I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:

· To post questions or comments;

· To follow up on class discussions;

· To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

The syllabus is at http://www1.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/JPitney/gov106-fall15.html


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Air Midterm

Relax. This “air midterm” does not count toward your grade; do not even turn it in. Instead, use it to appraise your own progress in the course. Try out this test, either in your head or on paper.If you flounder, then you should take more care with class sessions and assigned readings.

I. Identifications  In a short paragraph each, explain the meaning and significance of the following items. What is fair game for an identification?
  • Items that we have discussed in class or on the blog;
  • Items that appear in bold or italics in the readings;
  • Items that cover several pages in the readings.
  1. "Repeat players"
  2. Murder boards
  3. 501(c)(3)
  4. American Crossroads
  5. Americans for Prosperity
  6. The Gilded Age
  7. Iron triangles
  8. Lobbying Disclosure Act
  9. SEIU
  10. Special districts
II.   Short essays.  In a couple of paragraphs each, answer the following.
  • How is philanthropy a form of interest-group advocacy?
  • How did Big Tobacco use front groups?
  • Explain why Teles writes that the Federalist Society "is not an interest group, and it does not engage in many of the activities its opponents attribute to it."
  • Explain the purported "crowding out" phenomenon in government budgets.
III. General Essays 
  •  Explain how lobbying Congress is different from lobbying the executive branch.  When is an interest group more likely to focus on one rather than the other?
  • Aside from the obvious contribution caps, distinguish traditional corporate PACs from Super PACs and 501(c)(4) groups. Are they trying to do something different?
Bonus questions.  Very briefly identify the following:

  • Stephen Goldsmith
  • Samuel Gompers
  • Gwen Gordon
  • Arthur Goldburg
  • Robert Gibbs

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