Category Archives: Politics

Deconstructing Wisconsin: Protest, Mass Media Culture, and Lessons from the 1960s Era

Source: Edward P. Morgan, APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, August 2011

From the abstract:
This paper draws on the author’s recently published book, What Really Happened to the 1960s: How Mass Media Culture Failed Democracy, to examine the current struggle against budget cuts and the curtailment of public employee collective bargaining rights by American state governments. The interaction between mass media and 1960s era social movements reveals both a template relevant to assessing strategic considerations in building an effective democracy movement and a crucial force in producing and sustaining the contemporary neo-liberal regime. With the Wisconsin protests as its primary focal point, the paper examines the recent round of protests and their coverage in the mass media with an eye towards their potential to generate a turn toward democracy in the United States.

Citizens United

Source: APSA Annual Meeting Papers, 2011

A number of papers on Citizens United were presented at the 2011 American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting:

A Model of Inequities in Campaign Money in State Legislative Elections
by: Greg Vonnahme, August 26, 2011

After Citizens United and Speechnow.Org: Considering the Consequences of New Campaign Finance Activities
by: Diana Dwyre, August 2011

Citizens United, States Divided? The Effects of Transparency on State Political Campaigns
by: Abby K. Wood, Douglas M. Spencer, 2011

Constitutional Rights for Non-People: Citizens United and the Quiet Emergence of Associations as Rights-Bearing Political Actors
by: Wayne Batchis, August 2011

Money’s Been Talking: How Citizens United v. FEC Obfuscates the View of the Role of Wealth in Our Democracy
by: Elisabeth Chaves, August 2011

Regulatory Relativity

Source: Jim Tankersley, National Journal, Vol. 43 no. 37, September 10, 2011
(subscription required)

Intuition, not evidence, is behind the argument that cutting government rules will create jobs….There’s little empirical evidence that government regulations have much impact on job creation. But in this scary economic climate, reports Jim Tankersley, emotions might count for as much as empirics.

Utility rates and the political environment

Source: Bryan A. Mantz and Robert J. Ori, Journal AWWA, Vol. 103 No. 8, August 2011
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
For publicly owned water and wastewater systems, there is never a right time to request an increase in utility rates. This situation is especially true in today’s environment because of the lingering downturn in the economy and amplified political pressure to minimize or limit rate increases. However, the need to raise rates is becoming more critical because of the increasing scarcity of new water resources, more stringent regulations for utility services, and the greater need for capital reinvestment for renewals and replacements. Utility managers should realize that the ability to adjust rates has become more dependent on a multifaceted process as opposed to simply presenting the utility’s rate case at a public meeting. This article presents approaches and strategies that have been successfully used by utility management teams to present the need for rate increases for the long-term benefit of the utility stakeholders.

County Government Choices for Redistributive Services

Source: Jayce L. Farmer, Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 47 No. 1, January 2011
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article seeks to examine factors that influence county government preferences for redistributive policies. An analysis of county services in 2007 reveals that political economic and political institutional influences stimulate redistributive service choices. Not only do these influences promote the provision of redistribution, but they also carry important implications for choices to internalize versus outsource production efforts. State-level influences and the reformed government structure consistently stimulate both the provision and internal production of redistributive services. Moreover, the findings suggest that the politics of redistribution as commonly understood for cities has different implications when applied to the environments of counties.