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ap us lec notes elections

ap us lec notes elections - LectureNotesOutline...

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Lecture Notes Outline: Ken Janda 2000 220 American Government and Politics Spring, 2000 Kenneth Janda, Instructor Week 6: Group-Government Linkage Lecture 1: Political Parties & Interest Groups May 2 Money, elections, and party politics • Adam Klein's e-mail: disagrees with me that "soft money is not a problem in America" because it does not "go directly to the candidates" "there is no quid pro quo implied with soft money" as with standard, direct donation Klein says, several "classmates also found these claims quixotic as well" Klein contends "soft money is routed by political action committees and parties to candidates coffers" "Such bodies serve merely as loopholes to route unlimited amounts of money to candidates, thus circumventing donation limits." PACs and parties work hand in hand with the candidates whose interests (and financial well being) they advance. "Furthermore, soft money comes attached to a clear quid pro
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quo." Thus, we have "the Clinton administration's consistent support of the interests of trial lawyers," "or Republicans' impassioned defense of Big Tobacco." "Average citizens are not fooled:" "many politicians can be bought and sold." "leaders like Russ Feingold and John McCain are a bright spots in a dark sea of cronyism." Please "address this in class on Tuesday if possible" • My response: Who is being quixotic? Cervantes' early 17th century novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha , told of the chivalrous adventures of a country gentleman caught up in old-fashioned romance. Thus, the term "quixotic," has come to mean idealistic without regard to practicality. Feingold and McCain are the quixotic ones. Facing reality in politics: Given a large number of eligible voters, campaigning to win an election can cost a lot of money. Factors in the cost of a campaign to individual candidates: The number of voters The geographical size of the electoral district The candidates' popularity prior to the campaign The opponents' popularity prior to the campaign Any free advertising that benefits candidates Financial support from a political party Reality produces these empirical propositions: The more money an incumbent spends in an election, the less likely is victory.
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