State and Local Govenment, GO 222
Final Exam Study Sheet
Fall 2008

The final exam is on Wednesday December 17from 9am-12 in the morning. You will have three hours to complete the exam, but I hope you can knock it off in two. The format will be like the midterm. You will have to answer 4 essay questions. You may bring in a one-page study sheet. The list of reading questions and IDs after the exam questions is very useful in formulating your answers to the essay questions.


Section I. Short Answer Questions (11% each)

I will choose 2, you answer ONE.

1. Many have argued that initiative and referenda systems like those in California threaten to undermine representative democracy. Are they correct? Does the initiative process empower the citizens at the expense of other political actors like governors, legislatures, and local government? Why or why not? Please use specific examples to illustrate your points.

2. The Human Rights Campaign ( is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization. They have asked you to write a memo outlining how they can best advance their agenda of equality based on sexual orientation. They want proven strategies about what works and what doesn’t.

Section II. Long Essay Questions (29% each)
I will choose 4, you will answer THREE.

1. Please write a memo to the American Bar Association identifying the advantages and disadvantages of the 3 modes of judicial selection, as well as which one you would recommend.

2. Should states adopt term limits? Why or why not?

3. Does the lawmaking process described by Rosenthal serve the goals of representative democracy?

4. Why are some governors more successful than others?

5. How do political scientists study political phenomena and how does their methodological choice affect their findings? Choose two articles that employ different methods and answer the following questions.
a. What theoretical question did they attempt to answer?
b. Why did they select the particular political phenomena to study?
c. What methods did they utilize to answer that question and why?
d. How did they collect and analyze their data?
e. How did the author(s)’s methodological choices and selection of phenomena affect their conclusions about the larger theoretical issues?


Reading and Lecture Questions and IDs to help you answer the above questions.

Research Design
What are the advantages and disadvantages of 50 state quantitative studies?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a single or small number of states qualitative research design?
What are the types of political questions that should be studied, and can only be studied, through a single case study? How should we go about choosing our cases? What are the disadvantages of single case studies? How can we minimize those disadvantages?

Legislative Professionalization
What does Ehrenhalt think determines state policy outcomes? What examples does he give?
How do state legislatures differ in terms of institutionalization, professionalization, and term limits?
How does professionalization//term limits affect the type of people who run (compositional hypothesis)?
How does professionalization//term limits affect the behavior of legislators (Behavioral hypothesis)?
How does professionalization//term limits affect the power of the legislature (Institutional hypothesis)?
What have been the effects of term limits in Michigan?
Have term limits term affected the complexity of legislation?

Legislative Compensation, Membership Stability, Institutional resources, John Medinger, party of enthusiasts, Supply side perspective, sick legislature syndrome, three models of state legislatures, professional, hybrid, amateur/citizen, salary mismatch syndrome, legislative staff, session length, legislative salaries, impacts of term limits in Michigan, whether term limits have change

1. What is the role of the legislature in our system of government?
2. What is Rosenthal’s method? How does he go about collecting his data? How does this affect his view of lawmaking
3. What are the specific barriers to legislation getting passed?
4. What does Rosenthal mean by deliberation? Why is it important to lawmaking? What is it about his methodological approach that leads him to stress the importance of deliberation?
5. What are the specific legislative strategies used by legislative leaders in enacting legislation?
6. What is Rosenthal’s view of representative democracy?

How and why has the institutional powers of the gubernatorial office evolved over time?
What are the formal and informal powers of the executive branch?
How do each of the authors define and measure gubernatorial influence?
How does the research design of the various authors affect their assessment of the relative importance of formal and informal powers of the governor over time or between states?
What is the optimal governing strategy for governors?
Why does the executive have the upper hand according to Rosenthal, in dealing with the legislature? (Ventura, MD Governor, Pataki)

What are the compositional, behavioral, and institutional consequences of different methods of judicial selection?
How does judicial selection method affect institutional performance?
Can the judiciary be insulated from the public?
Do judicial campaigns enhance the representativeness of the courts? People’s faith in the judicial system? The electoral connection?
What is the appropropriate extent of the electoral connection between the views of the citizens and the views of judges on the bench? Can it ever be severed? Should it be enhanced or diminished?

-intermediate appellate court, court consolidation
Missouri system, retention election, partisan elections, Patterns of Competition in Contemporary Judicial Elections, difference between partisan and non partisan elections, content of judicial campaigns, judges’ perceptions of impact of elections

What is the populist paradox according to Gerber?
How does the California initiative operate?
Why does Gerber believe, under normal conditions, government actors will steal the initiatives?
What are the criteria for achieving high compliance on initiatives?

Prop 140 Legislative Spending Provision, Prop 184, Three Strikes, Tobacco Tax, Prop 63, English Only

Morality Policy
What are some examples of Morality Policy?
What are the characteristics of Morality Policy & Politics compared to other issue areas?
What is Haider-Markel and Meier theory about the scope of conflict and morality politics?
What is the difference between interest group politics and morality politics?
According to this theory, what is the best strategy for gays and lesbians?
What are the limits of quantitative methods for explaining the adoption of gay marriage bans and morality politics?

Local Government

What are the three forms of local government?
How do the forms of government affect the politics in the city?
How have the problems facing local governments changed over time? What are the implications of these changes?
How are local politics different from state or national politics?

Strong mayor, weak mayor, city manager, formal versus informal powers, commission form of government, partisan vs non partisan elections, ward versus at large elections