Fundamental Characteristic Research

Length: 6-8 pages total

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Due Day 7

Your task for the first major assignment is to research and report on the fundamental characteristics of the state government and legislature you will be trying to impact with your lobbying issue. This assignment, unlike the next two, is research-heavy, so I am looking for a well-documented variety of sources with a bibliography.

The paper has three distinct components that I will be grading on:

A. Political Culture

Assess and report on the political culture of your state. This part is directly based on the lecture notes and Daniel Elazar’s research. Analyze how political culture, history, demography and social forces have shaped how citizens view politics, what they expect from government, and especially how they have shaped governing institutions. “A” papers will describe how political culture and history have shaped and influenced how politics is practiced and how institutions such as the legislature and executive branch utilize power.

B. Key Relationship Analysis

Based on the lecture and readings about relationships and representation during Week 2, pick a key member from the committee that will be considering your bill. This should be someone you’ve identified as important to the prospects that you hope to influence, and should not be a dedicated supporter or committed opponent.

Analyze what makes them tick. What are the key internal and external relationships that influences their voting behavior? Please make certain that you comment on the variety of external relationships that we talk about in week two – i.e. interest groups, family, colleagues, governor and so forth. Also, take a look at the member’s district and the type of relationship and memberships they have back home. An interview with the legislator, legislative staff or other informed party is required. Please document your interview. If you have trouble scheduling an interview, please reach out to me (at least one week before the assignment is due) and I will do my best to assist.

How can those relationships be leveraged for the purposes of your issue?

C. Institutional and Parliamentary Structure

Based on the lectures and readings about parliamentary procedure and the four “knows” of the legislature, demonstrate you know something about how the legislature is organized. In this section, provide me with a concise backgrounder on what I need to know of the rules and make-up of the legislature. Pay particular attention to relevant facts that impact your legislation. This should be an informative essay about the committee structure, partisan structure, leadership, and relevant rules that someone unfamiliar with your state would need to know if they start to lobby. Please do not simply cut and paste from the state legislature’s website. Give me practical information.

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