Government Discussion 1

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Read the article linked below (by Sandoval et al. As published in The New York Times) and address all of the prompts below . Your response must me (350 -450 words without the work cited) 

1)Summarize the article.  Identify the central argument (s) and the evidence used to support it / them.

2) Identify how this issue relates to what you have learned from the course textbook.  Be specific, citing a relevant passage from Unit 1 (ch. 1-6) and page from the book using MLA in-text citation format.

3) Summarize and evaluate the conclusion.  Is it logically consistent or inconsistent with the evidence provided in the article?  Is it consistent with what you learned in the textbook?

4)What have other scholars said about the issue?  How are their findings consistent / inconsistent with those in the article?

5) Overall, what are your thoughts about the central argument, evidence, and conclusion presented and why?

 The best responses will support all key arguments, facts, assertions and claims with research in both posts.

You must identify all additional sources with both MLA in-text (parenthetical) citations and references (in a Works Cited section at the end of your posting).

The minimum writing requirement must be met and exceeded using your own words (do not include cited information in your word count).

Don't forget to include your word count!

                                 Article 


         Contested, Heated Culture Wars ’Mark    Ultraconservative Texas Session

 This was the session that pushed Texas further to the right, at a time when it seemed least likely to do so - as the state becomes younger, less white and less Republican.

 One of the most conservative Texas legislative sessions ended this week, with bills that had died in previous sessions for being too extreme now viewed as middle-of-the-road in the post-Trump era.

 One of the most conservative Texas legislative sessions ended this week, with bills that had died in previous sessions for being too extreme now viewed as middle-of-the-road in the post-Trump era.Credit ... Matthew Busch for The New  York Times

   By Edgar Sandoval, David Montgomery and Manny Fernandez

 June 1, 2021

 AUSTIN, Texas - It was a literal exit strategy: Texas Democrats staged a last-minute walkout on Sunday to kill an elections bill that would have restricted statewide voting.  The quorum-breaking move - a decades-old maneuver favored by Democratic lawmakers - worked, in dramatic fashion.

But by Tuesday, the reality of their short-lived triumph had settled in.  The bill was very much still alive, with the Republican governor vowing to call lawmakers back to Austin for a special session to revive and pass the measure.  It was a top legislative priority for the Republican Party, and would have been the final achievement in the ultraconservative session that concluded on Monday.


 On Tuesday, Democrats staggered out of the session that included passage of a number of other aggressive measures, including a near-ban on abortion and a bill allowing the carrying of handguns without permits.  And Republicans, who seven months ago staved off a high-profile, top-dollar campaign by Democrats to flip the State House for the first time in nearly two decades, applauded themselves for a series of conservative victories.


 “Elections have consequences,” said State Representative Craig Goldman, who represents part of Fort Worth and is the treasurer of the House Republican Caucus.  Of the Democrats, he said, “They spent over $ 50 million trying to gain control of the Texas State House and they didn’t do it.”

 

 Indeed, this was the session that pushed the state further right, at a time when it seemed least likely to do so - as Texas becomes younger, less white and less Republican, and as it continues to reel from the twin crises of the coronavirus pandemic  and the collapse of its power grid during a winter storm that killed more than 150 people statewide.


 Texas legislative politics reverberate far beyond the state's borders because of its size, its pull in Congress and its economy.  The session provides a window into the partisan warfare being waged at the statehouse level around the country - in states they control, Republicans are tightening their grip on the levers of power as the demographics shift around them.


 Like a lot of statehouses, the Texas Capitol is filled with part-time lawmakers.  Its members - who typically meet once every two years for 140 days - are paid a salary of $ 7,200 and earn a living elsewhere.  One of the authors of the gun bill owns an East Texas insurance agency, and another is an orthopedic surgeon.  A writer of a measure that sought to ban transgender students from playing on sports teams based on their gender identity is a certified public accountant.  One of the lawmakers who helped draft legislation to financially punish large cities if they cut their police budgets is a banker.


 On a recent afternoon beneath the salmon-colored dome of the Texas Capitol, a lobbyist chatted in the halls with a sales representative for a drilling fluids company.  That sales rep was State Representative Tom Craddick, who served years ago as the first Republican speaker of the Texas House since Reconstruction.


 “Some people play golf,” Mr. Craddick, 77, said.  "I’m in the Legislature."


 In past decades, Mr. Craddick and his fellow conservatives have consistently put their stamp on the biennial legislative sessions in Austin that begin in January and end in May.  They gained national attention for banning sanctuary cities and requiring voter ID, among other measures.

 But the tenor, the players, the combativeness and the times have changed.


 This became one of the most conservative recent sessions in Texas, with bills that had died in previous sessions for being too extreme now viewed as middle-of-the-road in the post-Trump era.  Last month, in the span of a feverish few days, lawmakers passed the bill banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, when many women are not even aware they are pregnant, after a similar bill died in the 2019 session.  And they approved the bill to do away with the state’s handgun permit and training system, after similar efforts failed to gain momentum in past years.

 ImageTexas lawmakers approved a bill to do away with the state's handgun permit and training system, after similar efforts failed to gain momentum in past years.

 Texas lawmakers approved a bill to do away with the state’s handgun permit and training system, after similar efforts failed to gain momentum in past years.Credit ... Matthew Busch for The New York Times

 Another factor has been the disappearance of the moderate Republican guardrails.


 In past legislative sessions, Bush-style Republicans, including the former speaker of the House, Joe Straus of San Antonio, blocked many bills put forth by the far right, including killing a so-called bathroom bill in 2017 that would have restricted which bathroom  transgender people can use in public buildings and schools.  Mr. Straus and many of his moderate allies are gone now from the Legislature, replaced in large part by pro-Trump Republicans who have taken to criticizing Gov.  Greg Abbott for not being conservative enough.


 The state’s Republican leadership thrived in the Obama era, in much the same way that California’s Democratic leadership relished being the liberal antidote in the Trump era.  Now Texas Republicans are playing the antagonist once again during the Biden administration, all while intraparty skirmishes have broken out and far-right grass-roots activists prepare for next year’s Republican primaries.


 “They’re flexing their muscle going into the 2022 primaries, so they’re all looking over their right shoulders and I think that’s driving a lot of this,” said State Representative Chris Turner, who is the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.  “They certainly are pushing the envelope in a way they haven’t before.”


 Republican lawmakers, including Mr. Goldman, deny that any of their work this session was payback against the Democrats for a hard-fought election last year.  They said they were given a mandate by Texas voters when Democrats who needed to flip nine net seats to take control of the House gained none.


 “When the people of Texas see that onslaught of dollars and a lot of negative campaigns and they aren't persuaded to ditch their Republican representative for a Democrat, it tells Republicans that people are embracing their point of view,” said State Representative Jim Murphy  , chairman of the House Republican Caucus.


 State Representative Jarvis D. Johnson, a Democrat from Houston, said this had been a particularly partisan session.  He cited but one example: the dismissive Republican response to his efforts to abolish Confederate Heroes Day, an official state holiday in Texas.


 “Last session I was able to get a committee hearing on this,” Mr. Johnson said.  “That’s something I could not even get this year.”


 Mr. Johnson had a heated exchange on the House floor with a Republican lawmaker over the role of slavery in the Texas Revolution, one of many confrontations and arguments between Democratic and Republican legislators.


 “As long as you’re a white, Christian evangelical, gun-loving, Bible-toting, race-baiting person, hell yeah, Texas is for you,” Mr. Johnson, who is Black, said in an interview.  “They got all kinds of freedoms for them.  Believe me, I’d like to tell you that I’ve got a lot of friends on the other side of the aisle.  But I can’t lie to you like that. ”


 State Representative Jarvis Johnson in 2017. Mr. Johnson, a Democrat, said Republicans were dismissive of his efforts this session to abolish Confederate Heroes Day, a state holiday.

 State Representative Jarvis Johnson in 2017. Mr. Johnson, a Democrat, said Republicans were dismissive of his efforts this session to abolish Confederate Heroes Day, a state holiday.Credit ... Eric Gay / Associated Press

 In Texas, it has long been the case that Democrats can only stall legislation.  It is nearly impossible for them to push forward bills in tune with their vision of a more progressive state.


 Recently, the beleaguered party saw one way out of the transgender sports bill: Keep talking past the deadline to pass it.  And so the Democratic lawmakers did.  After the clock struck midnight, they cheered and transgender activists waved flags in the chamber.

 They also used last-minute stalling tactics to successfully kill two other bills in the House that had been priorities for Lt. Gov.  Dan Patrick, the presiding officer in the Senate who later criticized his Republican colleagues in the House for not working hard enough.


 When the speaker of the House, State Representative Dade Phelan, was stopped at an entrance to the Senate last month because he lacked a required wristband showing he had a negative coronavirus test, it started an intraparty debate over whether he was denied entry to the chamber  .  The incident only heightened the perception that the two Republican-led chambers that Democrats accused of advancing such a divisive conservative agenda were themselves divided.


 “There’s always some level of factions just because we’re like any family,” said Mr. Murphy, the Republican caucus chairman.  “There’s the ones that have cheese pizza and those who want pepperoni.  But we’re all going to sit down for dinner. ”


 It has been decades since Molly Ivins, a sharp-witted liberal writer known for mocking the political status quo, famously called the Legislature “the finest free entertainment in Texas.”


 In 1979, in a move not unlike what the Democrats pulled off this weekend, a dozen Democratic senators known as the Killer Bees hid offsite to prevent the Senate from reaching a quorum on election legislation.  State troopers were dispatched to round them up.  Officers thought they nabbed State Senator Gene Jones but discovered, after flying him to Austin in a helicopter, that they instead had his brother Clayton.  When Clayton Jones was asked why he went along with the mix-up, he said he had never been in a helicopter before.


 Decades ago, during one of his epic filibusters - in which lawmakers have to keep speaking except when allies ask questions and not leave the floor even for restroom breaks - State Senator AR Schwartz, known as Babe, was surrounded by his Democratic colleagues in a corner  during a long question.  He urinated into a wastebasket.  His allies then cleared out, taking the wastebasket with them.


 Molly Ivins-style moments of levity still occur, though not as frequently.


 During a recent discussion over a measure that would restrict the breeding of unlicensed dogs and cats, pet banter and chuckles flowed.  The bill’s sponsor, State Senator José Menéndez, a San Antonio Democrat, called the moment bittersweet, and fleeting.


 “It was one of the few light moments we’ve had,” Mr. Menéndez said.  “Everything else has been very contested, heated culture wars.”


 Simon Romero and John Schwartz contributed reporting.

 Edgar Sandoval is a reporter with the National desk, where he writes about South Texas people and places.  Previously he was a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Florida.  He is the author of “The New Face of Small Town America.”  @edjsandoval

 Manny Fernandez is the Los Angeles bureau chief.  He spent more than nine years covering Texas as the Houston bureau chief.  He joined The Times as a Metro reporter in 2005, covering the Bronx and housing.  @mannyNYT.


                                

                         CHAPTER 1

 

The Political Culture, People, and Economy of Texas

 

 Copyright © 2019 W. W. Norton & Company

 


 The Political Culture, People, and Economy of Texas


 Why Texas’s Political Culture Matters

 Steinbeck: Texas is “a state of mind.  .  .  a mystical closely approximating a religion. ”

 There are many myths about Texans.

 • Cowboy image

 • Rancher who champions economic independence

 • Wildcatter who is willing to risk everything

 • Independent entrepreneur who fiercely opposes the intrusion of government

 The reality of Texas today is much more complicated.


 Why Texas’s Political Culture Matters: The Republican Party Texas is the second-largest state and the second most populous.

  Texas is much more diverse than is commonly thought.

 Texas politics today is dominated by the Republican Party, but its long-term dominance is not certain.

 • Increasing racial and ethnic diversity points to a new Texas, one that looks sharply different from the one in the history books.

 

 Texas Political Culture

 Political culture is broadly shared values, beliefs, and attitudes about how government and society should function.

 

 American political culture is traditionally viewed as emphasizing the values ​​of liberty, equality, and democracy.

 

 Texas is categorized as having a “traditionalistic individualistic” political culture.


 Texas Political Culture: The One-Party State and Provincialism

 The one-party state

 • For over 100 years, Texas was dominated by the Democratic Party, but this pattern no longer holds.

 • Substantial competition emerged between the parties in the 1990s, and the Republican Party secured control after redistricting in 2002.

 Provincialism

 • Texas’s political culture was also once defined by provincialism, a narrow view associated with rural values ​​and notions of limited government.

 • The result was often a self-interested view of the world and an intolerance of diversity.

 


 Texas Political Culture: Business Dominance

 Business dominance

 • Texas’s political culture has also been defined by

 the longtime dominance of business interests.

 • They are major players in terms of campaign contributions and lobbying.

 • Other groups that may offer an alternative, like labor unions, are rare, poorly organized, and / or poorly funded.


 The Land

 Texas politics is shaped by the state’s geography.

 • The most distinctive characteristic of Texas’s geography is its size.

 • The longest straight-line distance across the state from north to south is 801 miles;  the longest east – west distance is 773 miles.

 • The east – west distance from New York City to Chicago is 821 miles.

 • Texas turned a large portion of its public lands over to private ownership.


 Business and Politics: Fracking



 Figure 1.1: The Physical Regions of Texas


 The Land: The Gulf Coastal Plains

 The Gulf Coastal Plains

 • Almost all of Texas’s timber production takes place here.

 • The area is home to some of Texas’s most famous oilfields.

 • The region was the foundation of plantation life during the antebellum period, when slavery flourished in the state.

 • Urban areas have become Democratic, while the suburbs have become more Republican.


 The Land: The Interior Lowlands, the Great Plains, and the Basin and Range Province

 The Interior Lowlands

 • Agricultural economy and rural population

 • Many of the state's largest ranches

 • Conservative political values

 The Great Plains

 • Economy centered on agriculture, cotton production, ranching, and petroleum production

 • Conservative political values

 The Basin and Range Province

 • Mountains, little rain, and few people

 • Large Latino population;  Democratic Party bastion


 Economic Change in Texas

 Joseph Schumpeter and “creative destruction”

 • Periodic waves of transformation are fueled by technological innovations in production and distribution.

 • This capitalist process not only creates a new economy but also destroys old ones.

 • Schumpeter's theory provides a useful way to think about the economic changes that have shaped and reshaped the Texas economy.


 Economic Change in Texas: Cotton

 Cotton

 • Cotton is one of the oldest crops grown in Texas.

 • Cotton production cycles go up and down.

 • The 1930 Census reported that 61 percent of all farmers in Texas were tenant farmers;  one-third of those were sharecroppers.

 • The number of tenant farmers fell throughout the Great Depression.

 • By 1987, only 12 percent of all farmers were tenants.

 Economic Change in Texas: Cotton Production

 One-quarter of the cotton produced in the United States still comes from Texas.

 This photo shows land and machinery used to farm cotton.

 Economic Change in Texas: Cattle

 Cattle

 • The history of ranching and the cattle industry parallels that of cotton in many ways.

 • The industry took off following the Civil War and expanded throughout the state.

 • Neither cotton nor ranching is as important now as it was in the past.

 • In the early twentieth century, new technological breakthroughs focused not on what grew on the land but on what lay beneath it.


 Economic Change in Texas: The King Ranch

 Economic Change in Texas: Oil and Gas

 Oil and gas

 • Oil took off in 1901 with the discovery of the Spindletop oilfield.

 • Oil fever spread throughout Texas over the next decade.

 • One can trace the rise and decline and rise again of the oil and gas industry in Texas through production figures (see Figure 1.2).

 • A major discovery that brought new oil and gas to market could lead to a sudden collapse in prices.

 • A boom-and-bust mentality was introduced.

Figure 1.2: Oil Production in Texas

 Economic Change in Texas: Oil and Gas, Continued

 Oil and gas, continued

 • Oil and gas transformed the government and the economy.

 • The power of government was expanded through the Railroad Commission.

 • Higher education has benefited.

 • Oil and gas production is emerging again in the Texas economy, which will result in new demands for water supplies and new environmental concerns.

 Economic Change in Texas: High-Tech Industries

 High-tech industries

 • World oil prices began to collapse in 1982.

 • Texas emerged in the 1980s as a leader in high-tech industries.

 • In the 1990s, Texas went from seventh in the nation in total manufacturing employment to second.

 • In 2015, 14.34 percent of the total output in the state came from manufacturing, and 7.3 percent of the workforce was employed in manufacturing.


 Center of Medial Research: Houston

 Economic Change in Texas: NAFTA

 NAFTA

 • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed in 1992, created a free-trade zone among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

 • Texas exports

 increased.

 • Although there were

 some NAFTA losers,

 there were also big

 winners.

 

 Economic Change in Texas: The Military

 Since annexation, the state's economy has been closely tied to the establishment of military bases.

 • Military bases are economically vital to local communities.

 • An expanding military significantly stimulates economic growth and employment in Texas.

 

 In 2015, over 163,000 active-duty, reserve, and civilian personnel employed by the U.S. military were living in Texas.


 Economic Change in Texas: The Great Recession

 Texas in the Great Recession

 • In 2007, the nation entered what some have called “the Great Recession.”

 • Texas was one of the last states to enter, and was one of the first to exit, the Great Recession.

 • Texas’s economic miracle involved low taxes and low services, pro-business and free market government, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

 • Some pundits question the notion of the Texas economic miracle as economic growth in Texas no longer appears to outperform that of other states.


 Jeff Moseley, Texas Association of Business


 The People of Texas

 Three factors account for population growth in Texas.

 • Natural increase (births)

 • International immigration (from outside the United States)

 • Domestic immigration (from one U.S. state to another)

 

 Texas’s population in 2017 was estimated to be over 28 million.


 The People of Texas: Whites

 Whites (Anglos)

 • For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the dominant ethnic group was non-Hispanic whites.

 • The first wave was encouraged by empresarios such as Moses Austin and his son Stephen F. Austin.

 • As a percentage of the population, the white population peaked at 74 percent in 1950.

 • This percentage began to fall, reaching 43.5 percent in 2015, and will likely continue to fall.


 The People of Texas: Latinos

 Latinos

 • Most Latinos in Texas are of Mexican descent.

 • Until 1900, Latinos were concentrated in south Texas;  by 2000, Latinos constituted majorities in San Antonio and El Paso and sizable minorities in other cities.

 • The political status of Latinos in Texas has changed considerably over the past 100 years.

 • The number of Latinos elected to public office rose from 1,466 in 1986 to 2,521 in 2011.


 The People of Texas: Latinos, Continued

 Latinos, continued

 • The political status of Latinos in Texas has changed considerably over the past 100 years.

 • The white-only primary and the poll tax actively discouraged voting by Latinos.

 • In 1956, Henry B. Gonzalez became the first Mexican American to be elected to the Texas Senate in modern times.

 • The La Raza Unida Party emerged in the mid-1960s.


 Latinos in Texas Politics

 The People of Texas: African Americans

 African Americans

 • People of African descent were among the earliest explorers of Texas.

 • Most African Americans, however, entered the state as slaves.

 • Mexican authorities ’antislavery attitudes kept the black population relatively low (5,000 in 1830) until the Texas Revolution and expansion of slavery.

 • Emancipation (June 19, 1865) did not bring anything approaching equality.


 The People of Texas: African Americans, Continued

 African Americans, continued

 • Black Codes restricted the rights of former slaves.

 • Federal court cases in the 1940s and 1950s offered some hope of relief.

 • The Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights (1965) helped open the political system to African Americans.

 • In 1972, Barbara Jordan became the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas.

 

 Civil Rights Movement in Texas


 The People of Texas: Asians and Age

 Asians

 • In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated over 1 million Asian Americans resided in Texas (5 percent of the state’s population).

 • Asians tend to be concentrated in urban and suburban areas.

 Age

 • The population of Texas is relatively young in comparison with the rest of the nation.

 • In 2015, 27.3 percent of the population was estimated to be under 18 years old, compared with 24.0 percent nationally.

 Who Are Texans?  How is the Texas Population Changing?


 Who Are Texans?  Race and Total Population


 Who Are Texans?  Geography


 Table 1.1: Per Capita Personal Income in Texas and the United States, 1990–2017

 Poverty and wealth

 • Despite the growth of the 1990s, incomes in Texas have lagged behind those of the nation as a whole.


 Urbanization

 Much of Texas's history is linked to ongoing urbanization.

 

 By the twenty-first century, the process of urbanization was largely complete.

 

 Now, 85 percent of the population resides in urban areas (see Figure 1.8).

 

 Urbanization and the accompanying suburbanization are the forces driving politics in modern Texas.


 Figure 1.8: Urbanization in Texas, 1850–2010


 Texas and the Nation: How does Texas’s population compare to other major states?


 Texas and the Nation: Racial Diversity


 Texas and the Nation: Percent change in population, 2000-2010


 Urban Political Life: Houston

 Houston

 • Houston is the largest city in Texas, with a population of 2.1 million;  it is the fourth-largest city in the United States.

 • It is the second- or third-busiest deep-water port in the United States (depending on whose ranking is used).

 • Oil fundamentally transformed the Houston area and made Houston one of the leading energy centers in the world.

 

 Table 1.2: Race and Ethnic Breakdown of Texas and Its Largest Counties, 2017


 English Classes for Immigrants


 Urban Political Life: Dallas – Fort Worth

 Dallas ‒ Fort Worth

 • The Metroplex consists of Dallas, Fort Worth, and a number of other suburban cities.

 • With the discovery of oil in east Texas in 1930, Dallas became a major center for petroleum financing.

 • Dallas looks to the east and embodies a more corporate culture.

 • Fort Worth looks to the west and since the two world wars has emerged as the home of a large aviation industry.

 

 Urban Political Life: San Antonio

 San Antonio

 • San Antonio is Texas’s second-largest city.

 • San Antonio’s population has become increasingly Latino.

 • San Antonio lacks high-paying manufacturing jobs, and average metropolitan income is lower than in Houston and Dallas.

 • The economy rests on national military bases, educational institutions, tourism, and a large medical research complex.

 


 Urban Political Life: Austin

 Austin

 • As the state capital, Austin is the hub for government business.

 • It is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Texas.

 • Austin is the location of the University of Texas at Austin— the flagship institution of the University of Texas system.

 • Austin has a high-tech thriving industry.

 • Austin's per capita income and median household income are both greater than their corresponding state averages.

 Immigrant Rights Protesters

Immigration in Texas



                  CHAPTER 4

Political Parties

Copyright © 2019 W. W. Norton & Company

Political Parties in Texas

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Why Political Parties Matter

Two parallel developments have occurred.

•Domination of the Republican Party in Texas

•The state’s growing minority population, which is increasingly Latino

Texas has largely been a one-party state: first Democratic, then Republican.

The Republican Party in Texas is divided.

•There are three political parties in today’s Texas: business-oriented mainstream Republicans, Tea Party conservative Republicans, and the Democratic Party.

The Democrats face an uphill battle trying to regain power, at least in the short term.

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics

Political parties 

•Help candidates win elections

•Assist voters in making their choices

•Raise money for campaigns and help “get out the vote”

•Organize the government if their party wins the election

An important function of parties in Texas is to provide a label under which candidates run and with which voters identify.

•Each party develops a party platform from which voters can get a better sense of what the party stands for.

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The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: National Context

Texas parties in the national context

•States differ in the strength of the political parties.

•State political parties have less power.

•“All politics is local.” 

•Local issues are usually not ideological in nature.

Partisan polarization is becoming more pronounced in the Texas legislature.

•Compromise has become increasingly difficult.

Selecting Candidates: 2018

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Public Attitudes about Parties

Public attitudes about parties

Political socialization occurs in our early years.

•Agents of socialization: parents, religious leaders, teachers, others

•For many people, partisan affiliation is important when deciding how to vote.

•Texans are increasingly identifying as independent, however.

•The Tea Party is particularly strong in Texas.

•In 2017, 16 percent of respondents said they would vote for a Tea Party candidate if the movement organized as a third party.

•Swing voters may ultimately decide elections.

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: The Contemporary Republican Party

The contemporary Republican Party in Texas

•Texas Republicans are experiencing major division within the party.

•The Tea Party has had considerable influence.

•Republicans hold all major statewide elected offices, but the party has not always been so powerful.

•Before 1994, Democrats held many statewide offices.

•Ann Richards, a proud liberal, was the state’s last Democratic governor.

Dan Patrick

9

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: The Contemporary Democratic Party

The contemporary Democratic Party in Texas

•Texas Democrats have been consigned to minority status since the early 2000s.

•Texas Democrats today would be classified as liberal.

•The party’s base is made up of African Americans, Latinos, and white liberals in urban areas.

•The party’s base is currently not large enough to win statewide races.

•Of the 11 Democrats representing Texas in Congress, 8 are Latino or African American.

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Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso)

11

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Party Organization

Democratic and Republican Party organization

•Texas does not have party registration.

•Voters may vote in either primary.

•Candidates must win either

•A majority of the primary vote

•A runoff between the two highest vote getters

•Parties in Texas are organized at the precinct, county, and state levels.

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Anderson County Democrats

Figure 4.1: Party Organization in Texas

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Precincts and County Chairs

Democratic and Republican Party organization, continued

•In each election precinct, a precinct chair is elected in the party primary.

•Also elected in the primary is the county chair, who heads the county executive committee, which is composed of the chair and the precinct chairs.

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Committees and Conventions

Democratic and Republican Party organization, continued

•At the state level, a state executive committee includes a state chair and a vice chair.

Precinct conventions send delegates to the county convention and may submit resolutions for the party platform.

•The county conventions (or in urban areas, district conventions) then elect delegates to the state convention.

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Third Parties

Third parties in Texas

•The two parties in power make it difficult for third parties to thrive, and third-party candidates rarely win.

•Third parties and candidates do, however, emerge.

•The Grange and Populist movements

•States’ Rights Party, or Dixiecrats

•George Wallace and segregation

•The civil rights movement and La Raza Unida

•The Libertarian Party

•The 2006 election for governor

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Kinky Friedman

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Third Parties, Continued

Third parties in Texas, continued

•Why don’t people vote for third parties?

•Texas employs a “first past the post,” single-member district electoral system.

Duverger’s Law: a two-party system will emerge from a single-member district system.

•Some other countries use a system of proportional representation, a multimember district system that allows each political party representation in proportion to its percentage of the total vote.

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: The Tea Party Movement

The Tea Party movement in Texas

•The Tea Party movement has had more influence in Texas than in other states because of its libertarian antitax message.

•Implications: less funding for education and fewer social services

•Tea Party organizers have focused on influencing Republican primaries rather than running third-party candidates.

Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton)

21

The Role of Political Parties in Texas Politics: Politics and the Media

Parties have established active presences in social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat).

•They use social media to mobilize voters and solicit campaign contributions with little cost.

Texas’s History as a One-Party State

After the Civil War, Texas entered an era of one-party rule that lasted over a century.

•The real election was the Democratic primary.

•Republicans frequently did not run any candidate at all for many offices.

•Many counties had no Republican Party at all.

By about the mid-1940s, a split between liberal and conservative Democrats developed in response to New Deal and civil rights policies.

Texas’s History as a One-Party State: The ShivercratMovement

The Shivercrat movement of the 1950s and a strengthening pattern of presidential Republicanism signaled coming change.

Texas’s History as a One-Party State: Conservative Democrats

The era of conservative Democrats

•Democrats were conservative on fiscal and racial issues.

•The Republican Party was initially started in Illinois as an antislavery party.

•Many southern Democrats were elected to Congress and gained seniority in the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Texas’s History as a One-Party State: Growth of the Republican Party

The growth of the Republican Party

•Reagan’s election in 1980 marked a significant change in how Texans began to vote, not only in presidential elections but also in state elections.

•At the end of the Reagan and George H. W. Bush years, Texas became a Republican state, not only in presidential races but also in state races.

•In 1999, every statewide elected official was Republican.

•In the 2016 Texas legislature, 20 out of 31 senators and 94 out of 150 representatives were Republican.

•In 2016, both U.S. senators and 25 of the 36 House members from Texas were Republican.

Figure 4.2: The Texas Delegation to the U.S. House, 1845–2019

Table 4.1: Republican Officeholders in Texas, 1974–2018

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Do Internal Divisions Spell Trouble for the Republican Party in Texas?

29

Texas’s History as a One-Party State: The Disappearance of Conservative Democrats

The disappearance of conservative Democrats

•Conservative Democrats, also known as Blue Dog Democrats, are becoming an endangered species in the South.

•By 2012, all the conservative Democrats from Texas in Congress had retired, switched parties, or lost their reelections.

•In today’s political environment, the influence of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans is very limited.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo)

Texas Party Politics Today

Party unity and disunity 

•Parties have opposing factions within them.

•When the Democratic Party was the dominant party in Texas, factional battles were common between liberals and conservatives.

•Republican Party factions include

•The religious right

•Economic conservatives

•The Tea Party

Texas Party Politics Today: Influences on Partisanship

Urban, rural, and suburban influences on partisanship

•Cities in Texas have become more Democratic.

•Rural areas remain solidly conservative and have become Republican.

•“White flight” to the suburbs, which tend to lean Republican

•Voters tend to settle in places with like-minded people, reinforcing the political proclivities already established.

Influential Latinos in the Democratic Party

34

Clicker Question: What Do Texans Think?

35

Clicker Question: Part 2

Do you think the Tea Party has . . .

a)too much influence

b)too little influence

c)the right amount of influence

d)don’t know

36

Clicker Question: Part 3

37

Texas Party Politics Today: African Americans

African Americans in Texas political parties

•About 12 percent of the Texas population is African American.

•The influence of African Americans in the Democratic Party is high not only because they tend to vote Democratic but because they participate in elections more than other ethnic groups.

•During the 2014 statewide elections, 35.3 percent of African Americans turned out to vote versus 35.2 percent of whites and 22.4 percent of Hispanics.

•African Americans have been elected mayors of important cities in Texas, such as Houston and San Antonio.

Texas Party Politics Today: Latinos

Latinos in Texas political parties

•In 2010, it was estimated that Hispanics constituted about 20 percent of the registered voters in Texas.

•Latinos have not fully realized their potential voting strength; Latino voters have a significantly lower turnout rate than other groups.

•The full impact of the Latino demographic surge may not be felt until the next generation, because U.S.-born children of noncitizens are eligible to vote, while their (noncitizen) parents are not.

Table 4.2: Turnout by Race: 2016 Presidential Year versus 2014 Statewide Election Year







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