Chapter 10-13 United States Political Party – Government

In this chapters we discuss United States Political Party – Government.

executive privilege

the claim that confidential communications between a president and close advisers should not be revealed without the consent of the president

recess appointment

the appointment, by the President of the United States, of a senior federal official while the U.S. Senate is in recess

executive agreements

agreements made between the president and other countries that has the force of a treaty but does not require the senate’s “advice and consent”


the secretaries, or chief administrators, of the major departments of the federal government

spoils system

the practice of a successful political party giving public office to its supporters

balancing a ticket

when a political candidate chooses a running mate, usually of the same party, with the goal of bringing more widespread appeal to the campaign


executive office of the president- the permanent agencies that perform defined management tasks for the president

executive order

a rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect and formal status of legislation

signing statement

announcements made by the president when signing bills into law, often presenting the president’s interpretation of the law

kitchen cabinet

an informal group of advisors to whom the president turns for counsel and guidance

white house staff

workers in the white house headed by the chief of staff

22nd amendment

amendment that prevents a president from serving more than two terms or more than ten years

25th amendment

amendment that allows for the Vice President to become president in the event of death, resignation, removal from office or impairment that prevents the current president from fulfilling his or her duties


the formal charge by the House that a government official has committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”

millionaires club

Senators who gained their positions through corrupt (dishonest) bargains


holding the political office for which one is running

non-realignment election

an election that did not cause a dramatic change in the political system


the appointment of voters in districts in such a way as to give unfair advantage to one racial or ethnic group or political party

joint committee

legislative committees formed of members of both House and Senate

conference committee

joint committees created to work out a compromise on House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation

select committee

temporary legislative committees set up to highlight or investigate a particular issue or address an issue not within the jurisdiction of existing committees

standing committee

a permanent committee with the power to propose and write legislation that covers a particular subject, such as finance or agriculture


a committee composed of some members of a larger committee, board, or other body and reporting to it

fiscal year

a year as reckoned for taxing or accounting purposes

mark up

the amount added to the cost price of goods to cover overhead and profit

discharge petition

a means of bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor for consideration without a report from the committee and usually without cooperation of the leadership by “discharging” the committee from further consideration of a bill or resolution


An informal practice by which a senator informs his or her floor leader that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach the floor for consideration


rule or process in a legislative body aimed at ending debate on a given bill


the president’s constitutional power to turn down acts of congress

pocket veto

a presidential veto that is automatically triggered if the president does not act on a given piece of legislation passed during the final 10 days of a legislative session


a tactic used by members of the senate to prevent action on legislation they oppose by continuously holding the floor and speaking until the majority backs down


congressional budget office- a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government that provides budget and economic information to Congress


Office of Management and Budget- the business division of the Executive Office of the President of the United States that administers the United States federal budget and oversees the performance of federal agencies


a legislative practice whereby agreements are made between legislators in voting for or against a bill; vote trading

pork barreling (pork)

appropriations made by legislative bodies for local projects that are often not needed but that are created so that local representatives can win re-election in their home districts


a congressional directive that funds should be spent on a specific project

senatorial courtesy

the practice whereby the president, before formally nominating a person for a federal judgeship, seeks the indication that senators from the candidates own state support the nomination

trustee theory

a model for how we should understand the role of representatives, and is frequently contrasted with the delegate model of representation

delegate theory

a model of a representative democracy. In this model, constituents elect their representatives as delegates for their constituency

politico theory

Legislators follow their own judgment until the public becomes vocal about a particular matter, at which point they should follow the dictates of constituents


a proposed law that has been sponsored by a member of congress and submitted to the clerk of the house or the senate


the residents in the area from which an official is elected


2 houses

sociological representation theory

a type of representation in which representatives have the same racial, gender, ethnic, religious, or educational backgrounds as their constituents

agency representation theory

a type of representation in which a representative is held accountable to a constituency if he or she fails to represent that constituency properly

term limits

legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office


the process, occurring after every decennial census, that allocates congressional seats among the 50 states


the resources available to higher officials, usually opportunities to make partisan appointments to offices and to confer groups, licenses, or special favors to supporters

private bill

a proposal in congress to provide a specific person with some kind of relief, such as a special exemption from immigration quotas


gathering of house republicans every 2 years to elect their house leaders


a privileged position earned by reason of longer service or higher rank

closed rule

a provision by the house rules committee limiting or prohibiting the introduction of amendments during debate

open rule

a provision by the house rules committee that permits floor debate and the addition of new amendments to a bill

programmatic requests

federal funds designated for special projects within a state or congressional district

midterm election

congressional elections that do not coincide with a presidential election; off- year elections

primary election

elections held to select a party’s candidates for the general election

general election

regularly scheduled election involving most districts in the nation or state, in which voters select office holders; held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even numbered years

closed primary

a primary election in which voters can participate in the nomination of candidates, but only of the party in which they are enrolled for a period of time prior to the primary day

open primary

a primary election in which the voter can wait until the day of the primary to choose which party to enroll in to select candidates for the general election

majority system

a type of electoral system in which, to win a seat in the parliament or other representative body, a candidate must receive a majority of all the votes cast in the relevant district

runoff election

a “second round” election in which voters choose between the top two candidates from the first round

plurality system

a type of electoral system in which, to win a seat in the parliament or other representative body, a candidate need only receive the most votes in the election, not necessarily a majority of votes cast

proportional representation

a multiple-member district system that allows each political party representation in proportion to its percentage of the total vote

straight-ticket voting

selecting candidates from the same political party for all offices on the ballot; straight party voting


a process of voting, in writing and typically in secret


the process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative representatives; happens every 10 years to reflect shifts in population or in response to legal challenges in existing districts

political gerrymandering

a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts

racial gerrymandering

re-drawing of legislative districts by the political party in power for the purpose of providing the current majority party stronger voting representation in that district

majority-minority district

an electoral district, such as a United States congressional district, in which the majority of the constituents in the district are racial or ethnic minorities


a normally closed meeting of a political or legislative group to select candidates, plan strategy, or make decisions regarding legislative matters

grassroots politics

political campaigns that operate at a local level, often using face-to-face communication to generate interest and momentum by citizens

party platform

a party document, written at a national convention, that contains party philosophy, principles, and policy positions


a representative who votes according to the preferences of his or her constituency

electoral college

the electors from each state who meet after the popular election to cast ballots for president and vice president


a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote


the practice of referring a proposed law passed by a legislature to the vote of the electorate for approval or rejection


a procedure to allow voters to remove state officials from office before their terms expire by circulating petitions to call a vote


an effort by political candidates and their supporters to win the backing of donors, political activists, and voters in their quest for political office


a candidate running for re-election to a position that he or she already holds


a type of U.S. tax-exempt organization organized under Section 527 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code


a tax-exempt nonprofit organization in the United States; provides that 29 types of nonprofit organizations are exempt from some federal income taxes.

prospective voting

voting based on the imagined future performance of a candidate or political party

retrospective voting

voting based on the past performance of a candidate or political party

winner take all

the candidate who wins the most votes wins all the delegates at stake


distribute or allocate (costs, effort, etc.) unevenly, with the greater proportion at the beginning of an enterprise or process

invisible primary

The period between when a candidate announces their bid for public office and when the actual primaries take place

‘scare off’ effect

the ability of the office holder to fend off challenges from strong opposition candidates


participation that involves assembling crowds to confront a government or other official organization


withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest


act as a picket outside (a place of work or other venue)

absentee voting

vote cast by someone who is unable or unwilling to attend the official polling station or to which the voter is normally allocated


A vote for candidates of different political parties on the same ballot, instead of for candidates of only one party

poll tax

a tax levied on every adult, without reference to income or resources

runoff primary

a second primary election held in some states to determine which of the top two vote getters in the first primary will be awarded the party nomination for an office

campaign staff

the people who formulate and implement the strategy needed to win an election

campaign manager

a paid or volunteer individual, whose role is to coordinate the campaign’s operations such as fundraising, advertising, polling, getting out the vote (with direct contact to the public), and other activities supporting the effort, directly

finance chair

head of the money

press secretary

a senior advisor who provides advice on how to deal with the news media and, using news management techniques, helps his or her employer to maintain a positive public image and avoid negative media coverage

internet team

the group that is in charge of internet coverage


people who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task


people who provide expert advice professionally

communication director

responsible for managing and directing an organization’s internal and external communications

hard money

a specific type of asset-based loan financing through which a borrower receives funds secured by real property


soft money

a contribution to a political party that is not accounted as going to a particular candidate, thus avoiding various legal limitations

member PACs

a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation

Federal Election Campaign Act

a United States federal law designed to increase disclosure of contributions for federal campaigns; amended in 1974 to place legal limits on the campaign contributions

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act

United States federal law that amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which regulates the financing of political campaigns

Buckley v. Valeo

A case in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld federal limits on campaign contributions and ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech. The court also stated candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns

Citizens United v. FEC

Court rules that corporations have first amendment right to spend as much as they like in elections. Super-PACs are a result


1804, This amendment states that if no presidential candidate gets a majority of the electoral votes then the House of Representatives decides among the top three