Nowlan and Johnson start with the history of how one of the most prosperous states of the 1950s became a present-day mess riven by debt and discord and increasingly abandoned by both businesses and citizens. Among their more than ninety proposals to restore Illinois to greatness:
• An overhaul of state pension systems that includes more reasonable benefits and lengthening of the retirement age, among other changes;
• Reducing one of the nation's highest corporate tax rates to attract business;
• Medicare reform through an insurance voucher program;
• Demanding that schools raise expectations for success, particularly in rural and impoverished urban areas;
• A new approach to higher education that includes a market-driven system that puts funds in the hands of students rather than institutions;
• Broadening of the tax base to include services and reduction in rates;
• The creation of a long-term plan to maintain the state's five-star transportation infrastructure;
• Raising funds with capital construction bonds to update and integrate the antiquated information systems used by state agencies;
• Uprooting the state's entrenched culture of corruption via public financing of elections, redistricting reform, and revolving door prohibitions for lawmakers.
Pointed, honest, and pragmatic, Fixing Illinois is a plan for effective and honest government that seeks an even nobler end: restoring our faith in Illinois's institutions and reviving a sense of citizenship and state pride.
With The Politics of Resentment, Katherine J. Cramer uncovers an oft-overlooked piece of the puzzle: rural political consciousness and the resentment of the “liberal elite.” Rural voters are distrustful that politicians will respect the distinct values of their communities and allocate a fair share of resources. What can look like disagreements about basic political principles are therefore actually rooted in something even more fundamental: who we are as people and how closely a candidate’s social identity matches our own. Using Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s prominent and protracted debate about the appropriate role of government, Cramer illuminates the contours of rural consciousness, showing how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics, regardless of whether urban politicians and their supporters really do shortchange or look down on those living in the country.
The Politics of Resentment shows that rural resentment—no less than partisanship, race, or class—plays a major role in dividing America against itself.
From Obama's former communications director and current co-host of Pod Save America comes a colorful account of how politics, the media, and the Internet changed during the Obama presidency and how Democrats can fight back in the Trump era.
On November 9th, 2016, Dan Pfeiffer woke up like most of the world wondering WTF just happened. How had Donald Trump won the White House? How was it that a decent and thoughtful president had been succeeded by a buffoonish reality star, and what do we do now?
Instead of throwing away his phone and moving to another country (which were his first and second thoughts), Pfeiffer decided to tell this surreal story, recounting how Barack Obama navigated the insane political forces that created Trump, explaining why everyone got 2016 wrong, and offering a path for where Democrats go from here.
Pfeiffer was one of Obama's first hires when he decided to run for president, and was at his side through two presidential campaigns and six years in the White House. Using never-before-heard stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, YES WE (STILL) CAN examines how Obama succeeded despite Twitter trolls, Fox News (and their fake news), and a Republican Party that lost its collective mind.
An irreverent, no-BS take on the crazy politics of our time, YES WE (STILL) CAN is a must-read for everyone who is disturbed by Trump, misses Obama, and is marching, calling, and hoping for a better future for the country.
Oh, Florida! That name. That combination of sounds. Three simple syllables, and yet packing so many mixed messages. To some people, it’s a paradise. To others, it’s a punch line. As Oh, Florida! shows, it’s both of these and, more important, it’s a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country. Without Florida there would be no NASCAR, no Bettie Page pinups, no Glenn Beck radio rants, no USA Today, no “Stand Your Ground,” . . . you get the idea.
To outsiders, Florida seems baffling. It’s a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it’s also known for its perils-alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its manmade fantasies.
Oh, Florida! explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state. It is the first book to explore the reasons why Florida is so wild and weird-and why that’s okay. Florida couldn’t be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree. But there is far more to Florida than its sideshow freakiness. Oh, Florida! explains how Florida secretly, subtly influences all the other states in the Union, both for good and for ill.
In Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right, Grieder traces the political history of a state that was always larger than life. From its rowdy beginnings, Texas has combined a long-standing suspicion of government intrusion with a passion for business. Looking to the present, Greider assesses the unique mix of policies on issues like immigration, debt, taxes, regulation, and energy, which together have sparked a bonafide Texas Miracle of job growth. While acknowledging that it still has plenty of twenty-first-century problems to face, she finds in Texas a model of governance whose power has been drastically underestimated. Her book is a fascinating exploration of America's underrated powerhouse.
Key features include:
Thematically organised, with individual chapters exploring issues such as colonialism, ethnicity, nationalism, religion, social class, ideology, legitimacy, authority, sovereignty and democracy.
Identifies key recurrent themes such as the competitive relationships between the African state, its civil society and external interests.
Contains useful boxed case studies at the end of each chapter, including: Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Somalia, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe.
Each chapter concludes with key terms and definitions, as well as questions and advice on further reading.
This textbook is essential reading for students seeking an accessible introduction to the complex social relationships and events that characterise the politics of post-colonial Africa.
God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslims). The cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports. The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. And Wright's profound portrait of the state not only reflects our country back as it is, but as it was and as it might be.
When the award-winning The Presidency in Black and White first appeared, readers were captivated by journalist April Ryan’s compelling behind-the-scenes look at race relations from the epicenter of American power and policy making—the White House. As a White House correspondent since 1997, Ryan provides unique insights on the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. In the updated paperback edition, Ryan contributes a new afterword, chronicling the country’s growing racial divide, the end of the Obama era, the increasingly contentious Trump White House, and prospects for race relations in the Trump presidency.
As students and their families struggle to meet rising tuition prices, and as state funding for higher education dwindles, policymakers confront issues of affordability within state and institutional budgets. Changing demographics and challenges to affirmative action complicate the admissions process even as colleges and universities seek to diversify enrollments. And issues of institutional accountability have forced the restructuring of higher education governing boards and a reexamination of the role of public trustees in governance.
This collection analyzes how issues of affordability, access, and accountability influence the way in which state governments approach, monitor, and set public higher education policy. The contributors examine the latest research on pressing challenges, explore how states are coping with these challenges, and consider what the future holds for public postsecondary education in the United States.
With long-time legal and social barriers to marijuana falling across much of the United States, the time has come for an accessible and informative look at attitudes toward the dried byproduct of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana: A Short History profiles the politics and policies concerning the five-leaf plant in the United States and around the world.
Millions of Americans have used marijuana at some point in their lives, yet it remains a substance shrouded by myth, misinformation, and mystery. This book offers an up-to-date, cutting-edge look at how a plant with a tumultuous history has emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality. Today, marijuana has become a remarkable social, economic, and even political force, with a surprising range of advocates and opponents. Public policy toward marijuana, especially in the United States, is changing rapidly. Marijuana: A Short History provides a brief yet compelling narrative that discusses the social and cultural history of marijuana but also tells us how a once-vilified plant has been transformed into a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue. Focusing on politics, the media, government, and education, the book describes why public policy has changed, and what that change might mean for marijuana’s future place in society.
In Corrupt Illinois, veteran political observers Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson take aim at business-as-usual. Naming names, the authors lead readers through a gallery of rogues and rotten apples to illustrate how generations of chicanery have undermined faith in, and hope for, honest government. From there, they lay out how to implement institutional reforms that provide accountability and eradicate the favoritism, sweetheart deals, and conflicts of interest corroding our civic life.
Corrupt Illinois lays out a blueprint to transform our politics from a pay-to-play–driven marketplace into what it should be: an instrument of public good.
In Miami, the National Book Award–winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking looks beyond postcard images of fluorescent waters, backlit islands, and pastel architecture to explore the murkier waters of a city on the edge.
From Fidel Castro and the Bay of Pigs invasion to Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination to Oliver North and the Iran–Contra affair, Joan Didion uncovers political intrigues and shadowy underworld connections, and documents the US government’s “seduction and betrayal” of the Cuban exile community in Dade County. She writes of hotels that offer “guerrilla discounts,” gun shops that advertise Father’s Day deals, and a real-estate market where “Unusual Security and Ready Access to the Ocean” are perks for wealthy homeowners looking to make a quick escape. With a booming drug trade, staggering racial and class inequities, and skyrocketing murder rates, Miami in the 1980s felt more like a Third World capital than a modern American city. Didion describes the violence, passion, and paranoia of these troubled times in arresting detail and “beautifully evocative prose” (The New York Times Book Review).
A vital report on an immigrant community traumatized by broken dreams and the cynicism of US foreign policy, Miami is a masterwork of literary journalism whose insights are timelier and more important than ever.
Except in Texas.
While unemployment soars elsewhere, Texans are hard at work. While small businesses across the country are going under, Texas entrepreneurs are thriving. While large companies are being squeezed by taxes, regulations and unions, more and more corporations are moving to Texas to grow and expand. While people of faith are ridiculed and marginalized in most cities on both coasts, in Texas churches and synagogues are bursting at the seams.
How did Texas embrace what the rest of America seems to have forgotten? In Lonestar America, popular talk radio show host Mark Davis presents a powerful case for economic prosperity, individual freedom, strong families, and even stronger pride of place – alive and kicking in Texas, and easily exportable to the rest of America.
Davis shows how Texas has done it, how some “honorary Texans” in other states (governors and even local communities) have adopted some of the same policies and approaches, and how states across the country can reclaim the promise of the American dream.
Rogers is the last person to successfully campaign-manage a Democrat, Governor Ann Richards, to the statehouse in Austin. In a lively narrative, Rogers tells the story of how Texas moved so far to the right in such a short time and how Democrats might be able to move it back to the center. And, argues Rogers, that will mean a lot more of an effort than simply waiting for the state's demographics to shift even further towards Hispanics - a risky proposition at best. Rogers identifies a ten-point path for Texas Democrats to win at the statewide level and to build a base vote that would allow Texas to become a swing-vote player in national politics once again. One part of that shift starts with local Democratic candidates in local Republican communities making the connection between controversial local issues or problems and the statewide Republican policies that ignore or create them. For example, in a 2014 election in Denton-a Republican suburb-voters approved Texas's first ban on hydraulic fracking. The next day, though, a Republican Texas agency official announced that Texas would not honor the town's vote to ban. No democratic candidate picked up the issue.
Change won't come easily, argues Rogers. But if Texas shifts to even a pale shade of purple, it changes everything in American politics today.
Such dramatic success . . . led to similar efforts in Houston, Fort Worth, El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and New York, to mention only a few sites. Expansion beyond San Antonio meant organizing among Protestant churches, among African American and white, and among middle-class communities. In short, these organizing efforts have transcended the particularistic limits of religion, ethnicity, and class while maintaining a church base and sense of spiritual mission. . . .
Rogers's clearly written book will be of great value to the scholar, student, and layperson interested in urban politics, ethnic relations, social movements, or church activism.
Where else would:
- A state attorney general show up after police pulled over her boyfriend who was driving without a valid license?
- A state senator and mayor of Newark (the same guy) spend thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money on a junket to Rio days before leaving office?
- A politically connected developer hire a prostitute to tape sex acts with his own brother-in-law and then send the tape to his sister?
Only in the Soprano State.
Politics in the American States, Eleventh Edition, brings together the high-caliber research you expect from this trusted text, with comprehensive and comparative analysis of the 50 states. Fully updated for all major developments in the study of state-level politics, including capturing the results of the 2016 elections, editors Virginia Gray, Russell L. Hanson, and Thad Kousser bring insight and uncover the impact of key similarities and differences on the operation of the same basic political systems. Students will appreciate the book’s glossary, the fully up-to-date tables and figures, and the maps showcasing comparative data.
In this new paperback edition, Christensen provides updated coverage of recent changes in North Carolina's political landscape, including the scandals surrounding John Edwards and Mike Easley, the defeat of U.S. senator Elizabeth Dole, the election of the state's first woman governor, and voters' approval of an African American candidate for president. The book provides an overview of the run-up to the 2010 elections and explains how North Carolina has become, arguably, the most politically competitive state in the South.
Upon completion of developing the facility layouts, the next phase of my responsibilities involved coordination with design consultants hired by the LIRR. The consultants were responsible for the architectural and structural designs of the new maintenance facility. The consultans typically were selected based on political connections and not their level of expertise. The design phase was muddled with incompetence and waste. Inept project management would add tens of millions of dollars and lengthly delays to the construction phase of the project. Upon completion of construction, a new regime intent on maintaining the status quo within the LIRR assues control of the new maintenance facility. The new regime is not committed to capitalizing on the labor efficiencies offered by the new facility. Key positions are then filled with managers' intent in preserving the traditional inefficient ways of the LIRR. My story concludes with the agendas of the new regime and conflicts with those who were trying to transform the LIRR into a socially responsible institution. My trials and tribulations along with personal victories and setbacks are all the basis of my book.
In Riding Lucifer's Line, Bob Alexander, in his characteristic storytelling style, surveys the personal tragedies of twenty-five Texas Rangers who made the ultimate sacrifice as they scouted and enforced laws throughout borderland counties adjacent to the Rio Grande. The timeframe commences in 1874 with formation of the Frontier Battalion, which is when the Texas Rangers were actually institutionalized as a law enforcing entity, and concludes with the last known Texas Ranger death along the border in 1921. Alexander also discusses the transition of the Rangers in two introductory sections: “The Frontier Battalion Era, 1874–1901” and “The Ranger Force Era, 1901–1935,” wherein he follows Texas Rangers moving from an epochal narrative of the Old West to more modern, technological times.
Written absent a preprogrammed agenda, Riding Lucifer's Line is legitimate history. Adhering to facts, the author is not hesitant to challenge and shatter stale Texas Ranger mythology. Likewise, Alexander confronts head-on many of those critical Texas Ranger histories relying on innuendo and gossip and anecdotal accounts, at the expense of sustainable evidence—writings often plagued with a deficiency of rational thinking and common sense.
Riding Lucifer's Line is illustrated with sixty remarkable old-time photographs. Relying heavily on archived Texas Ranger documents, the lively text is authenticated with more than one thousand comprehensive endnotes.
Wallace is a classic portrait of one of the century’s most fiery and controversial political figures. Initially conceived as a novel, Marshall Frady’s biography of George Wallace retains the narrative force and descriptive powers of fiction. Elizabeth Hardwick noted on Wallace’s first publication in 1968, “There is a palpable Faulknerian mood to the reporting,” and The New Republic observed, “Frady has established new standards in political biography.” This is a wonderfully crafted depiction of a seminal figure whose influence altered the course of national politics.
In State-Local Governmental Interactions, Joseph F. Zimmerman builds on work conducted for the US Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations pertaining to local government discretionary authority, intergovernmental service agreements, state and federal mandates, and voluntary and state-mandated transfers of functional responsibility. He demonstrates that the degree of control states exercise over their political subdivisions varies greatly, from very tight control in Vermont to relatively little control in Maine. Particular emphasis is placed on the legal relationships between a state and its various types of political subdivisions. The volume concludes with recommendations for the establishment of a state-local governmental partnership.
—James Fallows, The New York Times Book Review
A leading sociologist’s brilliant and revelatory argument that the future of politics, work, immigration, and more may be found in California
Once upon a time, any mention of California triggered unpleasant reminders of Ronald Reagan and right-wing tax revolts, ballot propositions targeting undocumented immigrants, and racist policing that sparked two of the nation’s most devastating riots. In fact, California confronted many of the challenges the rest of the country faces now—decades before the rest of us.
Today, California is leading the way on addressing climate change, low-wage work, immigrant integration, overincarceration, and more. As white residents became a minority and job loss drove economic uncertainty, California had its own Trump moment twenty-five years ago, but has become increasingly blue over each of the last seven presidential elections. How did the Golden State manage to emerge from its unsavory past to become a bellwether for the rest of the country?
Thirty years after Mike Davis’s hellish depiction of California in City of Quartz, the award-winning sociologist Manuel Pastor guides us through a new and improved California, complete with lessons that the nation should heed. Inspiring and expertly researched, State of Resistance makes the case for honestly engaging racial anxiety in order to address our true economic and generational challenges, a renewed commitment to public investments, the cultivation of social movements and community organizing, and more.
In just over a decade, John Hickenlooper has gone from a craft-brew entrepreneur to mayor of Denver to governor of Colorado, hailed by many political analysts, the New York Times, and Fox News alike as a solid contender to be the next vice president. It is an unlikely tale of success, quintessentially American yet utterly exceptional. In The Opposite of Woe, Hickenlooper tells his own story of determination and daring, from business to politics, in his singularly sharp and often hilarious voice.
After taking ten years to graduate from Wesleyan, Hickenlooper found himself laid off from his first job as a geologist in the oil industry. Lacking a day job, he rented a space in one of Denver's sketchiest neighborhoods and opened a brew pub. Honest, likable, and practical, Hickenlooper turned out to be a natural at running a restaurant; the pub was a huge success and did a great deal to revitalize a struggling neighborhood. In fifteen years, he blossomed from a small business owner into a millionaire at the helm of a string of pubs in Denver and across the country. He was such an influential member of the community that he acted on the encouragement of many and ran for mayor, essentially as a lark.
And then he won. So began an eight year run as one of the most creative and successful mayors in the United States. Hickenlooper doubled down on his political career by running for Colorado governor in 2010, which he also won, then won again. He has tackled a host of pressing and volatile issues in a true battleground state: immigration, fracking, capital punishment, guns, the Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage, legalized marijuana. Time and again, his administration has persuaded ideologically opposed constituencies to agree on a middle path and move forward--all while dealing with a tragic series of wildfires,"biblical" floods, shootings, and the assassination of a cabinet member.
On display throughout is the rare candidness that has made him not only wildly popular at every step of the way, but also remarkably successful at getting things done. Co-written with journalist and former cabinet member Maximillian Potter, The Opposite of Woe is a fresh--and refreshing--angle on our political landscape from one of its brightest rising stars.
To answer these questions, Paul Peterson sets forth two theories of federalism: functional and legislative. Functional theory is optimistic. It says that each level of the federal system is well designed to carry out the tasks for which it is mainly responsible. State and local governments assume responsibility for their area's physical and social development; the national government cares for the needy and reduces economic inequities. Legislative theory, in contrast, is pessimistic: it says that national political leaders, responding to electoral pressures, misuse their power. They shift unpopular burdens to lower levels of government while spending national dollars on popular government programs for which they can claim credit.
Both theories are used to explain different aspects of American federalism. Legislative theory explains why federal grants have never been used to equalize public services. Elected officials cannot easily justify to their constituents a vote to shift funds away from the geographic area they represent. The overall direction that American federalism has taken in recent years is better explained by functional theory. As the costs of transportation and communication have declined, labor and capital have become increasingly mobile, placing states and localities in greater competition with one another. State and local governments are responding to these changes by overlooking the needs of the poor, focusing instead on economic development. As a further consequence, older, big cities of the Rust Belt, inefficient in their operations and burdened by social responsibilities, are losing jobs and population to the suburban communities that surround them.
Peterson recommends that the national government adopt policies that take into account the economic realities identified by functional theory. The national government should give states and localities responsibility for most transportation, education, crime control, and other basic governmental programs. Welfare, food stamps, the delivery of medical services, and other social policies should become the primary responsibility of the national government.
Weaving a compelling story of scandal, service, and opportunity, Patrick Cox and Michael Phillips describe the divisions within the traditional Democratic Party, the ascendance of Republicans, and how Texas business, agriculture, and media shaped perceptions of officeholders. While the governor and lieutenant governor wielded their power, the authors show how the modern Texas House Speaker built an office of equal power as the state became more complex and diverse. The authors also explore how race, class, and gender affected this transition as they explain the importance of the office in Texas and the impact the state's Speakers have had on national politics.
At the apex of its power, the Texas House Speaker's role at last receives the critical consideration it deserves.
In the eleven essays collected here, leading scholars of North Carolina politics offer a systematic analysis of North Carolina's politics and policy, placed in the context of its own history as well as the politics and policies of other states. Topics discussed include the evolution of politics and political institutions; the roles of governors, the judicial branch, interest groups, and party systems; and the part played by economic development and environmental policy. Contributors also address how geography affects politics within the state, region, and nation. Designed with students and interested citizens in mind, this collection provides an excellent introduction to contemporary North Carolina politics and government.
Hunter Bacot, Elon University
Christopher A. Cooper, Western Carolina University
Thomas F. Eamon, East Carolina University
Jack D. Fleer, Wake Forest University
Dennis O. Grady, Appalachian State University
Ferrel Guillory, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sean Hildebrand, Western Carolina University
Jonathan Kanipe, Town Manager, Catawba, North Carolina
H. Gibbs Knotts, Western Carolina University
Adam J. Newmark, Appalachian State University
Charles Prysby, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Ruth Ann Strickland, Appalachian State University
James H. Svara, Arizona State University
Timothy Vercellotti, Rutgers University
Red State explores why this transformation of Texas politics took place and what these changes imply for the future. As both a political scientist and a Republican party insider, Wayne Thorburn is especially qualified to explain how a solidly one-party Democratic state has become a Republican stronghold. He analyzes a wealth of data to show how changes in the state's demographics—including an influx of new residents, the shift from rural to urban, and the growth of the Mexican American population—have moved Texas through three stages of party competition, from two-tiered politics, to two-party competition between Democrats and Republicans, and then to the return to one-party dominance, this time by Republicans. His findings reveal that the shift from Democratic to Republican governance has been driven not by any change in Texans' ideological perspective or public policy orientation—even when Texans were voting Democrat, conservatives outnumbered liberals or moderates—but by the Republican party's increasing identification with conservatism since 1960.
It was Carey’s leadership, Lachman and Polner argue, that helped rescue the city and state from the brink of financial and social ruin. While TV comedians mocked and tabloids shrieked about the Big Apple’s rising muggings, its deteriorating public services, and the threats and walkouts by embattled police, firefighters, and teachers, all amid a brutal recession, Carey and his team managed to hold on and ultimately prevailed, narrowly preventing a huge disruption to the state, national, and global economy. At one point, the city came within a few hours of having to declare itself incapable of paying its debts and obligations, but in the end stability and consensus prevailed, and America’s largest city stayed out of bankruptcy court. The center held.
Based on extensive interviews with Carey and his family, as well as numerous friends, observers, and former advisors, including Steven Berger, David Burke, John Dyson, Peter Goldmark, Judah Gribetz, Richard Ravitch, and Felix Rohatyn, The Man Who Saved New York aims to place Carey and his achievements at the center of the financial maelstrom that met his arrival in Albany. While others were willing to let the city go into default, Carey was strongly opposed, since it would not only affect the state as a whole but would have reverberations both nationally and internationally.
In recounting the 1975 rescue of New York City and the aftershocks that nearly sank the state government, Lachman and Polner illuminate the often-volatile interplay among elite New York bankers, hard-nosed municipal union leaders, the press, and influential conservatives and liberals from City Hall to the Albany statehouse to the White House. Although often underappreciated by the public, it was Carey’s force of will, wit, intellect, judgment, and experiences that allowed the state to survive this unparalleled ordeal and ultimately to emerge on a stronger footing. Further, Lachman and Polner argue, Carey’s accomplishment is worth recalling as a prime example of how governments—local, state, and federal—can work to avoid the renewed the threat of bankruptcy that now confronts many overstretched states and localities.