to vote for you… 3 votes is 3 votes. Incumbent The current holder of an office. Usually, the incumbent keeps seat. In 1996, 94% of House incumbents won. In 1996, 95% of Senate incumbents won. Franking privilege. Congress members can use sig, instead of stamps, to send mail. The challenger has to pay out-of-pocket. Pork-barreling Getting projects that benefit a local district or state. Especially in terms of federal funding. Excess Excess “fat” gets added to larger bills. gets Fake example: sneaking in a line into the USA PATRIOT Act, giving Irvine $1mil to build a new snowcone plaza. Independent orgs that give $$$ to candidates. $$$ Give money based on best interests at the moment… no party loyalty. Of Of course, the $ is with strings attached. th Most organizations have PACs, whose goals are to influences politics. E.g., Saddleback has a PAC to try and get more educational funding. Federal Election Campaign Act (1976) Limited contributions to candidates. Individuals = $1000 Interest groups = $5000 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (2002). Increased individual limits to $2000 Independent expenditures. $ spent without candidates knowledge or consent. E.g., “Vote John Doe!” (paid for by the Association for Reelecting John Doe). Buckley v. Valeo Limits on independent expenditures unconstitutional. Also, independent candidates can spend as much as they want. Ross Perot in 1992 spent $68.3 million of his own money. 1992 illi Soft Money Donations to candidate’s party, not candidate. Under FECA, it was unlimited. Can be used to assist candidates to office. Can be funneled to areas where the race is close. Th BCRA The BCRA curtailed soft money. Now, individuals can only donate $10,000 max to each each state and local organization. It may seem that these restrictions seem reasonable in preventing too much influence, but the way but the system is set up, an individual can give: $2,000 as an individual. $5,000 after forming an interest group. $10,000 to the National Party Committee. $10 $10,000 to the State Party Committee. th St $10,000 to the County Party Committee. $10,000 $10,000 to the City Party Commited. Etc., etc., etc. And don’t forget, unlimited $$$ for independent expenditures. dit ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2009 for the course POLITICAL 1 taught by Professor Nguyen during the Spring '08 term at Saddleback.

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