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59 Cards in this Set

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Who is the Texas Governor?
Rick Perry
Who is the Lt. Governor of Texas?
David Dewhurst
Who is the Texas House Speaker?
Tom Craddick
Describe the context of today's Texas Politics.
Radical republicanism brought about a surge of Democrats after re-annexation.
The rewriting of the consitution in 1875 was by a nonpartisan organization of farmers.
Also, a division between white and black Republicans weakened the party.
What are some characteristics of the Texas Constitution?
Statutory in nature.
Very restrictive.
Many amendments.
How has history made an impact on the Texas Constitution?
Reaction to reconstruction.
Reaction to Constitution of 1869 and military rule.
Reaction to centralized power and strong executive (E.J. Davis).
What are some characteristics of the Texas legislature?
Biennial sessions: 140 days in odd-numbered years.
Partisan make-up favoring repubs.
How many Texas House members?
How long are their terms?
150 members
2 years
House many Texas Senate members?
How many years are their terms?
31 members
4 years
What is the Texas Legislature salary?
$7,200 per year
$128 per diem (per day)
What are some powers of the Texas legislature?
Redistricting every 10 years.
Impeachment and conviction of executive.
Senate confirms appointments made by governor.
How does the legislature handle redistricting in Texas?
Every 10 years
Must redraw districts to ensure they are equal in population.
A partisan issue which currently favors republicans.
What would be an advantage in using a nonpartisan commission for redistricting?
The potential demise of gerrymandering.
Increased competitiveness.
Decrease in partisan polarization.
What are some duties of the Texas Speaker and Lt. Governor?
Appoint most committee members and chairs.
Control agenda through scheduling.
Appoint members to (and serve on) the Legislative Budget Board (LBB).
Two categories of power.
What are some characteristics of the Governor executive branch?
Divided into many elective and appointive offices.
Mixture of elective officials, boards and commmissions that are separate and largely independent of the governor.
Governor can influence state policy by persuasion and bargaining.
What are some powers of the Governor?
Message power.
Appointment power (limited).
Veto/Item veto.
Special sessions.
What are special sessions and what are their restrictions?
Sessions scheduled outside the normal session.
Limited to 30 days, but no limit to how many can occur.
Scheduled only by Governor to consider only the matters he presents.
Legislature can call into special session for impeachment.
Gov's "special" power.
What are some reasons the Texas Governor has little control over state administration?
Four elective executive offices independent of the Governor.
Executive power is fragmented among several boards and commissions to administer state laws.
Legislature has assumed budgeting and auditing.
fragmentation and legislation
How is court organization in the Texas judiciary?
Top to bottom:
- Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals
- Court of Appeals
- District Courts
- County-Level Courts
- Municipal and Justice of the Peace Courts
Statewide to local
What are some characteristics of state district courts?
More than 40 jurisdictions.
420 district courts.
Single-judge courts.
What is the function of the Grand Jury in Texas?
The grand jury primarily weighs the evidence in the hands of the prosecutor to determine whether the case will be taken to trial.

Also, to protect innocent citizens against harassment or unjustified charges.
does not determine guilt
How are the Texas judges selected?
Direct partisan elections.
About 45% of judges first assume office through governatorial appointment.
About 80% of judges run unopposed.
What are some activities of lobbyists?
Private Meetings.
Testifying before congressional committees.
Testifying before executive agencies.
What did the framers of the U.S. Constitution do in order to create a stronger national government?
Single and independent executive.
Expressed Powers.
Implied Powers - Elastic Clause.
What are some characteristics of the Electoral College?
Each state has as many electors as Senators and Representatives.
Electors chosen by state parties.
Winner of the popular vote gets all the state's electoral votes.
What is an example of grassroots lobbying?
Mobilize and educate constituents to change public opinion and gain popular support.
Issue advertising.
Protest and civil disobedience:
marches, rallies, boycotts and sit-ins to influence mass or elite opinion.
What is an example of implied powers?
The designation of treasury notes as legal tender
What are some examples of President’s increasing their war-making powers?
Polk - Mexican War
Truman - Sent troops to Korea
LBJ - Vietnam
Bush - Iraq
What are some characteristics of the War Powers Act?
Congress attempted to reassert its authority to declare war.
President must inform congress within 48 hours of committing troops to combat.
Use of forced must end in 60 days (with 30 day extension) unless Congress authorizes longer period.
What are some diplomatic powers of the president?
Receives and appoints ambassadors.
Negotiates treaties (approved by Senate).
Executive Agreements.
Officially recognizes foreign governments.
What does the Constitution say about Judicial Review?
Federal courts review the constitutionality of congressional acts, president actions, or state laws.
What is Judicial Activism?
Judicial branch is active in practicing its power of review.
What is Judicial Restraint?
Judges defer to the decisions made by elected representatives.
What are some agencies of in the Executive Office of the President (EOP)?
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
National Security Council (NSC)
Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)
What is held in the spring and allows party elections to nominate party candidates?
National Party Convention
What are some reasons that Texas party politics are dominated by the Republican Party?
Alienation by the national Democratic Party's emphasis on civil rights in 60s and 70s.
Election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Election of Bush in 2000.
Redistricting of 2000.
What is classical liberalism?
Ideological basis for merchant/middle class.
Metaphor is marketplace.
Equality at birth.
Government and religion are separate.
Government's role: least is best.
What are the three strains of Classical Liberalism?
What are characteristics of Jeffersonian Liberalism?
Least is best
Government to help farmers and small business
What are characteristics of Hamiltonian Liberalism?
Least is best
Government should help business
Republican Party
What are characteristics of Reform/Welfare Liberalism?
Government regulation of business
Government helps poor
Democratic Party after 1932
Liberalism lightly brushed with socialism
What are the ideals of democracy?
Order and stability
Majority rule / Minority rights
How did the framers address the need and fear of a central power?
Single independent exec
Expressed and implied powers
Electoral College

Separation of power
10th amendment's reserve clause
limited suffrage
How did the framers address the need and fear for democracy?
House of Representatives

Separation of power
Limited suffrage
What is a unitary system?
National government appoints subnational governments and gives them what power it wishes.
What is a federal system?
Central power created and dictated by subnational governments
What is the Voting Rights Act of 1965?
Literacy test not required to vote
DoJ oversight to registration
What is the Federal Campaign Finance Regulations limits on contributions?
$2,100 to individual candidates
$95,000 annual total to multiple candidates

$5,000 for primary campaign and general election campaign

$26,700 to national party committee
$10,000 to state party committee
Characteristics of responsible party system.
Clear and contrasting positions
Party members support positions
Majority party program becomes law
Example: Great Britain
Consequences of responsible party system
Representatives address the national policy goals of their respective parties instead of using their own judgement.
What is a direct primary election?
Party election to elect party candidates.
How are presidential nominees selected?
Chosen by delegates at national convention
What are the consequences of proportional representation?
Two-party system?
Multiple party system

Does not allow for moderate candidates
Stability is not desirable
Partisan legislation
Examples of expansions of suffrage
15th amendment allows all races - 1870
19th allows all genders - 1920
23rd allows residents of DC - 1961
24th disallowed poll tax - 1964
26th allowed all of age 18 and over - 1971
What is the President's cabinet?
The 15 heads of executive departments that are also Presidential advisors
Describe the decentralized power structure of Congress.
Few members consider themselves followers, and the leaders have few formal powers to call on.
Describe the local orientation of congress.
Members of congress are elected by local residents therefore members must be locally aware.
What are the activities of congressional committees?
Public testimony
Amending or "marking up" the bill
Voting out favorably
Voting down
Pidgeonholing the bill
5 things
What are the types of Supreme Court opinions?
What do they mean?
Majority opinion explains the decision.
Dissenting opinion disagrees with the decision (optional).
Concurring opinion agrees with the majority decision, but for a different reason (optional).