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CAS PO 111 (43)
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Department
Political Science
Course
CAS PO 111
Professor
Graham Wilson
Semester
Fall

Description
• 2000 election­ Gore won by half a million votes, but lost o imagine campaigning without electoral college  Democrats would have to go to NY; Republicans to Cali • Gun legislation in 2012 o Didn’t get 60 votes in the senate, never discussed o Could have been 37% of population • We have thousands of different governments o Most powerful are national and state • Dictionary definition of Federalism: 2 or more states that constitute a political unit  while remaining independent within their own affairs • Why Federalism? o Historically unified government was impossible as states had prior  experience  People thought state before “America” o Part of the system of checks and balances  Sharing powers between branches and between states o “closer to the people” in very varied country  very little media coverage of state politics  more adaptive to local circumstances (FEMA, emergencies)  state governments have less competence and more corruption • Federalism in Politically Contested Doctrine o Use of “state’s rights” to resist anti­lynching laws, civil rights  Liberals opposed states right in the case of civil rights  Liberals defended state’s rights in California to set higher than  federal standards on automobile emissions while businesses argued  for federal control • Federalism in Practice o No neat separation between local and national  No Child Left Behind (formerly state/local issue) o Many federal agencies have a very local impact  FEMA o Very often, states act with federal mandate and funding  21 drinking age o states have, since Kennedy, become more dependent on federal  government  **tilts the balance of power • Why don’t states raise taxes to become financially independent? o More federal mandates, more strings attached o Competition   Businesses, people could move to other st
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