Monthly Archives: April 2013

What Should A Presidential Candidate’s Resume Look Like?

Which Party Best Understands America?

Current Events Quiz

This week’s quiz is live in MySearchLab.  Good Luck!

Do Testimonial Ads Matter To You?

Here is a testimonial ad from the Frank Rizzo campaign for Mayor in 1987.  Rizzo was the former mayor of Philadelphia and this was his comeback campaign.  Rizzo lost to incumbent W. Wilson Goode in this election.

Do testimonial ads make a difference to you when you cast your vote on Election Day?  Why are testimonial ads used?

Recall Elections

Recall elections involve the removal of a government official through a petition process and a follow-up vote before that official’s term has ended.  The most famous recall elections in recent history involved the recall of Governor Gray Davis (D-CA) and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in 2003 and the failed recall of Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) in 2012.  Nineteen states have a recall process.

Your Primary Choice for Primary Elections

Why do you support the primary that you have chosen?

A Whole Lot of Turnover Goin’ On

B000243On Tuesday, April 23, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) (pictured) announced that he was not running for re-election in 2014. He joins a long list of Senators who have announced that they will not be candidates for re-election in 2014. They are Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI),  and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Two other Senators, Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Kerry (D-MA), resigned. Listed below are the months and years as to when each Senator first began his term.

Senator and Starting Month/Year
Baucus – December 1978
Levin – January 1979
Harkin – January 1985
Kerry – January 1985
Rockefeller – January 1985
Johnson – January 1997
Chambliss – January 2003
Lautenberg – January 2003 (current term); 1982-2001 (previous)
DeMint – January 2005
Johanns – January 2009

With the exception of Lautenberg, each of these Senators would have had a relatively easy re-election in 2014. Lautenberg would have faced a tough primary challenge in Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D). If Lautenberg survived that primary, he would have won in the general election, since New Jersey trends Democratic electorally. The question remains, “Why retire?” If the chances for re-election were quite high, then why move on?

In Kerry’s case, he was named Secretary of State. In DeMint’s case, he took a position at the conservative think tank known as the Heritage Foundation. Some of these Senators claim that the partisan rancor in Washington caused them to step down. Others have said that their age was a determining factor. Could it also be that some do not want to face their records come 2014? In Baucus’s case, speculation has arisen that the Senator does not want to defend his stance of Obamacare and that is his reason for stepping down. In any case, there’s a whole of turnover in the Senate going on. The question is, “Why?”

Current Events Quiz

This week’s quiz is live in MySearchLab.  Good Luck!

527 Organizations

The following ad is from the 2004 Presidential Election.  It is an important one since it was the first Presidential campaign cycle that employed the usage of 527 organizations.  These organizations come from a section of the tax code which allows groups to subsequently get involved in issue advocacy campaigns.  The organizations, however, cannot support a candidate.  They can only advocate against someone running for office.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that Super PACs are now more influential in political campaigns.  In their ads, Super PACs can advocate for or against candidates running for office.  They have surpassed 527 organizations in terms of their effectiveness.

Should there be a limit to what campaign ads can advocate?

Staying Focused

A lot has happened in the first three months of President Obama’s second term.  Stocks have seen signs of improvement, while unemployment has held steady between 7 and 8 percent.  North Korea has threatened the West and its Asian neighbors.  This past week, President Obama witnessed a failed attempt at gun control in the United States Senate.  He began the week with the bombings at the Boston Marathon.