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February 7, 2005. Who’s here? Matthews What is representation? Congress as an institution for Representation. Who’s Here?. Meredith Fascett Patrick Purcell Rebekah Rodriguez Lynn Robert Schwartz Rosemary Marotta Ryan Raffaelli Sara Dawes Scott Gallaway Seth Pendleton Shawn Murphy

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Presentation Transcript
February 7 2005 l.jpg
February 7, 2005

  • Who’s here?

  • Matthews

  • What is representation?

  • Congress as an institution for Representation

Who s here l.jpg
Who’s Here?

Meredith Fascett

Patrick Purcell

Rebekah Rodriguez Lynn

Robert Schwartz

Rosemary Marotta

Ryan Raffaelli

Sara Dawes

Scott Gallaway

Seth Pendleton

Shawn Murphy

Shermon Williams

Stephen Aldridge

Tim Heis

Tony Pipa

Trenton Hamilton

Will Fitzgerald

Yasmina Vinci

Zeb Portanova

Jeremy Neuner

John A. Atilano II

John Cadoux

Joyce Hayes

Jules Delaune

Justin Oliver

Kara Stein

Kassia Yanosek

Kate Ferguson

Katherine Elliott

Kent Grasso

Kevin Crawford

Kwang Ryu

Lance Jasper

Lance Pierce

Larry Harris, Jr.

Liz Montoya

Lonsdale Green

Lori Ehrlich

Luke Leininger

  • Annette Foster

  • Aurora Torres

  • Ben Kidder

  • Beth Trask

  • Betsy Hosler

  • Brad Rosen

  • Brooke Brody-Waite

  • Carie Lemack

  • Carolyn Kousky

  • Christopher Reichert

  • Cynthia Smith

  • Dan McKee

  • Edward Novakoff

  • Elizabeth Walentin

  • Ellen Knebel

  • Francis Spangenberg

  • Jason Campbell

  • Jason Jennaru

  • Jeff Adler

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  • All Politics is Local

  • It’s Better to Receive than to Give

  • Dance with the One that Brung Ya

  • Keep your Enemies in Front of You

  • Don’t Get Mad; Don’t Get Even; Get Ahead

  • Leave No Shot Unanswered

  • Hang a Lantern on your Problem

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The Big Questions

  • What is truth?

  • What is justice?

  • What is fair?

  • Who decides?

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Concentric Constituencies

  • Geographic

  • Reelection

  • Primary

  • Personal

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Geographical Constituency

  • “The District”

    • Physical: specified by boundaries

    • Internal Demographic and Political Variables: socioeconomic status, ethnicity, ideology, partisanship, religion, diversity, etc.

      • Heterogeneity v. Homogeneity: variable that seems to determine members’ perceptions of their districts

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Reelection Constituency

  • “The Supporters”

    • Who she thinks will vote for her

    • Reference points in determining reelection constituency

      • Cross-Sectional

      • Longitudinal

    • Partisans, Cross-Party, Least-Likely

    • “Last Time” v. “This Time”

    • Challenger has greatest potential for altering the size and composition of reelection constituency

    • Issues can alter reelection constituency

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Primary Constituency

  • “The Strongest Supporters”

    • Weak supporters: follow routines (straight party) or are temporary (waiting for alternative)

    • Strong supporters: more political activity, will not support any challenger

    • Difficult to delineate primary constituency in some cases, members who recently emerged from a primary election can determine their primary constituency

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Personal Constituency

  • “The Intimates”

    • Few individuals: closest advisors and confidants, sometimes a spouse (“Kitchen Cabinet”)

    • Usually the people who have been by an official since their first race

    • Thought of as “friends”

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District-Based Conception






Policy Content




Conceptions of Representation

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  • Style

    • Delegate: follow the mandate of constituents

    • Trustee: exercise independent judgment

    • “Politico”: switches roles or may engage be a delegate and trustee at same time

  • Focus

    • The constituency that is being represented

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Policy/Issue Studies

  • Wahlke et al (1952): divide members into trustee, delegate, and “politico”

  • Miller & Stokes (1958): attempt to link constituent opinions to legislator’s behavior

    • Social Welfare: Vote by Party

    • Civil Rights: Delegate Role

    • Foreign Affairs: Deference to Executive

  • Fenno (1977): “home style”; members convince constituents that they represent them regardless of the extent of agreement

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Policy/Issue Studies Continued

  • Browne (1995): constituents influence vote on agricultural legislation

  • Hall (1987, 1996): district influences legislator membership on committees

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  • Obtaining projects that help the district (“pork) or interceding in the bureacracy (“cutting through red tape)

  • Motives

    • Sense of duty

    • Grateful constituents = Reelection

      • Studies on impact of pork for reelection mixed

  • Issues: necessary for constituents to have help?, votes for district at expense of nation?

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  • Legislator as “symbol” that represents public

  • Representation may extend beyond geographic boundaries of the district

    • Individual Examples: female legislator as advocate for women nationally, minority legislator as advocate for minorities nationally

    • Group Example: legislative caucuses

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  • Represent constituents with a more collective view

    • political parties

    • Congress as representative of the nation as a whole

  • May lead to conflict with district constituents

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The Great Divide

  • Trustee Representation (Burkean)

  • Delegate Representation

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Functions of Rules and Procedures

• Stability (and predictability)

• Legitimacy

• Division of Labor

• Protection of Minority Rights

• Conflict Resolution

• Distribution of Power

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Rules and Policy Making in Congress

• Procedure and Policy

Procedures affect outcomes.

Procedural moves express policy decisions.

The nature of policy determines the use of procedure.

Procedural expertise helps members impact policy.

• Conventional versus Unconventional Lawmaking

“I’m just a bill…”

• Precedents and Folkways


“…the accumulated past decisions on matters of procedure…”


“…unwritten norms of behavior that members are expected to observe.”

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Congressional Decision Making

•Decentralized Power Structure

Political and structural realities

More than 200 committees and subcommittees

Parties can provide cohesion.

• Multiple Decision Points

• Bargaining and Coalition Building



Nonlegislative Favors

• The Congressional Cycle

Two-Year Deadline

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House versus Senate

• The Big Three

Size of Body

Size of District

Length of Term

• Complexity of Rules

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House versus Senate continued

• Policy Incubation

• Specialists versus Generalists

• Distribution of Power

More even in Senate

• Similarities

Equal power

Lawmaking, oversight and representation

Heavy workloads

Decentralized committee and party structures

Dependence on staff

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Pressures on Members

• President & Executive Branch

• The Fourth Estate

• Constituent Pressures

• Washington Lobbyists

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  • Adrian Rodriguez & Alex Theodoridis

  • Presentation based on: Weisberg, Herbert F., Eric S. Heberlig and Lisa M. Campoli, Classics in Congressional Politics “What is Representation?”, Weisberg et al eds. (Glenview: Longman 1999) pp. 68-82.

  • Image on Cover from: The Architect of the Capitol http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/c_wf_1.cfm

    Concepts of Representation slide based on: Table 5.1 in Weisberg et al, p. 74.

  • Presentation based on: Fenno, Jr., Richard F., Home Style: House Members in their Districts (Glenview: Little, Brown & Company 1978), “Perceptions of the Constituency”, pp. 1-30.

  • Image on Cover from: US Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/oaintrnt/images/water_home.jpg