PS 171C Week 9.docx

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Political Science
Tim Groseclose

PS 171C Week 9 Tuesday  In class exercise  Case study: Byrd Amendment to the 1990 Clean Air Act o Byrd’s amendment would have authorized $500 million to provide benefits to coal miners who lost their job due to the Clean Air Act o At most 10 or so states would have benefited (West Virginia was the biggest, Kentucky, and Ohio; some in Georgia, Alabama and Pennsylvania) o CQ Weekly Report: “Byrd had not made it easy. A man with 32 years’ worth of IOUs in one vest pocket and countless future chits to hand out in the other, Byrd had gone door to door to meet with Republicans and Democrats alike over the past several weeks and had penned and typed them many notes. “I went to many offices and said I need your help,” he said after the vote.” o Spatial representation of preferences on Byrd Amendment o Puzzle: Biden clearly had natural preferences that favored the Byrd Amendment- more so than Heflin. Yet, Biden voted against while Heflin voted for. o Byrd even lined up the vote of cancer stricken Spark Matsunaga (D Hawaii) who had to be transported to the Capitol in a special van and rolled into the chamber on a wheelchair to vote [Why didn’t he “pair” with someone?”] o “On the day of the vote, however, Dem. J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana had to fly home to attend the funeral of the mother of an aide. He had planned to return in time for the scheduled 3 pm roll call to cast his vote for Byrd, but bad weather delayed his plane, Byrd said” o The final tally did not match Byrd expectations. He won some of the votes he deemed on the fence but also lost some he was counting on o Biden and D’Amato made last minute switches. Thursday  Grade raise vote on Tuesday of 10th week  In “Notes on Building and Maintaining Coalitions” I assume that coalition leaders make deals by offering a certain payment if the legislator votes their way. While making the deal the coalition leader is allowed to offer any price, but he or she commits to that price. Meanwhile, however, the legislator makes no commitment. He or she may instead look for a better offer. Also noteworthy is that the coalition leader’s payment is condition on one thing: how the legislator votes. Think of alternative ways a legislator and coalition leader might arrange a vote trade. o Note this was a one-way promise; instead maybe they might make a two way promise o Two way promise, but the legislator makes the offer o The deal could be made contingent on the legislator’s vote and whether the final tally was close or not o Could also be contingent on the legislator gathering other legislators’ votes  An alternative hypothesis about vote buying in a legislature is that the coalition leader cannot price discriminate. That is, for example, he can ask legislators for a vote, and if they vote with him, then it is understood that he owes them “one chit” and he owes one chit to everyone who voted with him. Is there any evidence in the Byrd amendment vote that supports or refutes this hypothesis? o Refutes because Heflen defected and Biden defected
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