Texas Government 2306 Ch. 5-8

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
Case Study – The Tea Party
The tea party:
-A loose network of conservative activists organized to protest high taxes, excessive government spending, and big government in general. – “Taxed Enough Already”
-The tea party has become an important political force in Texas.
-2010: The energy of the Tea Party increased the turnout of conservative voters, helping the republican party dramatically increase its strength in the Texas House and Senate.
-Also influenced the Texas legislature in 2011. Helped ensure that the legislature balanced the state budget by cutting spending rather than raising revenue or dipping into the sates rainy day fund.
-Representative Pete Gallego of Alpine —
“this session i think the tea party was driving the train.”
Voting Rights and Minority Participation – Voting in Texas
Voting in Texas:
-Only white males enjoyed the right to vote when Texas joined the union in 1845…does that meet the definition of a democracy?
-Much of the subsequent history of the state is the story of the efforts of women and the members of racial and ethnic minority groups to gain the right to vote and participate meaningfully in Texas politics.
Minority Voting Rights – Franchise/Enfranchise
-Franchise: The right to vote
-Enfranchise: To grant the right to vote
-The civil war ended slavery but Texas’ white political establishment refused to enfranchise former slaves.
-1867: military rule forced southern states to grant african american men the right to vote (15th amendment)
-African americans registered to vote for the first time in Texas.
-After the early 1870’s Texas politics began to return to the pattern in place before the civil war.
Minority Voting Rights – Minority Disenfranchisement
-Minority Disenfranchisement: Denial of voting rights
-After reconstruction, Texas was a one party state dominated by the democratic party.
-Texas restricted the voting rights of minorities in order to maintain the political power of whites.
-Jim crow (state) laws required segregation of blacks and white in public schools, railroads, buses, restaurants, hotels, theaters, and other public facilities
-Poll tax: A tax voters had to pay to register to vote
– White primary: Election system that prohibited african americans from voting in democratic primary elections.
Civil War Amendments
-13th: 1865 prohibited slavery
-14th: 1868 granted full US and state citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the US and guaranteed equal protection of the laws
-15th: 1870 the right to vote cannot be abridges on account of race.

-African Americans achieved some gains during reconstruction however…
Supreme court decisions white gutted federal civil rights guarantees
-Plessy V. Ferguson 1896: separate but equal

Womens Suffrage
-Suffrage: the right to vote
-The abolition movement: a political reform effort in early nineteenth century america whose goal was the elimination of slavery
-The women right movement began in the 1840s as an offshoot of the abolition movement.
-1903: the drive for women’s suffrage picked up steam with the founding of the texas suffrage association.
-1918: texas legislature approves a law allowing women to vote in primary elections.
-1919: US congress proposes a constitutional amendment granting women the right the vote.
-texas was the first southern state to ratify it…became a law in 1920.
Minority Voting Rights – Boss in control in South Texas
-Hispanic vote: in heavily hispanic south Texas, political bosses, in particular ranch owners, controlled both local economies and local politics.
-The white primary did not keep latinos from voting, but political bosses often controlled the votes of latinos.
Minority Voting Rights – The struggle for minority voting rights
-Federal Court: African Americans turned to the federal courts and Congress for help in regaining the right to vote.
-1964: the 24th amendments prohibited poll taxes in elections for the presidency or Congress.
-The Texas poll tax could still be collected for state and local elections.
-Two years later the US supreme court struck this down as a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.
Texas Adopts a Voter ID Law
-2011 voters had to present one of five acceptable forms of photo identification.
Forms of participation
-Participation: Texans participate in the policy process in a number of ways
-joining political groups
-contacting public officials
-participating in protest demonstrations
-unconventional political acts which involve the violation of law
Qualifications – voting in texas
-18 years of age
-American citizen
-Resident of the state
-Registered to vote

-Voters cast their ballots in election precincts near their homes. Texans can vote early if they wish.

What do you think? Can you be a good American and vote?
-Gore Vidal “Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for president. One hopes it is the same half.”
-People can participate in politics by working on election campaigns.
-Volunteers help with duties such as:
-Mass Mailings
-Telephone banks
-Assembling yard signs and distributing them to the candidates supporter (local)
-Contributing money
Other forms of participation
-Working in groups – people can participate by working through a group. (e.g., NRA, MADD, or LULAC)
-Contact officials – some people participate in the policy process by contacting government officials.
-Protest demonstrations – others choose to participate by engaging in protest demonstrations.
-Political Violence – some choose to go beyond peaceful protest and engage in acts of violence.
Presidential election 2008
-Voter turnout was not very high in Texas
-Voter turnout was high across the nation but not in Texas
-Voting population – 18 million Voting age, 13 million registered, 8 million voted.

-Texas voter turnout rate in Texas was the fifth lowest in the nation in 2008

-Minnesota – 75.7%
-Wisconsin – 72.5%
-New Hampshire – 70.1%
-United States – 58.2%
-Texas – 49.7%
-Oklahoma – 49.2%

Patterns of Participation
-Participation rates vary among individuals based on income, age, and race/ethnicity
-Income: Middle and upper income groups you are more likely to go to polls.
-Age: Participation increases with age until advanced age and ill heath force the elderly to slow down.
-Race/Ethnicity: Overall participation rates for african americans and non-hispanic whites are similar while participation rates for latinos are substantially lower.
-Whites are overrepresented, while hispanics are significantly underrepresented at the ballot box.
Minority Voters
-make up a third of the Texas electorate in 2008
Participation and Representation
-The Texas electorate is unrepresentative of the states population
-A long history of public policies designed to limit the right to vote to middle-class and upper-income citizens
-Has resulted in under-representation of the poor and minorities
-Voter Mobilization: The process of motivating citizens to vote – could narrow the participation gap in Texas politics.

Not really a democracy since it does not serve us all equally based on who votes***

Case Study
-The Howard Amendment
-Rainy Day Fund: Texas’ savings account” funded by a portion of oil and gas production revenues
-Rep. Donna Howard’s amendment would dedicate surplus money in the Rainy Day Fund to be sent to the state’s school districts to help pay for enrollment growth.
-Passed 101-42 in the Texas House, but quickly became controversial.
-Small gov. conservative groups charged that the Howard amendment was reckless

-Texans for Fiscal responsibility
-Empower Texas, Americans for Prosperity
-Texas Freedom Works

-Posted online the names of Republican legislators who voted for the amendment
-used social media to alert conservative activists.
-within days, the tide turned in the legislature against the amendment 87-59

Interest Group
-an organization who joins together voluntarily on the basis of some interest they share for the purpose of influencing policy
Business groups and Trade Associations
Business groups and trade associations are the most powerful interest groups in Texas politics
-Business groups and trade associations generally agree on the need to maintain a good business climate:
-political environment in which business groups prosper
-Includes low tax rates on business, laws that restrict union influence, and regulation favorable to business growth.
-Effective because they are organized, well-financed and skilled and skilled in advocating their positions.
Professional Associations
-Politically influential because of the relatively high socioeconomic status of their members
-Concern themselves with public policies that affect their members
Organized Labor
-Organized labor is relatively weak in Texas
-Right-to-work Law: Prohibits a union shop, which is a workplace in which every employee must belong to a union. you do not have to join a union.
-2010: Only 5.4% of Texas workers belonged to unions
-Less than half of the national unionization rate of 11.9 percent.
-Texas ranked 43rd among the 50 states.

-Generally right-to-work states have lower unemployment rates and faster job growth, but also lower wages.

-Median weekly earnings in 2010 of union members=917
-Median weekly earnings is 2010 of non-union members=717
Agricultural Groups
-Farmes and ranchers are: politically astute, well organized, knowledgeable about how to exert influence in state politics
-Many of the policy goals of agricultural interests have long since been achieved and are entrenched in law or the state const.
Racial and Ethic minority groups
Concerns include:
-Protecting the voting rights of minority citizens, election and appointment of minority texans to state and local office, College and university admission policies, public services for low-income residents, inner city development, and economic development.

-Best known organizations are – LULAC, NAACP.

Religious Groups
-Churches and other religious institutions provide the foundation for a number of political organizations.
-Roman catholic and protestant churches have helped organize political groups to support issues such as healthcare, education, and neighborhood improvement within the poor.
-Religious political right includes some of the most active and probably most influential religiously oriented.
Breaking News!
-5th circuit upholds Texas law requiring hospital admission priceless for abortion doctors.
-Doctors must have had admission privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their abortion clinic.
-5th circuit court of appeals found no undue burden…what is the purpose of the law?
-the gov. and other republicans said the law would improve patient safety and hold abortion clinics to safer standards.
-The bill failed to pass during the regular session
-the government added it on June 11/13 to a special session in an effort to get it passes.
Citizen Advocacy and Cause Groups
-Organizations created to support government policies that they believe will benefit the public at large. Texans for public justice and common cause work for:
-Campaign finance reform and ethics regulations for public officials
-Variety of other “good government” causes:
-Texas public interest research group and Texas watch are consumer rights organizations.
-Advocacy groups are created to seek benefits on behalf of persons who are unable to represent their own interests.
-childrens defense fund, Texas AIDS network

-Cause groups are organizations whose members care intensely about a single issue or a group of related issues.
-Texas right to life committee, MARAL, MADD.

Interest Group Strategies and Tactics
-Electioneering: Attempting to influence public policy by participating in the elctoral process.
-Methods: endorsing favored candidates, delivering a block vote on behalf of candidates, contributing money through political action committees (PACS) which are organizations created to raise and distribute money in political campaigns.
Interest group strategies and Tactics
-Texas does not limit the amount of money individuals, businesses, or PACs can contriver to campaigns.
-2010: a PAC associated with AT&T contributed 1.4 million to candidates for statewide and legislative office.
-Factors PACs use to determine which candidates to support. -> sympathetic to their policy preferences, likelihood of a candidates winning, incumbent office holders.
Breaking News!!
-Political action committees – a popular term for a political committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates most PACs represent big business, labor or ideological interests.
-Communication of information by a representative of an interest group to a government official for the purpose of influencing a policy decision.
->Social lobbying
->Information and research
->Campaign financing
->Mobilizing supporters
Public relations campaigns
-Attempting to influence policy by building public support for their points of view.
Example: Groups supporting tort reform conducted a sophisticated public relations campaign to win support for their point of view. & purchasing billboards and running television radio advertisements against what they called a “lawsuit”
-Attempting to influence policy by filling a lawsuit.
Example: 2009, shell oil company settled a lawsuit filed by environment Texas and the sierra club by agreeing to reduce emissions at its deer park refinery, also promised to pay a 5.8 million penalty.
Protest Demonstrations
-A tactic sometimes used by groups unable to achieve their goals through other means.
-Occasionally catches the attention of the general public and pressure is brought to bear on behalf of their protesting group.
-In most cases protests have only a marginal impact on public policy.
-Interest groups find power in alliances with other interest groups and political parties.
-The republican party is currently in firm control of all three branches of Texas government and groups allied with it benefit…including:
->business groups
->antiabortion organizations
->small government groups
->religious conservatives
Case Study!
Republican party dominance
-2010 election: every executive branch official elected statewide was republican. Every seat on Texas’ two highest courts – republican
-Republicans outnumbered democrats 19-12 in the Texas senate and 99-51 in the Texas House.
-When two democratic members of the house changed parties, the republicans gained a 101-49 super majority.
The Party System
Political Party: an organization that seeks political power.
-Similar to interest groups – both are interested in election outcomes
-Different – political parties attempt to win control of government by nominating candidates for elected office to run under the party label.
-Division of voter loyalties between two major political parties, resulting in the near exclusion of minor parties from seriously competing for a share of political power.
-Since the civil war wear, democrats and republicans have been the two dominant political parties in American national politics.
National and State Party Organization
-Both parties have national and state party organizations
Temporary Party Organizations
-The temporary organization of each party consists of the percent conventions, county and district conventions, and state party conventions.
-Meetings: Assemble for a few hours or days in a general-election year to allow rank and file party supporters a chance to participate in the party’s decision-making process.
->select delegates to the next highest level of the party
->select delegates to the national party convention in the presidential election years.
Party Organization
-State conventions: Both parties hold these in June
-Certify party nominees for the fall general election
-Adopt a state party platform (Statement of party principles and issue positions)
-Elect the state party chairperson and vice chairperson
-Choose members of the state executive committee
-Select individuals to serve on the natl. party executive committee

-In presidential election years, the state party convention selects delegates to the natl. party convention.
-Each state party convention also name a slate of potential presidential electors to cast the electoral college votes for Texas.

Party Organization
-Permanent Party Organizations – Operate year-round
->Precinct chairpersons
->County chairpersons
->County executive committees
->State executive committee and state party chair

-Primary Duties:
->Conduct elections
->Raise money for the candidates
->Plan for party conventions
->promote the party

Dominance of Democrats
-Post civil war – for nearly a century, texas was dominated by the democratic party
-Power base – large landowners and industrialists favoring a conservative political philosophy
-Electoral success – Democrats won nearly every statewide race, most seats in Congress and the state legislature, and the overwhelming local and judicial contests.

-“solid south” – Democratic dominance throughout the south
->Democratic sweep of southern state electoral votes in presidential election years.

-Liberal faction emerges
->by the 1930’s and identifiable liberal faction emerged within the democratic party to challenge the conservative dominance.

-Liberalism: Seeks to change the political, economic, or social institutions of society to foster the development of the individual.
-Conservatism: Seeks to preserve the political, economic and social institutions of society against abrupt change.

-Electoral contests between conservative democrats and liberal democrats led to factionalism within the democratic party during the next several decades of texas politics
-Cons. Democrats: generally opposed most government economic regulation and heavy government spending favoring low taxes and traditional values
-Liberal democrats
Reemergence of Republican Party
-Transition: Early 1950s through the late 1970s was a transitional period with the coming to life of the Texas Republican party.
Texas voters begin to join the republican party in the 1950s and 1960s.
-Texas republicans built their party throughout the 1960s and 1970s and successfully elected candidates to the US Congress, the Texas legislature and to local government.
-Republican shift: Dwight Eisenhowers candidacy (34th president, 1953-1961) brought a flood of new faced to the republican camp.
Rise of the Republican Party
-The legacy of the civil war finally began to diminish in importance, especially for younger texans.
-Many conservative white Democrats became disenchanted with what they saw as an increasingly liberal national Democratic party.
-The Texas republican party benefited from the migration of white collar workers from outside the south.
Two party state?
-Republican governor (1978) – Bill Clements’ election as the first republican governor in more than a century signaled the emergence of a competitive two party system in Texas.
-Competitive politics
->1978-1994: Texas politics was more competitive than ever before…Texas party politics becomes a two party state with the electoral struggles between democrats and republican for control of statewide… (didn’t get the rest)
Voting Patterns
-Income: Higher income citizens generally support Republican candidates and lower income voters backing democrats
-Race and ethnicity: Minority voters especially African Americans, tend to support Democrats
-Age: Texas democrats are stronger with younger voters, in contrast republicans do better with older voters.
-Gender: Texas has a gender gap – differences in party identification and political attitudes between men and women.
-Region: republicans are strongest in west Texas and east Texas. Democrats are strongest in south Texas.
-Place of Residence: Democrats do well in big city Texas; the republicans carry the suburbs, small towns and rural areas.
Interest groups/political party alliances
-Campaign support and funding – interest groups assist political parties by providing campaign funds and organizational support to party candidates.
-Endorse candidates – groups endorse candidates and distribute campaign literature to group members and people who would likely sympathize with the groups goals.
Issue Orientation
-Fundamental principles – the two major political parties in Texas agree on the fundamental principles of americans political and economic systems.
-Areas of agreement: Both democrats and Republicans favor good schools, safe streets, healthy families, and sound economy.
-Areas of disagreement: the two parties disagree on some of the details of policy particularly on the role of government in society.
Case Study!!!
-Texas Wins big
-Gained 4 seats in the US HOR from 32 to 36 (of 435)
-Reapportionment: Reallocation of US house seats among the states
-Redistricting: Redrawing the boundaries of legislative districts
-If one political party controls the redistricting process:
->can maximize its candidates success
->can minimize success of other party’s candidates
The long ballot
-Texas has the long ballot which is an election system that provides for the election of nearly every public official
-The ballot is especially long in the states urban counties
->Example: in 2010 Harris county voter fced a ballot with more than 80 contested races.
-The long ballot is controversial; it is defended as well as critisized.
Types of Elections
-Primary Election: A political party’s election at which a party’s candidates for the general election are chosen.
-Closed Primary: Limits primary election participation to registered party members
->Texas’ primaries are technically “closed”
-Open Primary: Allows voters to pick the party primary of their choice without disclosing party affiliation
->Texas’ primaries function as “open”
-In Texas, primary elections normally take place on the first Tuesday in March of even-numbered years.
Presidential Election – Delegate Selection Process in Texas
-Republican Party – selects national convention delegates through a presidential preference primary election (only)
-Democratic Party – Combines the presidential preference primary and caucus methods (Texas two-step)
Types of Elections cont.
-General Election: A statewide election to fill national and state offices
-Held: The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even numbered years.
->won by the candidate with the most votes (plurality) there is no runoff election
-State law allows split ticket voting or straight ticket voting
->Split ticket voting: Voters cast ballots for candidates of two or more political parties for different offices during the same election.
->Straight ticket voting: Voters cast ballots for the candidates of only one party.
Types of Elections cont..
-Local elections: Elections for city, school district, and special district offices.
->Must be held on the second Saturday in may or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
-Usually held in odd-numbered years to avoid coinciding with general elections for president senators and governors.
-Most local elections are nonpartisan elections
->Candidates’ names appear on the ballot but not their party affiliations.
Special Elections
-Special elections: an election called at a time outside the normal election calendar.
-Purpose: May be used to approve local bond issues or to fill unexpected vacancies i the state legislature or in the states congressional delegation
-Majority Vote: Special elections are nonpartisan and a candidate must revise a majority of the votes cast to win.
Non-candidate elections
-Bond election: An election to obtain voter approval for a local government going into debt.
-Initiative: citizens can propose legislation by gathering a certain number of signatures on a petition.
-Referendum: Citizens can oppose existing legislation by gathering a certain number of signatures on a petition.
-Recall: allows voters to remove elected officials from office before the expiration of their terms.
->many Texas cities (but not the state government) provide for initiative, referendum, and recall.
Election Districts and Redistricting
-Election Districts: Texas voters select public officials in a combination of at-large and district elections.
-At-large Elections: Every citizen of a political subdivision, such as a state or county, votes to select public officials
-District Elections: A political subdivision such as a state or county is divided into districts and each district elects one official.
-Redistricting: Every ten years after the national census, election districts must be redrawn to adjust for changes in population.
-Redistricting applies to:
->Texas House districts
->Texas Senate Districts
->US congressional districts
->State board of education districts
->Districts of local governing bodies
14th Amendment
-Requires legislative districts be apportioned on the basis of population
-Voting rights designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the 14th.
-Population shifts: The failure of legislatures in Texas and others, to redistrict, despite dramatic population shifts, led to a series of cases in which the supreme court established the doctrine of one person, one vote. (Baker vs. Carr).
-Courts decision impact on policymaking in Texas:
->Redistricting caused urban ares to gain in representation and rural areas to lose ground.
Voting Rights act of 1965
-Federal law designed to protect the voting rights of racial and ethnic minorities
-Illegal for state and local governments to enact and enforce election rules and procedures that diminish minority voting power.
-Preclearance: state and local governments in areas with a history of voting discrimination must submit redistricting plans to the US dept. of justice for approval.
-2013: Supreme court invalidates key part of voting rights act, rules 5-4 the coverage map is based on outdated data.
The politics of Redistricting
-Redistricting is a highly political process
-Gerrymandering- Legislative districts drawn to give advantage to one political party over another, or one candidate over another.
-After the 2000 census
->neither party controlled the redistricting process.
->Redistricting in Texas has become highly contentious political process.
Legislative responsibility
-Legislative responsibility: the 2001 session ended without passage of redistricting plans for either of the two houses of the state legislature or congress.
2002 election
-Republicans captures a majority in the texas house for the first time in more than a century and kept their majority in the Texas senate.
-His proposal was highly controversial and bitterly opposed, Democrats fled to Oklahoma to prevent a quorum and to prevent the plan from passing the House.
-Special Legislative Session – Governor Perry called a 30 day special session to consider congressional redistricting
->failed when 11 senate democrats refused to debate bill
Supreme court consideration
-in late 2005, the court agreed to hear a legal challenge to the mid cycle by redistricting.
-Supreme court upheld the basic redistricting plan but ruled that district 23 violated it.
Reforming the Redistricting process
-Critics argue that the modern redistricting process has the following laws:
->Quality of democracy
->Competitive elections
->Political extremes
The role of money
-2010: campaigns for governor, other statewide executive offices, and the legislature cost nearly 235 million.
->governor Rick Perry spent $39 million winning reelection, more money than any other candidate.
-The largest single item in the big time campaign budget is media, especially television.
->A weeks worth of television advertising that covers all of the states major markets const around 1.5 Million.
Electoral success and money
– in general candidates who spend the most money get the most votes.
-Money does not always guarantee victory, 2010: Frank Shami spent over 9 million dollars of his own money trying to win the democratic nomination for governor – he received less than 13 percent of the vote.
Requirements of a successful political campaign:
->Professional campaign organization
->Name recognition for the candidate
->Favorable impression for the candidate
->Unfavorable impressions of their opponents
->Supporters going to the polls
The voters decide
-Political scientists identify a number of factors infuencing voter choice.
-Past performance and future expectations – citizens vote based on their evaluation of the past and expectations for the future.
-Retrospective voting: Based on the perception of an incumbents past performance in office or the performance of the incumbent party.
-Prospective voting: evaluating the incumbent officeholder and the incumbents party based on expectations of future developments.

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