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Work Samples

 

 

 

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SHARED ASSIGNMENTSBelow are samples of assignments submitted for this course with names removed so as not to violate anyone's privacy.

They are examples of the quality of work I expect.

The assignments you see here are not necessarily the best work for that assignment
but examples chosen at random from among all of the assignments I consider well done.

I change assignments from time to time so make certain you are looking at an example based on your current assignment rather than a previous assignment.

In assignments that ask for specific right or wrong answers, I have substituted Xs for the answers so as not to tempt you!

If you don't see an example of a particular assignment, it's because I haven't yet found one to post.

 


Activity #1

After taking the Politopia quiz, my results put me in Centerville. I really didn't fit any of the other regions because I tend to be accepting of all of them to a certain degree. I may agree with the north region in some areas but also follow the south in other areas.

Politopia is an idea that consists of four major sections in which people hold different views on government – The North, East, South and West. There are also areas that fall in between. People in the Northwest believe that government should play a very small role in someone's financial affairs, yet they want the government to regulate how a person lives. It is a dog eat dog world, but those dogs are kept under constant watch. The Northwest holds views of smaller government in both financial and personal lifestyle. They don't want a government telling them what to do with their money or how to live their lives. In the Southeast it is believed that government should play a role in society order and financial order. The Southwest is an area where people believe that the government should have no control over what you do with your everyday life, yet the government should be trusted financially to create equal opportunities.

In taking the idealog self test I found myself in the liberal square. I was in the lower right hand corner. My results were as follows: Order; 3, and equality; 7. According to the scale I am more for promoting equality in society but not willing to give up the government power to tell me how to live my life.

These two test results were not equal. I believe this was because the questions were different. In the Politopia quiz it asked questions with multiple choices. It let you choose from more than two possibilities. The idealog test was a yes or no questionnaire. It was more limited. Almost like a black and white world.

The results differ a little but I am satisfied with both. I have considered myself a liberal in a lot of areas; therefore the idealog quiz results didn't surprise me. I was however happier with the Politopia results. As I learn more about government and our changing society, I tend to want to stay in the center of issues.

Having completed the quizzes I have a new perspective on the way politics work. I am not proficient as of yet with the way things work, although I have a good idea of how things work. In reading the Constitution I realize that our founders weren't perfect but they wanted to make sure the government would have a good starting point. It shows how much thought went into making sure our society understood the emphasis of separating themselves from England's rule. The Bill of rights ensured that all citizens had basic rights to live by. The ability to amend them is good for an ever-changing society. By creating the different branches of government they wanted to make sure the country was govern by the people and not dictators. As a country we are fairly young but I believe it has done well with what it was given. Society will change with the times. But our government insures that it is still the majority that decides what is best for our country and government.


Activity #2

My PAC’s primary purpose is to influence the outcome of a particular legislation. We intend to do this by donating large sums of money to the candidate, the candidate’s national committee and to other PACs who have similar interests.

The pros of contributing to Representative Alpha are that she is an established politician chairing a powerful committee. She has been nominated by her party to speak at the party’s national convention. She has power among other representatives to sway or barter their vote to her liking. She also represents a geographical area that will benefit financially from the legislation we want to pass.

The cons of working with Representative Alpha are that she does not often side with our ideologies. She has the support of multiple PACs and super PACs that will oppose the legislation we want to pass. Rep. Alpha voted against her party on several issues in the last legislative term and is upsetting party leaders.

The pros of working with Ms. Beta are she has not had a chance to alienate  any party members like Rep. Alpha. Ms. Beta is also the former CFO of a large company that would benefit from the legislation my PAC is supporting. Being a member of the same political party as Rep. Alpha, she represents the voters we need to pass our legislation. Ms. Alpha also needs PAC money to be elected and has vowed to fully support our causes.

The cons of working with Ms. Beta are that she has no political clout, no established connections and no legislative background. She has the support of only a handful of PACs and lobbyists and is little known in the political party.

I will contribute the most money to Ms. Beta.

She has a few PACs already supporting her who I believe to be beneficial to the overall industry that my PAC represents. I think with the addition of my PACs support, she will be able to generate a stronger ad campaign and reach more voters. My PAC being associated with her campaign will entice other PACs to consider giving her a chance to represent us in Washington.

My PAC is affiliated with a large company that will throw its support behind her and the company employees are very loyal campaigners and voters. Ms. Beta will also garner great support from her former company and its employees.

While Ms. Beta lacks an established political past, she was born and raised in the area she represents. She had been a member of the same church her entire life and has a large extended family that is well connected in local businesses. Many voters are familiar with her surname.

Political interest groups are a way for people to be involved in getting candidates elected that will work to pass legislation that they support. PACs are a way to donate money to causes those candidates will support. PACs can be very powerful and raise insane amounts of money for a candidate. While the parameters are set on what the money can be spent on, it is still a "he who has the most money wins" type business most of the time.

While one candidate does have an established past, the contender has an established reputation and a long line of family and associates to support her. Name recognition is also a crucial point on the ballot. Rep. Beta will be counting on her familial name to help her get elected so she can establish a working background. She is working to raise  more PAC donations to get her message to a wider audience and encourage everyone to come out on voting day and support her.


Activity #2

Dear Mr. H. Ross Perot,

I have outlined some key points in the following memorandum that may help to further your campaign. You created and funded your third party – the Reform Party – that is duly noted of its possible success of presidency. Through your heavily adhered following, the public is likely to remain faithful with similar party platforms of your 1992 campaign. With the message, market, and mechanics of this memo, victory of establishing a solid Reform Party basis is most prominent if read and considered thoroughly.

1. Basics

a. The Reform Party was established in 1995 in preparation for the 1996 election. The candidate, H. Ross Perot is a self-made billionaire and founder of the Reform Party,

b. The goals of the campaign are focused primarily on government and economic reform. The idea of the campaign is to institute the basis for the Reform Party in the future.

2. Message

a. The important issues identified through the Reform Party are setting higher ethical standards for the White House and Congress, balancing the national budget, reform among campaign, election, and lobbying, imposing term limits, revising Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security plans, as well as revising trade and immigration policies to promote jobs in the US.

b. The choice and position of Perot differ from other candidates by focusing little on individual and social issues and focusing mainly on government and economic reform. Republican candidate Bob Dole is focusing on the multi-cultural ideology of the “American Dream,” while instituting individualism over collectivism. Democratic candidate Bill Clinton is focusing on the current positive relations with foreign affairs. As well as, claiming the credit for the strong economy which was overseen by the Republican Congress.

c. Due to research, the issue space for my candidate is not already taken. Each party’s platform is different from the other. And the Reform Party’s ideology is just as different as the others.

3. Market

a. The segments of the population most likely to respond to issues of Perot are centered on the median voter. The electoral competition is one speculation as to how to gain more votes. By aligning some positions at the exact median of public opinion, one is most likely to achieve the foundation of median voters. Yet, some additional voters besides the median voters that are most likely to respond to issues of the campaign are independents, and liberals – economic liberals to be exact. They favor government regulation of businesses and government spending for social programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

b. States that are likely to have an effect on my campaign are the Western coast states and Southeastern coast states. However, it is tricky to name states due to the Reform Party’s ideology and its ability to campaign voters from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

c. California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee are a few key states that form the core of the campaign.

4. Mechanics

a. In order to get Perot, the Reform Party, on the ballot in those states, the strategy must begin early, notably at least a year before the presidential election. Once the party is on the ballot in the primary elections and caucuses, the party’s candidate receives greater press coverage, and awareness among the public.

b. Some methods to make the party’s candidate well known in the targeted states are to promote public interaction; gather volunteers – partisans of the party – to spread the campaign issues of Perot; use phone banks, television and Internet advertising to promote the campaign slogans determined by the advertising division.

c. Potential allies of Perot to help support the campaign consists of governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura, supporters of United We Stand American (UWSA), and House of Representative Newt Gringrich.

d. I intend to raise funds for the campaign by having fundraisers, receiving small donations or public financing, asking persons for funding by mail or over the telephone and Internet, selling small items, such as buttons, t-shirts, benefit tickets, etc.

e. Due to Perot’s 1992 presidential campaign, he gained quite a support system, thus allowing his partisans to grow even more. In 1992, Perot won about 19% of the popular vote. I expect to gain at least 25% of the popular vote, and at least five electoral votes. But given the nature of this campaign, the main area of concern is to mold the path for future Reform Party candidates.

Therefore, if the key points in the memo are carried out systematically then your campaign should result successfully. By building primary supporters in your 1992 campaign, your partisans should increase steadily throughout your present campaign. However, your true initial strategy of the campaign was to create the path for future Reform Party candidates. Following the positions addressed above, you should become successful in doing so.

Thank you, and Good Luck.


Activity #2

This is an internal memo meant for the leadership of the new Common Sense Party.

The Common Sense Party has been formed in an effort to make political gains for the common American, who is quickly getting left behind by both major parties. With our steady financial support we have the luxury of focusing on the issues and not the monetary side of the 1996 Presidential Campaign.

Senator John Smith, a long-time moderate Democrat who is looked at as the leader of the moderate Democrats across the country, is passionate about the CSP platform and has accepted the party's nomination to run for President. As a moderate Democrat who commonly works across the aisle with moderate Republicans he has numerous political friendships and can connect with the center of American politics.

He understands the task ahead, knowing full well that America has relied on a two-party system for most of its existence. The goal of this campaign will be to get the message of the CSP out to the American people. Victory would be very tough to achieve in this first election. The real goal of this campaign is to convince enough Americans of our cause that during the Mid-Term Elections of 1998 CSP candidates will win seats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Senator Smith has a loyal following of both moderate Democrats and Republicans who will follow his lead with this new party.

Then four years from now, in the 2000 Presidential Campaign, with no incumbent in the race, the CSP can make a major play for the White House.

Message
As the CSP is a party of moderates from both parties it will have ideals from both parties. The common American finds common ground with both parties on a number of issues. As this is the first election for this start up party we will appeal to the public with a number of stunning initiatives that will help the country and the common man.

The first initiative would be to pass a flat tax. This would more than pay for the national budget and would help Americans keep most of the money they earn for themselves. As both parties are still recovering from their conventions (where they must run to the extremes of their party to win their nomination) the center is wide open right now as neither candidate has run back to the middle. This ground is ours for the taking. The flat tax works against the Democrats tax hikes and against the Republicans tax breaks. When shown the advantages of a flat tax the common American would be very tempted to agree with us.

We want to support certain things that conservatives care about and certain things that liberals care about. We will show the American public that we are religious, and believe and trust in God but that love and devotion to him doesn't run our campaign or our message. We also want to make sure that the American people know that we support their constitutional right to bear arms and that we will not try to take their guns away from them.

On the other side of that argument we want to reassure liberals that we will protect their pro-choice stance and not legislate against it. We will also push strongly for civil rights that extend to all Americans.

We will encourage tax breaks for businesses, large and small. We want to let Americans know that small business can flourish in this country and will not be drowned out by the huge corporations. We want the large corporations to know that we are not out to get them and we will work with them if they will work with us. The tax breaks will be a sign of good faith to them. The liberals will disagree with this stance and the conservatives will try to beat us to this point so we have to get out in front of them on it.

Along with these tax breaks we must push for strong legislation protecting the jobs and rights of the common workers, the workers who are the backbone of the American economy. The common man must know that he has a right to work and support his family and that we will support him in this goal.

We must make dramatic changes though for Americans to join our cause. Senator Smith supports and will push for the federal decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. Conservatives will be against this and liberals will watch how the public responds to this before they have a stance on it but Senator Smith wants to legalize it and tax it. Internal studies have shown that the potential profits from such taxes would be staggering and would help fund one of the major campaign goals of the CSP, which is the government relief of existing student debt, both private and federal. This is sure to be controversial but it is a logical step in American evolution.

The next step along those lines would be to make college free to all those who meet the criteria for admission (with additional criteria to be added). The common family is hurting more and more financially and college is only getting more and more expensive. The gap is widening and America is falling behind the world on the education front. The tobacco industry makes billions upon billions of dollars a year and the marijuana tax would create similar money that could be used to help fund such an education bill. Neither party will agree with this but they will try to show America that it is wrong, but this will just bring attention to our cause. Average Americans will have to listen to such a proposal as it would save them tens of thousands of dollars for every child they want to get a college degree.

Also, Senator Smith wants to allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. This would put their fingerprints on file and would show them that although they came to this country illegally they still have a right to chase their dreams and support their families. This will be very controversial and we will have to fight the Democrats on it but it is worth fighting for.

Market
The entire population will be touched somehow by the platform of the CSP. Older Americans will be enticed by the flat tax and the tax breaks for businesses. We can also reach out to the more traditional, older and middle-aged Americans with the support of various liberal and conservative ideas. If we want to be a party of the common man we must support what the common man supports, regardless of which party supports it.

The worker's rights and protection laws that we want to pass will also show common Americans that they can believe in our message. Free college tuition will draw huge amounts of people to our platform.

We will appeal to the immigrant vote (which is substantial) with the law allowing drivers licenses to be obtained by illegal immigrants. We must also streamline the process for immigrants to obtain legal citizenship to this country.

The young vote, although hard to reach and mobilize, will be heavily drawn to our platform. Neither party has been able to mobilize these voters but that's because they haven't had a cause for them to get behind. The very young will want us to legalize marijuana and make college free. That would be something they could absolutely get behind and support.

Our platform has mass appeal (that is why we are running to the center) and will make many people rethink their allegiances to the Democrats and Republicans. The beauty of this approach means that no matter what part of the country we campaign in the issues are important to everyone. No part of the country will feel left out or like its problems aren't being addressed.

That being said, since this is our first campaign and we are trying to make a splash we will put our resources into getting our message across to the states with large amounts of electoral votes. We want the other parties to be worried about us. They will be keying on the large states and so must we. Even if we win a couple of small states that have very small amounts of electoral votes we will not be getting our message across to the country in order to win seats in Congress during the next election.

The states to put massive resources into would be California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Should there be money left over for substantial campaigning in other states it should be spread out among the next tier of electoral states-Ohio, Michigan, and New Jersey.

Mechanics
For this party to succeed in getting on the ballots we must start a grassroots campaign from the ground up. Senator Smith is well known throughout America and well respected by members of both parties and public due to his past military service and outstanding public service. He gives us immediate name recognition and his name alone should be good enough to guarantee that we will be on the ballot along with the Republicans and the Democrats.

Again, Senator Smith is very well known and so making the public aware of who he is will not be difficult. The main focus of the campaign will be to get his message out to the public. As we do not have the financial resources of either major party we will need to utilize a huge viral campaign on the internet and a word-of-mouth campaign. We will get back to the basics. We will go out to the people and tell them what we want for them and for America and listen to what they have to say. We will show them that our platform has room for growth and is legitimate and will make America even greater than it already is.

Since we have issues that appeal to all ages and voters from both parties we can appeal to almost anyone. We can appeal to workers' unions for workers’ rights protection. We can appeal to blue collar workers with the flat tax. We can appeal to parents with the free college education. Celebrities and sports stars will endorse legal marijuana, as will the college population. Local officeholders who feel betrayed or abandoned by the two major parties to endorse the CSP. And with Senator Smith's considerable reputation and friendships he can get endorsements that would normally have gone to a Republican or a Democrat.

Although we do have stable financial backing we do not have the substantial support that the two major parties have. We will have to stick to our message and appeal to the common American for money. We will ask all Americans for a small, modest donation to help the party and our causes. If we can get millions of Americans to donate even twenty to fifty dollars we could have millions upon millions of dollars to get our message across to the entire country. We will also be able to solicit money from those Americans, groups and businesses who didn't feel like they had a true party before. We will be looked at as a legitimate, real third party, Americans will find our new message and ideas refreshing from the normal politics of the two-party system and we will rely on those common Americans to give money to our party.

Although our party and campaign will be passionate and will fight to win the White House for the average American the true impact we will have on the 1996 Presidential Campaign is hard to judge. A victory in the election is not realistic with a brand new political party that the American people feel like they are still understanding. We will throw everything we have into the election but this race will lay the foundation for an even stronger showing in the Congressional elections in two years and the 2000 Presidential campaign. Fifteen to twenty percent of the popular vote would be a huge victory for the CSP. If that percentage translated into thirty to sixty electoral votes the party could expect to truly contend for the White House in 2002.

Common Sense Party, 1996
"America is America!"


Activity #3

The challenge I encountered while trying to motivate people to come out on Election Day was voter disenfranchisement. I had to learn the voting laws and break things down into bite sized pieces for voters to understand. Another challenge was how to make voting easier, an example of this was transportation for minority voters on Election Day. Talking to the community, answering questions and getting them to believe that their vote mattered turned out to be challenging because whenever there is an election scandal voters tend to be discouraged.

The most difficult problem I encountered was voter registration. I also struggled with the Op-ed article, which included deciding what issues best meet our goals for campaign advertisement. Another problem I encountered was identifying the best contributors to solicit donations from. Going back and reading the memo "Where She Stands: Shelly Johansen on the Issues," helped me make my decision.

When trying to get out the vote I found that different types of people did require different approaches. American voters still face social barriers such as income, education, race and gender. These barriers prevent many citizens from voting, leading to lower voting turnout levels at the polls. The tricky part is getting your supporters out to vote without helping the opponent do the same.

My candidate lost the election. We lost critical districts assigned to my team. I think the loss could have been prevented if I had organized better and talked about different issues. I learned that you have to be clear in getting your campaign message across to voters. I know my lack of experience definitely played a huge role in the outcome.

In my opinion voting restrictions are harmful to the democratic process because they prevents Americans from exercising the most fundamental right, the right to vote.

I found the simulation to be challenging and educational. You have to make critical decisions that will affect the outcome of an election. I learned it's not easy being a campaign field organizer; you have to work hard to motivate people to come out and vote on Election Day. I had a bit of difficulty in the first section because I didn't use the resources available to me. Once I started to use the hints as well as my candidate's Platform letter it helped to guide me through the decision making process. As I became more comfortable playing the role of campaign field organizer I was able to apply what I had learned to the simulation, things started to make more sense and decisions were not as difficult to make. I now have a better understanding of the importance of voting laws, campaign advertisement and PACs. Get out the vote plays a major role in election outcomes and is an important part of the political process.


Activity #3

Some of the challenges facing the constituents of Shelly's district are that it is primarily a minority district. Many of them are intimidated by the state-issued ID. They are concerned that this may be a ploy to have them picked up by immigration and many of them do not have transportation to get to the polls.

Young people of voting age have always been hard to get to the polls. They do not understand the importance of each vote, so you must give them extra education and make it easy for them to get to the polls. Shelly must convince the voters that she will fight for the underprivileged and understands their hardships.

One of the problems encountered was that the incumbent's people supported a rally by a white supremacy group to further intimidate the minority voters on the day of the election. They also jammed the phone lines, preventing voters from being able to get a free ride to the polls and were turning away a large number of black and Hispanic voters claiming their IDs were fake.

Having several different ethnic groups and different generations really required some different approaches.  We had to make people comfortable with voting, educate them and get them to the ballot box on voting day.

My candidate did win the election. I believe that my work on her campaign helped her to victory. I worked to get the right mix of educational material out to the constituents, as well as setting up rides to the polls and phone banks to remind people to vote and educate their decision making. I made sure people were registered in time and had the proper IDs to be eligible. I also had sign holders helping to point drivers to voting boxes and making sure they knew which voting box they needed to go to.

I understand that voting restrictions make it harder for underprivileged people to vote. They are easily inundated by the restrictions whereas someone such as myself could easily maneuver through the requirements. I am equally concerned with making sure that the people who vote are legally eligible to vote. I believe that most people already have some sort of state-issued ID and those who do not, need to have one for other things, too. I have come to see that most people find a way to do things that is beneficial to them, even if they complain while doing it.

It was interesting learning how to help with a campaign. Thinking about not only the type of people who are in the area you represent but also being able to fully understand what issues are important to those people. Thinking of ways to inform the voters and finding ways to make voting easier for them. You have to think defensively about the opponent, too, since you never know what curve ball they will throw at you.


Activity #3

Although it initially seemed like a difficult task, the simulation was an interesting process that was quite simple and even fun. It seemed difficult at first because of the amount of information given. It was a bit overwhelming given statistics, background, and so forth. This led me to re-reading and re-analyzing everything twice to fully understand this member whose role I was taking. I found it also difficult to not base decisions off of my own opinions in the choices given to me. In other words, I couldn’t go off of my instinct like I usually would do in a situation. I had to overcome this barrier, and I did this by constantly reminding myself that I was someone else; especially after receiving a bad ranking for the first question! I was determined to get the next questions correct for the reason that I knew that it would help guide me in the other questions. I began to focus on being that other candidate, and not my own opinionated self. After I finally achieved this task, I had a better understanding of the political simulation as a whole, and the scenarios at hand made more sense. It was then that the questions became easier for me to answer and more exciting to do. All in all, the simulation was a fun and easy way of learning about a sector in a political process.


Activity #4

This is probably one of the hardest questions for me to answer because I have been in countries where they do not have laws that protect their citizens from their government. I wouldn’t want to ever give up these rights so it was really hard to decide what I am willing to give up and what I feel is necessary to keep. When coming up with my answer, I thought of what it would be like if it was a dictator that took over and was going to be an extremist when it came to our rights.

1. The five Amendments I would choose to keep are;

-Freedom of Speech and Press

-Right to bear arms

-Right to be confronted by witnesses, be informed of the nature of accusations and compel witnesses to testify

-Right to reasonable bail, the assistance of an attorney and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

-Right to due process

a. Freedom of speech – I choose this because if we were to be taken over by an extremist this would be the way that we could potentially revolt against and find a way to govern ourselves the way we were before we were taken over. This civil liberty is important because we are able to say what we want without getting in trouble for it. Giving this up, means when we have a problem with something we couldn’t publically say anything or publish anything in the press or media with what we liked and what we didn’t like. I feel if we gave this up, our future generations would not be able to speak openly if they wanted to fix something. This is why it was part of the first amendment, they wanted to change what they were not allowed to do or be a part of while under British control.

b. Right to bear arms – This is important because if we were taken over by an extremist, we wouldn’t be able to protect our neighbors or ourselves from looting or other personal crimes. My earliest memories were of hunting with my dad and being able to use a gun. I feel that if I did own a weapon now, I could properly protect my family and myself. But I do see that this can be a negative if guns were not registered and used to commit crimes. The only thing that this is missing from the amendment is “keeping”; my concern would be to make sure that is added, where we would be storing our arms.

c. Right to be confronted by witnesses, be informed of the nature of accusations and compel witnesses to testify – I felt this was important to keep because I would want to know what I have been accused of and what I was going to be going up against. The basic right to have people testify on your behalf would be helpful if your accusations were wrong against you. If you didn’t know what was being brought up against you, and you had no one to testify on your behalf you could and wouldn’t be able to properly defend yourself. Our future generations could potentially be accused and have no clue what they’re accusations were and would just setting themselves up for jail time or punishment. Which leads me to the next Right I would keep.

d. Right to reasonable bail, the assistance of an attorney and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment – What would be the point of not having people to testify for you if you cannot have a lawyer appointed for you? And if you didn’t have a lawyer to represent you, you would be facing some form of punishment if found guilty. Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment protects us from various forms of torture and humiliating punishment. Torture is currently used in countries in the Middle East and though out Asia. I would not want to put this on our future generations. I could not think of having someone humiliate my family or torture them if they were found guilty, let alone have someone represent them. This also leads me to my last one, Right to due process.

e. Right to due process – I originally wasn’t going to have this one but I talked with my brother and when we discussed this, it made me think twice. The right to due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are allowed to a person according to law.

2. The Rights I have chosen to give up are;

-Freedom of Religion

-Right to assemble peacefully and petition the government for redress of grievances

-Freedom of unreasonable search and seizures

-Right to a speedy trial by jury

-Freedom from compulsion to testify against oneself.                                                                             

a. Freedom of Religion – I know that religion is a human right and a preference, but I at the same time, I really thought about what I was willing to give up to keep this. And I felt keeping our protection from the government was more important. I also feel that we currently have little protection while in public with our religion here in the U.S. There are people who will still discriminate towards physical actions or religious symbols.

b. Right to assemble peacefully and petition the government for redress of grievances – Again, I felt this was hard to give up but at the same time, two or three generations later they will find an innate way of assembling against what they felt is wrong. It is our natural to socially gather and openly discuss what we felt is happening that is wrong. So, I felt this one would ultimately find a way back into our structure.

c. Freedom of unreasonable search and seizures – The right of confidentiality and privacy in a democracy. Even though I have never personally felt that this has affected me, I’m not sure as to why I need it other than if I was accused of anything that the police or government would not need to obtain a search warrant to search or seize my belongings that could ultimately place me at a place or time of a crime.

d. Right to a speedy trail – Even though I know giving this one up the prosecution could excessively delay a trial for their own advantage, and that there is not a time limit from the arrest or the indictment, I know people would want to know and have their punishments in a years’ time versus 5-10 years from those dates.

e. Right to compulsion to testify against oneself – Another hard one to give up because this is in our Miranda Rights; and self-incrimination could line for punishment. And now that we do not have the right to a speedy trial, you could ultimately be waiting for a long time to find out if what you said years before could do to you.

3. I believe that the new Small Country’s society will go back to what we have since our founding fathers’ wrote the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. It’s really hard to change a society in 2-3 generations; possibly after 5-6 we would conform to what we were told to but I believe there would be a vast majority of rebellion and revolt. It took a few generations for us to break away from British rule but we did. I wouldn’t doubt that we would in due course go back to our founding roots.

4. This course’s content in conjunction with the Small Country society made me really think about what is wrong and what is right with our Bill of Rights and what can be changed and what should not be changed. The basic rights that we have, as Americans, are definitely a privilege. I believe a lot of people don’t understand how others live in other countries that are not of democratic rule. Our Civil Rights alone make us stand out to others who wish to have the choice say they have been wronged or a voice to speak freely with. Our civil liberties have also been added and changed to conform to what society needs. Without our civil rights, we would not have an opportunity to do anything; rights to vote, equal opportunity; slavery. Without my civil rights, since I am Mexican and a woman, I would not be able to do very much or be heard. I could not go to school, because of segregation, I could not have a good job with equal pay as a man nor could I have the right to decide whether or not to keep a child, or vote. I would hope that we would never be in a position to give up our American rights, but I fully believe if we did, we would find a way to get them back.


Activity #4

As designator of my Small Country, I have decided the five civil liberties that I would like to retain for my country and the five I will have to give up. My decision is based upon my knowledge of each liberty listed, its importance in our government and how it affects our everyday lives. First, I will share the five civil liberties my country will keep: freedom of speech and press, freedom of religion, right due process of law, right to reasonable bail, the assistance of an attorney and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

With my first selection of freedom of speech and press, my country will gain two rights in one civil liberty -- freedom of speech and freedom of press. By keeping this civil liberty, I feel my country will be at ease with the comfort of knowing that their spoken and written words will not be threatened by the alien conquerors. I also feel that if this liberty were to ever be taken away from my country, the people would be at a constant struggle for what is “acceptable” to be spoken and written. In turn, this would have an effect on future generations as their learning in speaking and writing would have extreme limitations. As noted in one of the presentation slide, “American college campuses have become an important battleground in the continuing struggle over the meaning of free speech.” Not to say that having this civil liberty stay in my country will allow its people to have free range of words, but even today Americans are at a struggle with the definition of what is really “free.” Under the government, freedoms like speech and press are guaranteed until another individual's rights are violated. Although my country will be under a new alienated government, the civil liberty of freedom of speech and press must be guaranteed as that of the US government’s.

My next selection is the freedom of religion. No village or country ever wants to be conquered by a foreigner, especially from another planet and having the freedom of religion will allow my country to continue its moral and ethnic traditions. I think retaining historical traditions with religion will allow future generations to see what was brought from the past as well as what has changed into their present time. Also, I’m sure that without having the other five civil liberties, my country will soon see its affects and having a place and freedom to worship will be necessary to help them cope with this unfortunate event. The freedom of religion establishment clause “prohibits the national government from establishing a national religion.” The free exercise clause “prohibits the U.S. government from interfering with a citizen’s right to practice his or her religion.” Therefore, with this type of agreement the aliens would not be allowed to interfere with how each individual chooses to participate in religious events.

The third civil liberty I have decided to keep is the right from unreasonable search and seizure. I strongly feel everyone has a right to their own privacy and when unwanted search and seizure is forced upon a person for no lawful reason, then privacy is violated. Can you imagine a police officer of FBI agent coming to your house or pulling you over on the side of the road just to search you and your belongings without any type of warrant? With this liberty being like that of the U.S. Constitution, we are guaranteed “that police must knock and announce their presence before entering a home or apartment to execute a search.” There’s no for sure way of knowing how the aliens would act if this civil liberty was not a right to my fellow citizens. If any search and seizure were ever to be conducted under this new government, the aliens must respect the entire civil liberty.

The next civil liberty I would like to keep is the right to reasonable bail, the assistance of an attorney and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. With this liberty guaranteed, the citizens would gain three rights - reasonable bail, an attorney and no cruel or unusual punishment. To protect my country and its citizens from any harm -- monetary or physical -- I believe this civil liberty will be beneficial for everyone. Obviously, there is no way of knowing their laws and ways of action when someone commits a crime, so for protection purposes, this civil liberty must stay. If the constitution of this country were like that of the constitution of Texas, then the death penalty would be included in the punishment. Since the aliens would be the higher power, it would be up to their government to decide when this punishment is appropriate.

As the fifth and final selection, I have chosen the right to due process of law. This basically means that everyone is entitled to the proper processes of the law and everyone who is a citizen is also entitled to fair treatment under the law. I feel with the four civil liberties previously selected, this liberty will complete the package. Yes, by selecting this civil liberty, I may be losing an opportunity to select another liberty that the citizens would gain. However, I cannot argue with fairness and justice. Each of my fellow citizens deserves what is fair and what is just. The alien government could not deny a citizen “life, liberty or property without the due process of law.” Also noted in the slideshow presentation, “it also prevents the national government from taking property without fair compensation.” In the U.S., I believe the constitution promotes individuality and protects its citizens from unlawful situations. The right to due process of law is like a safety ground that protects the citizens of that state.

The five civil liberties I decided not to keep are the right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances, the right to bear arms, the right to a speedy and public trial by jury, the right to be confronted by witnesses, be informed of the nature of accusations and compel witnesses to testify, and the freedom from compulsion to testify against oneself. I think some of the civil liberties I have decided to discard will act as exceptions to previously picked civil liberties. For example, the right to assemble peaceably and petition for the government for redress of grievances, I feel, is covered in the civil liberty of the freedom of speech and press.

The same can go for the freedom from compulsion to testify against oneself, and the right to be confronted by witness, be informed of the nature of accusations and compel witnesses to testify. They all deal with the form of speech, and press can even be included. Who is to determine that the right to assemble and petition isn't a form of free speech? After all, the first amendment includes free speech, free press, free religion, freedom of assembly and the right to petition. I believe all are combined together for the same general idea - the freedom of expression.

I feel the freedom of speech also links to the freedom from compulsion to testify against oneself. Usually when a person is arrested, an officer will verbally say their Miranda rights, which includes the right to remain silent. If you chose to remain silent during an investigation, you are practicing your right of freedom of speech, which in this case would be no speech. If you are afraid of what the alien government might do to punish you, remember you are protected under the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

Another civil liberty that I feel is covered under freedom of speech is the right to be confronted by witness, be informed of the nature of accusations and compel witness to testify. What you would lose from this civil liberty being discarded is the possible vital information from the witness. However, let’s remember that one civil liberty I decided to keep was the right to due process of law. Therefore, you are guaranteed fair treatment under the law. The situation is bittersweet, but it’s better than losing all of the civil liberties.

The next civil liberty I would like to address is the right to a speedy and public trial by jury. I have decided not to keep this civil liberty because the word “speedy” is an ambiguous word in its context. By speedy, how long does that mean? Without this civil liberty, now and future generations may not have the opportunity to even have a trial. You could be locked up for a long time because a trial is not guaranteed. Lastly, I have decided to give up the right to bear arms. Without this civil liberty the citizens, individually and collectively, will not have the right to conceal weapons. I feel that if Small Country citizens were allowed to conceal weapons, then it would potentially be a threat to the aliens. However, by letting go of this civil liberty, there could be a possibility of less violence in the country. I think for the citizens of my country, we should do our best to try to stay at peace with the aliens, as they have allowed us five of the ten civil liberties.

My decision of the civil liberties to keep and to let go will greatly affect future generations. Of course, they will not know the difference between their present life and the life we had before the aliens. Their society will be restricted as there will be limitations to their current civil liberties. I have a feeling that in the future, the alien government will set specific rules such as new clauses to each civil liberty.

There also was no mention of voting in these civil liberties. Does that mean that the aliens will chose who their leader(s) are, and not the citizens? I also feel that the values that the government fought so hard to establish will be completely lost and forgotten as time moves forward and rights and liberties become less. When the government was being created and established by man (social contract theory), rights and responsibilities were given to the citizens and the government, but I feel that in the future, matter of rights and responsibilities will be given solely to the government. For the future generations of Small Country, I hope they keep in mind a quote that reminds me of the government that was originally sent out for my Country and that of the United States. From Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, “...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


Activity #4

In Small Country, the civil liberties I would choose to keep would be: freedom of speech and press, right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, right to a speedy and public trial by jury, and right to due process of law. Freedom of speech and press will be a good civil liberty to have because the conquerors will not have control over such an important value. Since Small Country was taken over, the writ of habeas corpus will be important for those held prisoner. The right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances is a good civil liberty to keep because the people have the freedom to peacefully petition for what the government has done. I feel like this will be important with the possible new form of government the aliens may have: possibly dictatorship, monarchy, oligarchy, authoritarianism, communism, etc. The freedom from unreasonable search and seizure will keep the government from invading and assuming they can search without a reason or warrant. Right to a speedy trial and public trial by jury and right to due process I feel are the most important because no matter what you cannot be convicted of any crime without going through a trial and going through the processes the Constitution grants: protection for the accused and protection from arbitrary government action.

I chose to give up freedom of religion because I feel that in a society that was taken over the other liberties would be more important. I do think that freedom of religion is important, but in this particular instance I would give up this freedom and just pretend to believe in the aliens' religion. I gave up the right to bear arms since if Small Country was taken over and weapons did not help us not to get conquered because they are stronger than us, then arms won't help us. Now giving up this liberty could affect the future in the case of a revolt. Since people would not be allowed to bear arms it would not end well. The right to be confronted by the witnesses, be informed of the nature of accusations and compel witnesses to testify was given up because the right to a speedy and public trial by jury was kept. If the trial is public enough and there was a witness, they would still most likely be called on to testify, even though they can refuse. It was hard to give up the right to reasonable bail, the assistance of an attorney and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment because these are very good liberties. They give people the right to an attorney even if they cannot afford one and the right to get out on bail, and protect them from the abuse of power in the justice system. Giving up these freedoms could also be a problem in the future. Especially if the aliens do use cruel and unusual punishments there will be no rights to protect the people.

In about twenty years I see Small Country facing many troubles. The aliens adopted a monarchy form of government, with a king. The people speak out against the government but are ignored because of the monarchy. The people wish that they could get out on bail, have the right to an attorney, and were free from cruel and unusual punishment but unfortunately the government abuses these powers especially with the poor and criminals. Since they do not have some rights they are also exposed to the cruel and unusual punishments of the aliens. Politics are controlled by one party since the aliens do not allow more than one. The people of Small Country unfortunately struggle to maintain what rights they have left in their new society.


Critical Thinking Essay

Is most power in America used legitimately and only by those granted authority by the people? Maybe said in other ways, but this question is more often asked than not. Everyone wants to know who is in charge of whom, why they are in charge, how they got in charge, and so on. For the most part people would think that the ones who can be in charge of them are those who are CEO’s of a business, a boss at their job, or a leader of some sort. It all depends on who is designated as the leader of that particular situation. Not only the situation but who has the power also depends on the point-of-view of each person.

With so many different views on what is truly a legitimate use of power, is there a really a way to determine who has it and who thinks they have it. What makes someone different from anyone else that they have the power to tell others what to do? The fact that the people themselves have given someone else the authority gives that person the power legitimately. Someone can say they have the right but if the people say otherwise, the authority they think they have to power is illegitimate. The examples of who has the power overall would be characterized in the sense of authority. In one way or another right was given to them, so they have the use of power legitimately.

Who has the power and how was it given to them? An example of someone who has power would of course be the president. He has the right to the use power because we the people elected him into office and gave him the authority. In this situation the president could be considered as practicing macro-politics. Not everyone agrees with his decisions but he has the right to do what he does. Some more people with authority would be the cops. I paid more attention over my two days of journal entries at the fact that the cops on school campus use their power in any way they can. I have seen more tickets been given out just by the cop walking around the parking lot then a student getting pulled over for speeding. It is stated in the school handbook that we as student are supposed to have a parking decal and if we don’t we will get ticketed. That alone gives the cop the power to write a ticket if they see a car without a decal. Most students don’t take the campus cops seriously but they can’t forget that they still have the right and power to do what they do.

Others who may not always be considered as people who have the right to power would be parents and teachers. Teachers were given the authority when they got their teaching degree, and parents, I guess you can say that would be an unspoken authority. They are dealing with children and students on a daily basis, so the power that they have would be considered micro-politics. A parent has the power to tell his or her child what to do and how they would like it to be done. Not all parents take advantage of  this power and think that it would nicer to just get along with their children, but they still have the power. Teachers and administration have the power while students are at school. Certain rules and consequences are set forth in the school so that no disruptions are taking place and everyone is there doing what they need to do, getting an education. If a student doesn’t follow the directions at school the administration has the power to take the appropriate actions to teach the student a lesson.

The question still remains, is most power in America being used legitimately and by those with the authority? I believe so, power is being used by everyone in any way, whether it is as small as a parent grounding their child or as big as the president declaring war. The power is being used and in a legitimate way. Although the person with the power may differ, as long as the people have given the authority the, power is being used legitimately. Someone giving another the authority can range anywhere from a dean of a college giving the student’s their degrees to the owner of a corporation hiring someone as the manager of the business. This all just goes back to the point-of-view of any one person.


Critical Thinking Essay

Power struggles occur in daily life in every culture: a battle in Congress over healthcare, a fight between a mother and her teenage son, and two cops vying for the same promotion. In politics, power is legitimately given by the people through voting. With the balance of power in the three branches of government, votes are needed to gain majority rule. Earlier in his life, a son would obediently listen to his mother; however, as he aged, he yearned for more freedom, responsibility and power. Nature has run its course as the son wins over his mother and is allowed to do as he pleases. A power struggle between two police officers wanting the same promotion can cause tension and competition between them. By nature, individuals strive for power to use to gain a higher status. Power is have the ability and aptitude to influence others in order to further a purpose. However, how this power is used is either legitimate or illegitimate.

To understand power in politics and power relations, we must know how it works. Democracy in America gives its citizens the power to influence, like interest groups, but protects its citizens from physical power. Power in politics does not lie in the hands of the leader. Instead, the power is shared and balanced. Without this type of structure, democracy would not exist, and without democracy, the control of the government would not grant authority to the people. The people are who control the government, because they are the majority and the foundation. In a visual mind, the shape of a pentagon can help explain the role of power in politics. A pentagon has five points and five sides. The very base (one side and two points) of the pentagon represents the people, for they are the foundation and influencers of politics in government. From the foundation, a government is able to form and build upon its foundation. The people (foundation) elect officials which represent the parallel walls of the pentagon. These officials use the authority granted to them by the people to secure the structure of the government, just like the walls secure the shape of the pentagon. The officials who represent these parallel walls, and the foundation of the people then work together to form a point, which is usually the leader or the president. With this shape, we can now understand how power relations work, as each point and each side or wall of the shape can depend upon each other. It’s funny how in America one of our government buildings is called ‘The Pentagon’.

In macro politics, power relations heavily depend on each other. Every day we rely on our elected officials to use their votes to voice our opinions, known as majority rule. However, sometimes an official may go against their beliefs and morals in order to win majority rule. Usually, an official will vote for or support an interest when it is in the best interest of the general public. Let’s look at the healthcare bill, for example. When campaigning for presidency, Barack Obama made it known that he wanted to see ‘change’ in America. Part of his vision of change was the reformation of healthcare. When he was elected president, his big idea was to pass his healthcare bill. Let’s look into this bill in the form of power. The power to pass this bill does not lie solely in one person, or Obama. In fact, the power to put Obama’s idea of change into action lies in the hands of many people. For his bill to even be considered, he must have supports such as his vice president, the speaker of the house, and of course the votes, which plays a heavy factor. This type of power and the relations of power in this case are legitimate. The people, who were given the original power to vote, voted in officials who voted in this healthcare bill. However, if within the bill were policies made to benefit only some and not everyone, then that would be illegitimate. Policies, bills, laws must be made to suit the best of the general public, and power should not cause illegitimate benefits.

In micro politics, power relations rely on the individuals who set the power. Let’s look at the power of a family. In the simplest form, a family is a government. Depending on what type of family it is, the mother and/or father, or guardians will set the power in the household. As noted earlier, power can often shift. There are a number of reasons why power may shift but one cause is through development and change. Let’s take into consideration a police officer giving a driver a ticket for speeding. The legitimate power lies in the police officer who has the authority to give a speeding driver a ticket. To be very clear, the speed limit was documented at sixty miles per hour, but the unaware driver was going seventy miles per hour. Speed limits are set for a reason and should be obeyed, as all road signs should be obeyed. The police officer has legitimate authority to ticket the speeding driver for not following the speed limit. Legitimate authority is what is accepted as just by the ruler and the ruled. The speeding driver understands the consequences but decides to shift the power. The speeding driver then bribes the police officer into believing that a tree was blocking the speed limit sign and convinces the officer to let them go with a warning. This type of situation is an example of illegitimate power, and as a result, the power has thus shifted.

To answer the question, is most power in America used legitimately and only by those granted authority by the people? -- I am going to have to agree but also disagree. Yes, we the people set the legitimacy of the power given to those granted authority, but often we see illegitimate power to gain benefits or shift the power. Elected officials and leaders are trusted by their voters to put the people’s voice into action, which, in fact, they do. However, there are individuals who think they can get past the system and can take advantage of any situation to gain power. However, with the research I have found, those granted authority are from the people. So really, it is the people who have the authority. People just like me are who really run this country and have the power, so why are illegitimate powers being used when we have to power to oversee it? As a voter and a participating citizen in politics, I feel that the research in this area shows that the people or the voters need to be more aware of legitimate and illegitimate powers.


Project

Identify the candidate you are assessing by putting a 1 in the space before his/her name.

Identify each of the remaining candidates with 2, 3 or 4. Continue to identify those candidates by number below.

_2_ Newt Gingrich              _1_ Ron Paul            _3_ Mitt Romney                _4_ Rick Santorum

PERSONAL STATISTICS

In the spaces below, enter the information requested or, where indicated, none.

date of birth

August 20, 1935

place of birth

Pittsburg, PA

spouse's name

Carol Paul

number & ages of children under 21 / none

Rand Paul, Ronnie Paul, Lori Paul, Joy Paul, Robert Paul

religious denomination / none

Raised Lutheran later became a Baptist

highest level of education & major

Doctor of Medicine from Duke in 1961  OB/GYN physician

current city & state home-of-record

Texas

current employer & position / none

US Republican representative for Texas 14th congressional district

MEDIA IMAGE

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

describe media representation of the candidate

He is blacked out by the media as a candidate who has no chance in hell of winning. Wacky character with wacky ideas. Intelligent & likeable.

accurate representation?
(yes/no & explain)

Yes, he has not received more than X% of the votes.

factors contributing to image:

personal characteristics
(list all & explain where needed)

Was linked to white supremacy groups in the 80’s and is really more a Libertarian than a Republican.

The oldest candidate.  Grandfatherly, friendly, witty, smart, quick thinking.  A small, non descript man with a squeaky voice.

cosmetic variables
(list all & explain where needed)

He is the opposite of the slick candidate.  No perfectly coiffed hair, not tall, dark or handsome.  More Mayberry than Hollywood.

VERBAL SKILLS (speeches, interviews, etc)

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

effective use of humor

Quick witted and smart. When asked, “how will you bring the troops home?” he replied, “by ship.”

thinks quickly when faced with unexpected

He is a medical doctor so he handles the unexpected eloquently.

responds appropriately to unexpected

Always responds with an idea, maybe a quirky idea that most political candidates would never utter publicly, but he has an idea.

body language:

_X  relaxed     __ stiff     __ anomalous

Very comfortable in front of a crowd

speeches:

_X  excite crowds     __ subdue crowds

Innovative ideas

symbolism used:

_X  unifying     __ divisive

_X_ positive     __ negative

DEBATE PERFORMANCE

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

commonly used themes & phrases

Limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency.

key moments

Having completely different ideas than the other guys. Not afraid to throw new, radical ideas out for conversation by the pundits.

resulting feedback

Most people love him or think he is a nut case.

examples of issue-based arguments

Ending aid based programs and going back to a time where government does not control all our lives….like health care

examples of character-based arguments

As a practicing physician, he did not take Medicaid as payment but instead worked out an acceptable payment plan for his patients.

examples of spin

When other candidates talk about federal government programs running out of money, he sells his idea of a limited constitutional government.

most effective debate moves

To remain in the debates long after there was no chance of him being a contender. This forced the main stream candidates to deal with constituents hearing his plans and having them make adjustments.

assessor's rationale for choice

His brazen personality and bold ideas drove candidates to incorporate some of his philosophies into their platform.

least effective debate moves

Hipping up his language at college campuses. Words like dude and groovy.

assessor's rationale for choice

It was cheesy

ISSUES

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

current positions on key issues:

abortion

Pro life, against birth control, prefers adoption

taxes & spending

Everyone taxed at the same rate and that rate be as close to 0 as possible

immigration

Enforce border security, no amnesty, abolish welfare states, end birthing citizenship

same-sex marriage

Does not believe that states or the federal government have a right in your person life

health care

Let people opt out of Obama care government should not be in the health care business

environment

Eliminate the EPA, remove restrictions from drilling, lift blocks on coal and nuclear power

education

Supports home schooling, wants tax credits for home school families

war

Wars are supported by the big businesses that supply airplanes, ships, ammo, etc. then those big business lobby and donate to members of congress who vote on wars

positions that have evolved over time / none

Focusing more on non- interventionist foreign aid over getting government out of personal lives

issue position differences with Newt Gingrich

Newt believes we need to build our military and protect American interests abroad, give tax breaks over cap and trade, and leave health care to private companies

issue position differences with Mitt Romney

Mitt defends the bailout, wants to give waivers for education and raise the age for social security

issue position differences with Rick Santorum

Rick believes health care is a liberty that all Americans should have, keep entitlement programs and have a secure border.

US intervention in Afghanistan

__ support     _X_ oppose

Opposes all foreign intervention

US intervention in Iraq

__ support     _X_ oppose

issues emphasized by campaign

We keep letting the government slowly chip away our rights and liberties because we are told that is what they need to do to keep us safe, when in fact, it is the government creating a state of big brother.

EXPERIENCE

In the spaces below, enter the information requested or, where indicated, none.

elected offices held / none

United States House of Representatives

1976-1977

1979-1985

1997-present

unelected/appointed offices held / none

Financial services committee, foreign affairs committee

experience in private sector / none

Practicing OB/GYN physician

FINANCES

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

total money raised to date

$X

percent from individual contributions

X%

percent from PACs

X%

total money spent to date

$X

as percent of total raised

X%

total money unspent to date

$X

as percent of total raised

X%

campaign funding differences from Gingrich

Total raised: $X

Spent: $X

campaign funding differences from Romney

Total:  $X

Spent:   $X

campaign funding differences from Santorum

Total:  $X

Spent:  $X

campaign funding differences from Obama

Total:  $X

Spent:  $X

POLLING DATA

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

trends toward or away from candidate across groups:

men/women

X%/X%

young/old

X% under 34, X% over 45

different ethnicities

X% white, X% black, X% Hispanic, X% Asian, X% other

religious/secular

Predominately X

gay/straight

X%/X%

Annual income

__% less than $25K

__%  $25k - $49.9K

__% $50K- $74.9K

__% $75K - $99.9K

__% $100 - $199K

Party id

Tea party __%

Pure independent   __%

Republican    X_%

opportunities for gains

_X  yes     __ no

assessor's rationale for answer

Always looking forward to the next state. Supporters are on the internet showing speeches and listing the next place he will be.  His followers are very loyal.

unexpected poll results

_X_ yes     __ no

positive/negative
Explain.

Some media sources predicted a win in Iowa and a possible win in New Hampshire.

most significant trends in polling data

He is gaining in the 40 plus year-olds and great gains in former military personnel

STRATEGY

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

states with current campaign focus

X

skip Iowa caucuses

__ yes     X no   finished 3rd

skip New Hampshire primary

__ yes     X no    finished 2nd

campaign's rationale for choices

Push with full force in all primaries and caucuses to get his message of shrinking government out to the people so they see he is not a republican talking head

current delegate count

_X_

number needed to claim nomination

_X_

delegate count for Gingrich

_X_

delegate count for Romney

_X_

delegate count for Santorum

_X_

states projected with positive outcomes

Texas, Florida and North Carolina

campaign's rationale

Historically republican states where he has a large fan base

groups projected with positive outcomes

College campus group, x military, and tea party

campaign's rationale

These groups have shown high numbers at the exit polls

strategic goal of advertisements

To get people registered to vote, make people aware that the government is slowly taking all their rights and creating a nanny state

issue positions currently emphasized

Having oversight for the federal reserve and ending America’s police force around the world

issue positions currently deemphasized

Strict and literal adherence to the Constitution

advertisement effectiveness

Semi effective…..he is still just quirky enough and has such different ideas that he alienates mainstream Republicans

assessor's rationale for choice

He is not a mainstream candidate

ASSESSMENT

In the spaces below, enter the information requested in sufficient depth & using sufficient detail. Give examples where appropriate.

Assessment:

What is the candidate's chance of success by the time of the August convention?

Not likely. Ron Paul is an unusual candidate that does not conform to the status quo. He has stirred more interest in this campaign then in his others, probably due to the lackluster economy. But his ideas are just too left field for the mainstream voting person. He is popular with college students who do not have great voting track records so they are not much help with the delegate counts and getting campaign contributions. He will most likely be out of the running long before August.

Rationale:

By what method did you reach your assessment?
What data were most important in your assessment?

Ron Paul is a candidate that the media has largely ignored. His campaign contributions of $40million pale in comparison to Mitt Romney’s $153 million. He does not court PAC money like the mainstream candidates. The majority of his money comes from individual donors.

Paul started off strong in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary with 2nd and 3rd place showings. Things looked positive for awhile but as the campaign continued he was never able to carry a state. 

He showed strong support from college students, former military and male voters but never anywhere near as strong numbers as Romney.

He is a personable, likeable, engaging candidate, who believes we have let the government turn America into a Nanny state where we are incapable of making the decisions that are in our best interest. 

His answers to these problems are logical and almost simplistic. He does not conform to either the Republican or the Tea Party platform, but is more of a Libertarian. 

He will pick up delegates in the red Republican states like Texas, Florida and the Carolinas, but with his ideas being more to the left than the conservative Republicans, he is not going to get a large number of mainstream Republican voters.

Convention:

How likely is it that the Republicans will have a brokered convention?

 

It is a definite possibility. No one candidate is close to the 1144 delegates. There are still too many candidates vying for the voters’ attention and no one has come out with a slam dunk in popularity.

Integrity of the Data:

Why are you confident that the data used for this profile & assessment is comprehensive & accurate?

I am confident in the integrity of my research. I spent a great deal of time going to many websites and reading what they had to offer. I made notes and compared information against other sites. I listened to numerous speeches and debates by candidate Paul and compared them to the written data. 


Project

Our group chose to conduct a survey on healthcare.  A couple of factors influenced our decision; the first being that one of us works in healthcare and one of us will in the future.  More importantly, this subject was a big part of the election and we were curious what people were thinking about healthcare and more specifically cost and regulation, in our area.  The recession has added a sad and interesting twist to the entire concern about healthcare.

We were able to narrow our topic by focusing on what we wanted to know; we wanted to gain an overview of peoples experience and perspective on healthcare; which is a very important part of everyday American life.  We wanted to get a feel for how comfortable people were with health care reform and regulation of their health care.  We were curious what percentage of the population was actually concerned about healthcare costs.  Related to employer paid benefits; we were curious about how many people felt secure with their employment.

The questions we chose to ask were close-ended questions; in order to keep our survey simple and concise. We decided to ask sex and age in order to see if there was a difference of opinion among male and female, and youth versus middle age.  We ended up with significantly more women than men so it was difficult to draw any specific conclusion regarding sex, but we did notice a definite trend regarding age; the younger, the less knowledgeable about healthcare.

Our questions were as follows:

  1. Age, 20-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60.

  2. Sex, male or female

  3. Do you have employer paid benefits?

  4. Do you feel secure in your job?

  5. Do you have a health condition requiring medical care?

  6. Have you ever had to pay for health benefits?

  7. If yes, do you feel it was affordable?

  8. If you have health insurance, do you feel your deductible is reasonable?

  9. If you have health insurance, do you feel your co-pay is reasonable?

  10. Do you feel citizenship should be a requirement for health coverage in the U.S.?

  11. Should there be limits on coverage (i.e. life support for a 90 year old, etc.)?

  12. Should an insurance company be allowed to have a non-medical person question a physician recommended order?

  13. Should there be a limit on malpractice lawsuits?

  14. Should insurance companies be required to pay for alternative medicine?

  15. Should insurance companies enforce personal responsibility (quit smoking, lose weight, etc)?

  16. Should pre-existing condition limit healthcare options?

  17. Should there be limits on drug costs?

  18. If you get a vaccine preventable illness, having decided not to get immunized, should the insurance company be required to pay for treatment?

  19. Do you know what universal healthcare is?

  20. Would you support universal healthcare?

When we began, we found we did need to re-word many of our questions in order to keep them general and applicable to a broader group of people.  We did not want any “hot” questions that might lead to a heated debate; but we did want questions that would require serious thought on what was happening in the respondents’ life and how they really felt about the issues that are in fact a part of healthcare today.

The format we used was written, very simple to understand, without leading questions and did include demographic information.  We felt that an oral survey might indicate (through voice inflection and expression) our views on healthcare.  We included demographic information to see if there was a noticeable difference between age groups and sex.

We decided to choose our respondents randomly; based on personal choice of the administrator of each survey.  We did not feel a specific location was important; in fact we felt that could influence our survey (people coming into a convenience store may have a different set of experiences than a group of people at a high end store).  We really wanted an honest, random selection.

Age:                           20-30: 29

31-40:  13

41-50:  8

51-60: 10

Sex:

Male: 18

Female: 42

 

 

Yes

No

N/A

Do you have employer paid benefits?

44

16

 0

Do you feel secure in your job?

42

13

5

Do you have a health condition requiring medical care?

10

50

 0

Have you ever had to pay for health benefits?

20

40

 0

If yes, do you feel it was affordable?

13

37

10

If you have health insurance, do you feel your deductible is reasonable?

30

19

11

If you have health insurance, do you feel your co-pay is reasonable?

44

5

11

Do you feel citizenship should be a requirement for health coverage in the U.S.?

44

16

 0

Should there be limits on coverage (i.e. life support for a 90 year old, etc.)

12

48

 0

Should an insurance company be allowed to have20a non-medical person question a physician recommended order?

10

50

 0

Should there be a limit on malpractice lawsuits?

33

27

0

Should insurance companies be required to pay for alternative medicine?

48

12

 0

Should insurance companies enforce personal responsibility (quit smoking, lose weight, etc.)?

31

29

 0

Should pre-existing conditions limit healthcare options?

12

48

 0

Should there be limits on drug costs?

49

11

 0

If you get a vaccine preventable illness, having decided to not get immunized, should the insurance company pay for treatment?

8

52

 0

Do you know what universal healthcare is?

35

21

4

Would you support universal healthcare?

26

30

4

We were surprised by the number of respondents that didn’t know what universal healthcare is; it was a major topic of discussion in the election and in fact has been discussed in the news and in politics since at least the 80’s. We were not clear on why several people responded “Not applicable” to “do you know what universal healthcare is?” but they did.  It is clear that healthcare is a major concern; especially in the 40+ crowd.  It is unfortunate that the cost of private insurance appears prohibitive to some.  It was reassuring to see that many people feel secure in their jobs right now; since so many people are losing their jobs and the benefits that go with them.  Although COBRA is a guaranteed right when people are laid off; it would seem extremely unlikely too many people could afford $700.00+ dollars per month on health insurance after losing either part or all of their income.  It was interesting that some of the questions we considered rather controversial (would you support universal healthcare) were answered yes by so many people.  We also found it interesting that the younger members of our survey appeared very comfortable with regulation and oversight, while the older respondents didn’t favor regulation (most of the people that support ed question 15 were younger than 40.  We do have to add though that the majority of the respondents were younger, so it is inaccurate to say this group represents the views of the average 40 year old+ citizen.


Chapter 7 Summary

I. Interest groups in a Democratic Society: Contrasting Views

a. Interest groups- A private voluntary association that seeks to influence public policy as a way to protect or advance some interest.

b. Pressure group- an interest group or lobby; an association that brings pressure to bear on government decision makers.

c. Lobby- An interest of pressure group that seeks to convey the group’s interest to government decision makers; also, an action by a group or association to influence the behavior of public official.

d. Faction- Madison’s term for groups or parties that try to advance their own interests at the expense of the public good.

e. Pluralist- a political scientist who views American politics as best understood in terms of interaction, conflict, and bargaining of groups.

II. Interest Group Formation: Structural, Political Linkage, and Governmental Factors.

a. Nobody knows exactly how many interest groups exist in the United States, but there is a wide agreement that the number began to develop in the late 1960s.

i. It ranges in the thousands today.

ii. In Washington today more than 80,000 people work for private associations trying to influence the government.

b. Being a very diverse society, there are simply lots of interests in the United States.

i. Racial

ii. Religious

iii. Ethnic

iv. Occupational diversity

c. The rules of the political game of the United States encourage the formation of interest groups.

i. The first amendment to the Constitution guarantees citizens the right to speak freely, to assemble, and to petition the government.

ii. The government in organized in such a way that officials are relatively accessible to interest groups.

d. The existence of diverse interests, the rules of the game, and the importance of government decisions and policies enable and encourage the formation of interest groups.

i. Disturbance theory is a theory that locates the origins of interest groups in changes in the economic, social, or political environment that threaten the well being of some segment of the population.

e. Free rider is one who gains a benefit without contributing; explains why it is so difficult to form social movements and no economic interest groups.

III. What Interests are Represented

a. Private interest associations is an interest group that advocates for a cause or an ideology.

b. Public interest associations is an interest group that seeks to protect or advance the material interests of its members.

c. Advocacy group is an interest group organized to support a cause or ideology.

IV. What Interest groups do

a. Interest groups, whether public or private in nature, are in the business of conveying the policy view of individuals and groups to public officials.

b. There are two basic types of interest group activity

i. The inside game

ii. The outside game

c. The inside game involves direct, personal contact between interest group representatives and government officials.

i. In 2005, there was more than 26,000 registered lobbyists in D.C.

ii. In 1996 there were 10,000 members

d. The outside game involves interest group mobilization of public opinion, voters, and important contributors in order to bring pressure to bear on elected officials.

e. Ear-making is the practice of approaching money for specific pet projects of members of Congress.

f. Grassroots- the constituents, voters, or rank-and-file of a party.

V. Possible Flaws in the Pluralist Heaven

a. Political action committee- an entity created by an interest group whose purpose is to collect and money and make contributions to candidates in federal elections.

b. Soft money- unregulated expenditures by political parties on general public education, voter registration, and voter mobilization; often used to indirectly influence campaigns for elective office, until banned after 2002.

c. Iron triangles- an enduring alliance of common interest among an interest groups, a congressional committee, and a bureaucratic agency.

d. Hard money- regulated campaign contributions to candidate and party committees, as well as to political action committees.

VI. The special place of business corporations

a. Economist and political scientist Charles Lindblom has argues that corporations wield such disproportionate power in American politics that they undermine democracy.

b. Twenty years later Neil Mitchell concluded his book The Conspicuous Corporation which reported the results of careful empirical testing of Lindblom’s ideas, with the conclusion that business interests are not routinely countervailed in the policy process.

c. Corporations are also powerful because their mobility is an important counterweight to any government effort to raise taxes or impose regulations that business deems especially onerous.

d. Large corporations do not run the show entirely.

i. They have the most resources but they do not translate automatically into real political influence.

e. Corporations are most powerful when they can build alliances among themselves.

VII. Curing the Mischief of Factions

a. Over the years, various things have been tried to control the purported negative effects of these special interests.

b. Reformers have also tried to regulate some of the most troublesome abused of the politics of factions.


Chapter 7 Summary

Interest Groups in a Democratic Society: Contrasting Views

Interest Groups – private voluntary associations that try to shape public policy by influencing the behavior of public officials.       

The Evils of Factions

Interest groups are usually regarded as narrowly self-interested, out for themselves, and without regard for the public good.

Interest Group Democracy: The Pluralist Argument

Pluralist – a political scientist who views American politics as best understood in terms of the interaction, conflict, and bargaining of groups.  Pluralists see interest groups not as a problem, but as an additional tool of democratic representation.

Interest Group Formation: Structural, Political Linkage, and Governmental Factors

Number of interest groups began to rise in the late 1960's.  It is still rising today.  Much of the increase in the number of interest groups can be explained by the growing number of public interest or citizen groups organized around some cause or idea.

Diverse Interests

In a free society, these diverse interests usually take organizational forms.

Rules of the Game

The rules of the political game in the United States encourage the formation of interest groups.  The government is organized in such a way that officials are relatively accessible to interest groups.

The Growth in Government

Government does far more today that it did during the early years of the Republic.  People, groups, and organizations are increasingly affected by the actions of government, so the decisions made by presidents, members of Congress, bureaucrats, and judges are increasingly important.  Some groups for around government programs in order to take advantage of existing government programs and initiatives.

Disturbances

Disturbance Theory – a theory that located the origins of interest groups in changes in the economic, social, or political environment that threaten the well being of some segment of the population.

Incentives

People are not inclined to form groups, even when their common interests are threatened unless the group can offer a selective, material benefit to them.  A selective, material benefit is something tangible that is available to the members of an interest group but not to nonmembers.  People often join groups, for instance, because they believe in a particular cause.

What Interests are Represented

Private Interest Association – an interest group that seeks to protect or advance the material interests of its members.

Public Interest Association – an interest group that advocated for a cause or an ideology.

Private and public interest groups come in a wide range of forms.  Some are large membership organizations with sizeable regional offices while others have relatively passive members who join for the benefit the organization provides.

Private Interest Groups

Business

Large corporations are able to mount their own lobbying efforts and join with others in influential associations such as the Business Roundtable.

The Professions

Several associations represent the interests of professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, and accountants.

Labor

American labor unions have traditionally focused on so-called bread-and-butter issues.  Union lobbying activities are directed at issues that affect the ability of unions to      protect the jobs, wages, and benefits of their members and to maintain or increase the size of the union membership rolls.

Public Interest Groups

Such groups claim to be committed to protecting and advancing the public interest.  Most advocacy groups, an interest group organized to support a cause or ideology, retain a professional, paid administrative staff and are supported by generous large donors, membership dues, and/or donations generated by direct mail campaigns.  Most advocacy associations are organized without active membership involvement and are run by lobbying and public education professionals.

What Interest Groups Do

Interest groups, whether public or private in nature, are in the business of conveying the policy views of individuals and groups to public officials.  The basic types of interest group activity: inside game and outside game.

The Inside Game

Ear marking – the practice of setting aside money in the annual appropriations bill for pet projects for constituents and private interests.

The inside game of lobbying does not customarily involve bribing legislators.  Rather it is more the politics of insiders and the "old boy" network.  It is the politics of one-on-one persuasion, in which the skilled lobbyist tries to get a decision maker to understand and sympathize with the interest group's point of view to see that what the interest group wants is good for the politician's constituents.  The inside game seems to work best when the issues are narrow and technical, do not command much media attention or public passion.

Lobbying Congress

The essence of the inside game in Congress is the cultivation of personal relationships with people who matter – Senate and House leaders, other influential and well-placed legislators, chairpersons of important committees or subcommittees, and key staff members.  Lobbyists are also expected to make substantial contributions to the campaign war chests of representatives and senators and to persuade their clients to do the same.

Lobbying the Executive Branch

Interest groups try to establish stable and friendly relationships with the agencies of the executive branch that are most relevant to their interests.  The payoffs from these long-term relationships can be quite high.  They key to success in lobbying the executive branch is similar to that in lobbying Congress: personal contact and cooperative long-term relationships.

Lobbying the Courts

Interest groups sometimes lobby the courts by filing amicus curiae ("friends of the court") briefs in cases involving other parties.  In this kind of brief, a person or an organization that is not a party in the suit may file an argument in support of one side or the other in the hope of swaying the views of the judge or judges.  Interest groups also get involved in the appointment if federal judges.

The Outside Game

The outside game is being played when interest groups try to mobilize grassroots, constituency, and public opinion support for their goals and bring them to bear on elected officials.

Mobilizing Membership

Those interest groups with a large membership base try to persuade their members to send letters and to make telephone calls to senators and representatives when an important issue is before Congress.

Organizing the District

The smart interest group not only will convince its own members in the state and district to put pressure on the senator or congressional representative but will also make every effort to be in touch with the most important campaign contributors and opinion leaders there.

Shaping Public Opinion

Educating the public on issues that are important to the interest group is one of the central features of new-style lobbying.  Strategies: to produce and distribute research reports that bolster the group's position; media advertising; prepare materials that will be of use to radio and television broadcasters and to newspaper and magazine editors; and using computer technology to identify target groups to receive information on particular issues.

Getting Involved in Campaigns and Elections

Interest groups encourage their members to get involved in the electoral campaign of candidates who are favorable to their interests; endorse particular candidates for public office, and are an important part of fund raising.

Possible Flaws in the Pluralist Heaven

Representational Inequalities

The inside lobbying game is dominated by business corporations, industry trade associations, and associations of the professionals.

Resource Inequalities

Interest groups that represent business corporations can afford to spend far more than other groups to hire professional lobbying firms. 

- Political Action Committee (PAC) – an entity created by an interest group whose purpose is to collect money and make contributions to candidates in federal elections.

Access Inequality

Iron Triangle – an enduring alliance of common interest among an interest group, a congressional committee, and a bureaucratic agency.

The Special Place of Business Corporations

Corporations wield such disproportionate power in American society, but do not run the show.

Curing the Mischief of Factions

Disclosure has been the principle tool of regulation.

 


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Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   09/13/2017   0130

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