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Interest Groups in the Electoral Process
Choices and Changes is the most comprehensive examination to date of the impact of interest groups on recent American electoral politics. Richly informed, theoretically and empirically, it is the first book to explain the emergence of aggressive interest group electioneering tactics in the mid-1990s—including “soft money” contributions, issue ads, and “527s” (IRS-classified political organizations).
Michael Franz argues that changing political and legal contexts have clearly influenced the behavior of interest groups. To support his argument, he tracks in detail the evolution of campaign finance laws since the 1970s, examines all soft money contributions—nearly $1 billion in total—to parties by interest groups from 1991-2002, and analyzes political action committee (PAC) contributions to candidates and parties from 1983-2002. He also draws on his own interviews with campaign finance leaders.
Based on this rigorous data analysis and a formidable knowledge of its subject, Choices and Changes substantially advances our understanding of the significance of interest groups in U.S. politics.
Catholics and Politics in Twentieth-Century San Francisco
Church and State in the City provides the first comprehensive analysis of the city’s long debate about the public interest. Historian William Issel explores the complex ways that the San Francisco Catholic Church—and its lay men and women—developed relationships with the local businesses, unions, other community groups, and city government to shape debates about how to define and implement the common good. Issel’s deeply researched narrative also sheds new light on the city’s socialists, including Communist Party activists—the most important transnational challengers of both capitalism and Catholicism during the twentieth century.
Moreover, Church and State in the City is revisionist in challenging the notion that the history of urban politics and policy can best be understood as the unfolding of a progressive, secular modernization of urban political culture. Issel shows how tussles over the public interest in San Francisco were both distinctive to the city and shaped by its American character.
In the series Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy, edited by Zane L. Miller, David Stradling, and Larry Bennett
Essays on the Challenges and Prospects of the Sports Industry
In Circling the Bases, leading sports economist Andrew Zimbalist continues his discussion and analysis of the major issues and challenges confronting the sports industry in the second decade of the 21st century. Presenting a general overview of the sports business at both the college and professional levels, this volume places concerns such as the antitrust status of sports leagues, the stalled progress of gender equity in college sports, and the control of Performance Enhancing Drugs in historical context.
Zimbalist also provides a deeper understanding of how sports have fared and changed with the sharpening financial crisis and 2009 economic downturn—from the morphing role of salary caps and revenue distribution and the rapid escalation of college coaches' compensation to the financing of sports facilities and the economic impact of hosting the Olympic Games.
In Circling the Bases, Zimbalist continues to show how the business of sports is evolving and how the sports industry is becoming more closely linked with the corporate sector and thus more vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the U.S. and world economies. Zimbalist deftly shows how sports are facing the uncertainties of the future and what the implications are for sports fans, players, owners, and leagues.
"[B]oth an engrossing history and a guide showing how citizens can make their own laws directly, at the ballot box, when elected officials are unresponsive." â€”Ralph Nader After decades of disuse, a startling upsurge in the use of the Initiative and Referendumâ€”law-making by citizen petition and popular voteâ€”occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. In Citizen Lawmakers, David Schmidt tells the stories of the individual activists, such as Howard Jarvis and Ed Koupal, and the political groups that made this happen. While other studies have analyzed the statistics of the ballot initiative revolution, this book provides the personal, political, and historical contexts vital to understanding the causes and the tremendous impact of the trend toward ballot-box lawmaking over the last two decades. Schmidt demonstrates how "ordinary individuals, even in this age of monstrous bureaucracies and larger-than-life celebrities, can, and do, change this nationâ€™s laws to make government more accountable." Although still neglected in contemporary political science texts, the initiative process has become the most dynamic, innovative arena of American politics. Between 1968 and 1982, the number of voter-initiated propositions on state ballots increased from 10 to 60, with issues moving from purely local to national movements, such as the Tax Revolt (heralded by Californiaâ€™s Proposition 13 in 1978), "Motor Voter" initiatives started in Arizona and Colorado, Bottle Bills and non-smoking ordinances, and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze votes of 1982. As the editor of a nationwide newsletter on the subject and a participant in some of the initiative and referendum campaigns he describes, David Schmidt brings to the writing a wealth of first-hand detail. After tracing the historical origins of the Initiative and Referendum, the book focuses on case studies of the most widespread ballot issues and the most prominent initiative campaign promoters in the 1970s and 1980s. Discussing recent efforts to put national initiative lawmaking rights into the federal Constitution, Schmidt makes a case for the ballot initiative process as an essential complement and corrective to the American system of lawmaking by elected representatives. Citizen Lawmakers is also a handbook for activists. From his experiences in many states, Schmidt provides advice on gathering signatures, complying with state regulations, gaining media coverage, combating opponentsâ€™ tactics, and raising money. This book concludes with appendixes that give a state-by-state capsule history of initiative use and voting results for each of the fifty states and include the results of the votes on propositions from the November 1988 election. "As one of the nation's leading authorities on the referendum and initiative processes, David Schmidt has prepared a thoughtful, positive overview of one of the most significant electoral phenomena of our time." â€”Edmund G. Brown, Jr., former Governor of California "The definitive work on citizens and ballot initiatives.... This study offers citizen activists a manual on how to run a citizen campaign during the ballot initiative revolution and presents, in the appendixes, a comprehensive data on initiative voting in each of the states. The contribution to citizen activism and participatory democracy is the most significant characteristic of Schmidt's volume. The book is well written, well researched, and important. Strongly recommended for citizens interested in being counted once again in the American political system." â€”Choice "An important work that addresses a wide audience.... Unlike much of the work written on the subject, this book provides the reader with both the historical perspective and empirical data.... This work should be read by those interested in the political process." â€”Perspectives on Political Science "The book may convince some readers that ordinary people make better policy than politicians do." â€”California Lawyer "Important reading for those who aspire to influence public policy.... [Schmidt] is at his absolute best and the book is at its most invaluable when it focuses on how to effectively us I&R." â€”Chicago Enterprise
Local Efforts to Influence Public Policy
The Crisis of Prophetic Black Politics
Within the discipline of American political science and the field of political theory, African American prophetic political critique as a form of political theorizing has been largely neglected. Stephen Marshall, in The City on the Hill from Below, interrogates the political thought of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison to reveal a vital tradition of American political theorizing and engagement with an American political imaginary forged by the City on the Hill.
Originally articulated to describe colonial settlement, state formation, and national consolidation, the image of the City on the Hill has been transformed into one richly suited to assessing and transforming American political evil. The City on the Hill from Below shows how African American political thinkers appropriated and revised languages of biblical prophecy and American republicanism.