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43 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Describe an interest group.

-organization established to influence the government's programs and policies

-can be set up to serve the interests of a small number of people concerner with 1 particular interest

-can be set up to serve the interests of a group with broad interests

-some interest groups are established to represent tje common interests of business/labor groups (like unions)

What do interest groups want from policy makers?

policy that is beneficial for their group

The practice of combining several individual campaign contributions into one larger contribution from a group in order to increase the group's impact is known as-


The largest and most effective public employee interest group in Texas is made up of-

public school teachers

One important way for interest groups to gain access to those in Texas government is to employ who as lobbyists?

former officials

Texas has what kind of laws dealing with lobbying by former government officals?


A private group that raises and distributes funds for use in election campaigns is called a-

political action committee

Texas trial lawyers frequently ally with-

consumer interests

*Most political action committee spending in Texas represents-

*campaign contributions

If an interests group "gets on the late train," it means-

a candidate it opposed won the election and now they must make a substantial political contribution to the winning candidate whom they formerly opposed

What is the function of EMILY's List?

it develops relationships with candidates and legislators by providing early contributions to female candidates

Which U.S. Supree Court case in 2009 created the opportunity for organizations that opposed powerful incumbents without having to disclose the donors?

Citizens United vs. Fderal Election Commission

In Texas, what kinds of issues provoke intense partisan battles?

social issues

In the Texas legislature, the House has ___ members and the Senate has ___ members.

150; 31

Texas senators must serve ___-year terms and House members serve ___-year terms.

4; 2

One of the notable effects of bicameralism in the Texas legislature is that it-

-must be voted on by 2 bodues (House & Senate) to be passed

-author of bill can accept/reject amendments from other body

-allows members to retaliate against a member of either body not cooperating

For how long does the Texas legislature meet?

140 days of regular session biennially

The agenda for special sessions in the Texas legislature is set by the-


In 2004 and 2005, three special sessions were called in the Texas legislature to deal with-

school finance

A bill in the Texas legislature that would allow a county to establish a new community college would be classified as a-

local bill

*What is the main difference between a bill and a resolution?

a resolution must be passed unanimously, but a bill only needs a majrity.

-a bill is a proposed law sponsored by a member if the legislature and submitted to a House/Senate clerk

-a resolution is an expression of opinion on an issue by a legislative body

In Texas, who can write a bill?

anyone can write a bill, but only legislative members can introduce a bill

In the Texas legislature, when a committee pigeonholes a bill, what happens?

a committee chair sets the bill aside and never brings it up before the committee

In Texas, why is the governor's post-adjournment veto so powerful?

it's a great bargaining tool, the governor can threaten to veto unless changes are made in a bill

Why is the comptroller of public accounts so inportant to the legislature?

he issues revenue estimates to inform the legislature pf the amount of money it can spend in the next two years

How is the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives chosen?

he is elected by members of the House at the beginning of the regular session

Legislative districts in the Tecas House and Senate are-

-represented by single-member districts

-supposed to be drawn using the one-person, one-vote principle

*Who has responsibility for redistricting the Texas delegation to the U.S. Congress?

federal courts

Governors can be quite powerful in spite of weakness of the office by doing all of the following-

-use the limited formal powers available to them

-exercise their personal political power

-exploit the prestige of the office of governor

-marshal various special interests to their cause

What is the Texas governor's most significant and far-reaching power?

power of appointment

The governor has some control over the final appropriations bill through the use of the ______ veto.

line-item veto

Which of the following is the best example of the Texas governor's military powers?

declaring martial law in event of disaster (riot, flood, etc.)

What makes the greatest difference between strong and weak governors of Texas?

actively trying to lead/having a dynamic personality

In Texas, which officer in the plural executive is NOT elected by voters?

secretary of state

The chief lawyer for Texas is the-

attorney general

The _____ is the oldest state agency in Texas.

the General Land Office (GLO)

Thice office in charged with ensuring the accuracy of official weights and measures?

department of agriculture

Authority over railroads throughout Texas was given to the _____ in 2005.

Texas Department of Transportation

What is the purpose of the Sunset Advisory Commission in Texas?

the SAC reviews the effectiveness of state agencies; every 12 years state agencies must justify their existence to the SAC

Describe some of the different types of interest groups operating in Texas. Which ones have been the most influential? What are some interests that have been underrepresented in Texas?

There are a plethora of interests groups in Texas. The Texas Medical Association is one of the most influential professional groups in Texas and they represent the interests of doctors in the state government. Other profession groups represent accountants, lawyers, and dentists. Public school teachers may be the largest and most-effective of the public-employee interest groups which include representations of police officers and fire fighters. There are also civil rights groups like the NAACP that remain sucessful by mobilizing public opinion and influecing the media in a busniness interest-heavy political system. Groups that try to promote consumer, enviromental, and general public issues like Public Citizens, The Sierra Club, and Common Cause have been underrepresented in Texas.

Does the increase in partisanship put the minority party at a bigger disadvantage when it comes to influencing legislation? Do the Texas legislature's presiding officers have too much power?

The increase in partisanship puts the minority party as a biger disadvantage when it comes to influencing the legislature because a continuing increase in bias towards one's party affiliation decreases the willingness to compromise. If that truly is the case, then legislative presiding officers may have too much power since they play a key role in voting on potential new members.

The office of Texas Governor is one of the weakest in the nation. Why is this the case? What are some of the limitations that the Texas Constitution pplaces on the governor? What are some of the informal powers the governor may use to bolster the power of the office?

The office of Texas governor is one of the weakest in the nation because is was viewed as very oppressive and corrupt during the reconstruction era. The Constitution of 1876, a reaction to the state government of te time, was intended to ensure that no state official had extensive power. It placed strict limits on appointment and budgetary powers. However, he may informally appoint people to work with him on pubic policy and create a working relationship with the Lt. governor to see that his agenda is heard in the legislature (message power).

How can the governor's session-calling powers be used to influence the legislative process?

The governor has the power to set the agenda for special sessions so the legislature must address and focus on his specifically-set topic until a compromise of some kind is reached. He can also threaten an line-item veto.