Eight Reasons Why Its Tough to Beat Incumbents Fitz-AP Gov Slide 2 #1: Name Recognition Slide 3 #2: Franking Privilege Congressional incumbents get free mail Why? Stay in touch with constituents Slide 4 #3: Casework Members of Congress can assist their constituents with their respective problems at home Slide 5 #4: Pork or Special Projects Members of Congress can mark-up bills to add earmarks, special appropriations to benefit the sole members of their districts. Slide 6 2003 Congress $107,000 to study the sex life of the Japanese quail. $1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck. $150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud. $84,000 to find out why people fall in love. $1 million to study why people don't ride bikes to work. $19 million to examine gas emissions from cow flatulence. $144,000 to see if pigeons follow human economic laws. $219,000 to teach college students how to watch television. $2 million to construct an ancient Hawaiian canoe. $20 million for a demonstration project to build wooden bridges. $160,000 to study if you can hex an opponent by drawing an X on his chest. $800,000 for a restroom on Mt. McKinley. Record low recorded at -75.5 Fahrenheit that same year Slide 7 $223,000,000! Proposed Bridge to Nowhere Would have connected the town of Ketchikan (pop. 8,900) to the city airport on Gravina Island (pop. 50). 10-minute ferry ride Slide 8 Slide 9 Slide 10 Why the Absurdity? Not all earmarks are bad Christmas Tree bills The tree is the bill, the ornaments the earmarks No legislator is immune Republican or Democrat Slide 11 http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/ ?id=3677232n&tag=related;photovide o Slide 12 Fact: West Virginia is landlocked Fact: West Virginia has a coast guard station Slide 13 Pro/Con Special projects are bad Local over national interest Everyone is doing it mentality Creates further skepticism about D.C. Bills become unrecognizable Special projects are not so bad Great if its your district Levels the playing field in Congress Helps legislators keep their jobs Federal projects have to go SOMEWHERE Slide 14 #5. Position-taking Incumbents have a record to run on Portray themselves as hard-working individuals Occasionally take partisan stands on issues Slide 15 #6. Weak Opponents Underfunded Unorganized Inexperienced Slide 16 #7: Campaign Spending Ask yourself: who would YOU give precious funds to? Slide 17 #8: Party Identification The political party will back the candidate they see as having the best chance of winning Slide 18 most of the time. Slide 19 Invincible? Defeating Incumbents Scandal Redistricting Major political tidal wave Open Seats Slide 20 Conclusion Who wins? Incumbents, they already hold office Slide 21 Conclusion Delegate: Vote what we say! Trustee: Use your best judgment! Politico: Combination of the two Slide 22 Conclusion Easier to get re-elected in the House Incumbent race for both houses= 90% Americans dont like Congress but DO like theyre Congressperson Slide 23 Term Limits Pro Incumbents become career politicians Disconnect with voters Break ties with special interests Would encourage challengers Builds a citizen Congress Con Throws the good out with the bad Takes years to become familiar with the Washington Way Would do away with the seniority system in Congress Slide 24 Eight Reasons Why Its Hard to Beat Incumbents 1. Name Recognition5. Position-taking 2. Franking Privilege6. Weak opponents 3. Casework7. Campaign Spending 4. Pork8. Party identification Con-Pork is BadPro-Pork is not so bad 1.5. 2.6. 3.7. 4.8. Pro-Term Limits are GoodCon- Term Limits are Bad 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
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