In the news Franken/Coleman election: Franken lead increased from 225 votes to 312, out of 2.9 million votes cast in the November election, after counting and additional 350 ballots. Not clear what happens now if Coleman continues to appeal. Congress and gay marriage -- D.C. to recognize gay marriages from other states, esp. significant after Iowa and Vermont. Congress will have to allow or deny this decision within 30 days. Other budget issues The secret budget – very little oversight or accountability for these lines of the budget. The line item veto -- The Line Item Veto Act was enacted during the 104th Congress (it was part of the “Contract with America”). The Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional in June, 1998. The act authorized the President to identify individual items in legislation that he proposed not go into effect. The President had to notify Congress of his proposal and provide supporting information. Congress had to respond within a limited period of time by enacting a law if it wanted to disapprove the President’s proposals; otherwise, the veto would take effect permanently. President Clinton used the line-item veto several times in 1997 before it was struck down. Inside the “black budget” New Deal revisionism and Obama’s budget One line of the Republicans’ critique of the stimulus bill and Obama’s budget is that the New Deal didn’t work, so government spending cannot be the answer to our current crisis. – – Unemployment still high by 1939 WWII got us out of the Depression, not the New Deal Democratic response: New Deal programs did unemployment by more than half, GDP increased by 63% from 1933-1937 and by 125% from 1933-1941. One other logical flaw in the Republican argument about lessons drawn from the role of WWII. New Deal and WWII: GDP from 1929-1949 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1929 1931 1933 1935 1937 1939 1941 1943 1945 1947 1949 Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 2013 2009 2005. 2001. 1997. 1993. 1989. 1985. 1981. 1977. 1973. 1969. 1965. 1961. 1957. 1953. 1949. 1945. 1941. 1937. 1933 [Percent; fiscal years] Deficit as % GDP 10 5 0 Links to the Constituency PS 426 April 9-14, 2009 Links to the Constituency Casework, both in Washington and in the district. Listening sessions in the district. Symbolic legislation – naming post offices, honoring sports teams, etc. Pork barrel policies Newsletters Town hall meetings Public speeches and other events Media outreach (press releases, press conferences, etc.) Member web sites Letters of congratulation to constituents (graduation, marriage, births, anniversaries) Constituency service (Rep. Baldwin) How I Can Help – I may be able to assist you if you have a problem involving federal agencies or programs, including the Social Security Administration, Medicare, the Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Naturalization, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), federal Workers' Compensation or one of the military services. What I can do for you – My staff and I can help in communicating with federal agencies, and advocating on your behalf, if you have already gone through proper channels yourself and are facing difficulties. If you are not sure where to turn for help, we are here to help direct you to the right agency. Communicating with federal agencies can be a frustrating process and my office can act as a liaison between you and the agency. Also, if you have filed an application or petition and time has passed without a response, my office will be happy to check the status of your case. While I cannot force an agency to act in your favor, I can ask for full and fair consideration of a claim, for expeditious handling of a case or claim, and I can point out any failure to follow laws or regulations. Typical Work Days for Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Washington D.C.) (Votes scheduled throughout the day) 9:00-10:00 Briefing hosted by Sen. Clinton – discussion of the federal marriage amendment, hate crimes legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, federal benefits and HIV-AIDS 10:00-12:00 Hearing – Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution; topic: H.J.Res 56, the “Federal Marriage Amendment” (Musgrave Amendment) 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch 1:00-1:15 Constituent meeting – issues: bankruptcy reform, deposit insurance reform, real estate brokerage legislation 1:15-2:15 Meeting with legislative staff 2:15-2:45 Prep w/staff for meeting on federal marriage amendment 2:45-3:45 Meeting with other Members on federal marriage amendment 3:45-4:30 Meeting with Swiss Parliamentarians and Officials (New Glarus, WI in Wisconsin’s 2nd CD reflects strong, continuing influence of early Swiss settlers and is home to The Swiss Center.) 4:30-7:00 Office Time 7:30 – 10:00 Dinner hosted by Swiss Ambassador with Swiss officials and other Members Typical Work Days for Rep. Tammy Baldwin (in the district) 8:00-8:45 Travel to Jefferson 9:00-9:45 Welcoming Remarks, Jefferson County Grants Workshop – presentations on securing federal grants 9:45-10:00 Military Service Medals Presentation to Ft. Atkinson WW II veteran at Jefferson County Courthouse 10:00 -10:45 Travel to Madison 11:00-12:00 Office time/Lunch 12:00 – 1:00 Travel to Beloit 1:00 – 2:00 Welcoming Remarks, Rock County Grants Workshop – presentations on securing federal grants 2:00 – 3:00 Travel to Madison – consider remarks for evening speech 3:00 – 6:00 Office Time – research for speech on Patriot Act 6:00-6:45 Dinner 6:45 – 7:00 Travel to UW Campus – Humanities Bldg. 7:00 – 8:00 Speak to political science honor society on UW Campus – personal reflections on your life in politics. Q& A Morris Fiorina: “Congress: The Keystone of the Washington Establishment” The argument of Keystone: members of Congress get reelected through constituency service. It’s not about policy, it’s about implementation. Protecting the little guy. Albert Wynn in the shopping mall. Chris Matthew’s story about, “I didn’t want to start that high.” They have an incentive to create an inefficient bureaucracy because it serves their reelectoral needs by creating a demand for their services. Rep. Beilenson: there are “not 100 members out of 435 who are serious legislators.” Difficulty in establishing this empirically – direction of the causal arrow? Fiorina, cont. National and local component of midterm elections. “All politics is local.” What does this mean? Why the increase in the national component and decrease in the local component? Fiorina says that the big problem today with Congress is not the over-attentiveness of members of Congress to their constituents (through service or pork), but that the national debate is dominated by the “wing nuts” of the parties (the 10% of extremists on either side). Do you agree? “All politics is local” Politics is still local. “Running Scared” article from last week, “Capitol Flight” article from this week. Are “citizen legislators” a good thing? What are the pros and cons? Tip O’Neill and “people wanted to be asked.” Also, “what have you done for me lately.” Implications of all the travel home on the weekends – it breaks down the bonds between members and makes it harder to forge legislation, especially across the aisle. Hershey retreat – attempt to address this problem. Richard Fenno and “Home Style” Presentation of Self: one-on-one presentation, issue independence (“I am not one of them”), issue-focused appeals, pork, emphasis on leadership. Allocation of resources – Washington D.C. versus the district, both in terms of staff and how often to go home. Explaining Washington activity – how to explain a difficult vote. Hang out in the coffee shops, hold town hall meetings, use media? Depends. Explaining inconsistency is harder: flip-flops. Changes in home style over the course of a career – districts evolve and change. Redistricting may pose the biggest challenge. Linkage between home style and Washington style: Dan Quayle, Bob Kastenmeier. William Bianco and trust trust in members based on their home style and other member characteristics. Members who share certain characteristics with their constituents may be granted more leeway on voting. Members with certain backgrounds may be trusted more on specific issues: millionaires and the pay raise. They don’t need it, so people are more willing to listen to alternative explanations. Pork barrel politics What is pork? – – – Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) definition (one of seven criteria). Earmarks (appropriation for a specific purpose tucked into a larger bill) Others argue that it cannot be objectively defined: Pork is in the eye of the beholder Examples: the bridge to nowhere in Ketchican, Alaska. Ted Stevens and Don Young. The Iowa rainforest, noncompetitive research grants to universities. Number of earmarks have exploded in recent years: 4,155 earmarks worth $29 billion in 1994, 15,268 worth $55 billion in 2005. But in constant $, the amount spent has actually dropped. Pork barrel politics, cont. Arguments against – – – – – – – Pork rewards special interests at the expense of taxpayers. Pork produces a biased distribution of spending Pork is the “currency of corruption” Pork distorts the competitive market, corrupts academia, and impedes scientific research Pork may override local priorities Pork entrenches incumbents Pork contributes to budget deficits Pork barrel politics, cont. Arguments for – – – – One person’s waste is another person’s essential spending (ice sled example) Necessary grease to the legislative process: helps pass important legislation Only less than 1% of the federal budget Arguments against pork are often smokescreen for general opposition to government spending. Middle-ground reform adopted by Dems in 2007: more openness and accountability. No more secret earmarks. However, “stealth pork” is on the rise. Rather than requiring earmarks, members of Congress “ask nicely.” Frances Lee’s chapter Geography comes into play in terms of serving constituent interests more broadly than just pork. – – For geography to come into play, costs or benefits have to be concentrated by geographic area: natural gas, coal, and oil; agricultural products, etc. Senate versus House Interest groups – links to constituency make their appeal more compelling. Public opinion and salience Pork is actually smaller as a % of the budget today. Also, side-payments are unlikely because most margins on important bills are relatively large. Interest groups and lobbying Lobbying strategies: insider (gaining access) vs. outsider (grassroots lobbying or “going public”). Textbook raises the issue of “grassroots versus astroturf.” Problems of insider lobbying: Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Ted Stevens. Laws to prevent abuses and corruption. Gives interests groups a bad name, but they still play an important role in politics. Litigation: using the courts. Election politics -- electing sympathetic politicians. Likely to have a bigger long-run impact than trying to change politicians’ minds once they are in office. Race and Representation Some of this evidence is the most objective of any in the book: The racial composition of members’ staff, location of members’ district offices, and racial composition of pictures in constituency newsletters did not require any subjective interpretation. The racial composition of members’ staff – – Why is this important? Differences between white and black members and difference/commonality members. Location of members’ district offices – Finding about the commonality members was most interesting. Race and Representation, cont. Constituency newsletters: why are these a good measure of racial representation? – – Content of stories Pictures in newsletter (maybe at least people look at the pictures, even if they don’t read the newsletter). Newspaper coverage – examined the racial content of more than 11,000 newspaper stories in the members’ districts and in the national newspapers. Nearly 4,900 of these stories came from African American weekly and daily papers. – – – Measured the member’s point of view (if evident) and the topic of the story. Differences between African American weeklies and daily papers? Differences in coverage between white and CBC members and types of CBC members.