In Oregon, Ballot Measure 58 would prohibit schools from teaching foreign students in their native language after one year in elementary school or two years in high school. • And in Missouri, Constitutional Amendment One would "establish English as the official language for all government meetings where public business is discussed or decided or where public policy is formulated". • Large number of anti-gay marriage measures were on the ballot in 2004
Empowering the people? • There is no big secret to the formula for manipulating California's initiative process. Find a billionaire benefactor with the ideological motivation or crass self-interest to spend the $1-million plus to get something on the ballot with mercenary signature gatherers. Stretch as far as required to link it to the issue of the ages (this is for the children, Prop. 3) or the cause of the day (this is about energy independence and renewable resources, Props. 7 and 10). If it's a tough sell on the facts, give it a sympathetic face and name such as "Marsy's Law" (Prop. 9, victims' rights and parole) or "Sarah's Law" (Prop. 4, parental notification on abortion). Prepare to spend a bundle on soft-focus television advertising and hope voters don't notice the fine print or the independent analyses of good-government groups or newspaper editorial boards...Today, the initiative process is no longer the antidote to special interests and the moneyed class; it is their vehicle of choice to attempt to get their way without having to endure the scrutiny and compromise of the legislative process. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initiatives_and_referendums_in_the_United_States
In a move that cuts directly against the secretive nature of dark money political efforts, California’s campaign finance watchdog on Monday publicly released the names of the donors behind an Arizona group’s $11 million donation to ballot initiative efforts in the Golden State. • In a sharply worded press release, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) said the money for the donation made by Americans for Responsible Leadership came from Americans for Job Security, the conservative organization, and had been funneled through The Center to Protect Patient Rights, a non-profit helmed by Sean Noble, a former congressional aide who has been tied to the movement of millions of dollars between political non-profits. The FPPC also said that in disclosing the donors, the Arizona group Americans for Responsible Leadership admitted to “campaign money laundering.” • Americans for Responsible Leadership, a Phoenix-based 501(c)4 nonprofit group run by an unlikely collection of Arizona Republicans, began drawing criticism from California Democrats and progressives in October, when it made the enormous donation to another group, called the Small Business Action Committee PAC (SBAC). The SBAC is opposing California’s Proposition 30, which is Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax-hike initiative, and supporting Proposition 32, which would prohibit labor unions from raising political money through payroll deductions. • “Americans for Responsible Leadership… today sent a letter declaring itself to be the intermediary and not the true source of the [$11 million] contribution,” the FPPC said in its press release. “It identified the true source of the contribution as Americans for Job Security, through a second intermediary, The Center to Protect Patient Rights. Under California law, the failure to disclose this initially was campaign money laundering. At $11 million, this is the largest contribution ever disclosed as campaign money laundering in California history.
Electoral Districts • Congressional and state legislative districts are typically drawn every 10 years in a process known as redistricting • Most districts are gerrymandered to serve a particular group’s interest
Electoral Districts • Gerrymandering • Packing: ramming many voters of one party into a district to dilute their votes in other districts • Cracking: tearing up dense pockets of party voters to dilute their votes in that district • Stacking: merging two districts of the same party to force incumbents to run against each other
Chapter Warm Up • One person , one vote • Spilt ticket • Rhetoric, narrative, ideology • Proportional representation • cracking, stacking and packing • Butterfly ballot • Smoke filled rooms • Legal gerrymandering • Styles of campaigns
The Campaign Narrative • The formula: What is the problem? Who are the villains? Who are the victims? Who are the heroes? What is the common sense solution? • Republican narrative: heroes, villains, victims, common sense solutions. • Democratic narrative: heroes, villains, victims, common sense solutions.
Electoral Districts • Congressional districts should be contiguous, compact, and consistent with existing political subdivisions • Race can no longer be the deciding criterion
Ballots • Ballots can take many forms, and each state makes its own. • Some differences among states are: • Party line voting • Electors, not the candidates’ names, listed first • Party affiliations not listed • Voting machines, paper ballots, punch cards, or touch screens
Chapter 10 WHO SUPPORTED OBAMA IN 2008?
Who Supported Obama in 2008? Election Results by State Population John McCain (R) Barack Obama (D) SOURCE: Mark Newman, “Maps of the 2008 US presidential election results,” www.personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2008/ (accessed 7/8/10).
Who Supported Obama in 2008? Election Results by State Electoral College Votes SOURCE: Mark Newman, “Maps of the 2008 US presidential election results,” www.personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2008/ (accessed 7/8/10).
Electoral College • The electors vote at their respective state capitols the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. • If no candidate has a majority of the electoral votes, the House decides the result, with each state getting one vote.
Election Campaigns • Campaigns: efforts by political candidates and their supporters to win the backing of donors, political activists, and voters in their quest for political office.
Election Campaigns • The first step is to allow candidates to start raising money and accepting donations. • Two methods: • form an exploratory committee • file papers announcing candidacy
Election Campaigns • Staffing
Election Campaigns • Primaries • Personality clash: candidates’ policies are roughly the same • Ideological struggle: candidates’ policies differ dramatically
Presidential Elections • Parties select their presidential candidates by delegates sent from each state • GOP: winner-takes-all • DEM: proportional to state vote share • Most states hold primaries, but some hold caucuses
Presidential Elections • The primary season is earlier each election • States seek to be influential by voting early • Some states with late primaries are debating abandoning them
Presidential Elections • Early conventions selected the candidates themselves • Primaries and caucuses were non-binding • Deals were cut in “smoke-filled rooms” • Party leaders wanted to determine candidates
Presidential Elections • Contemporary party conventions • Ratify the decisions made in primaries • Enact any new rules for future delegate selection • Draft party platforms • Present candidates and the party platforms to voters