Political U[niversity]

What lobbyists do

The stereotypes Everyone thinks they know what a lobbyist is. It is perhaps the most stereotyped profession in the world: How voters see lobbyists           How legislators see lobbyists               How lobbyists see themselves             The reality First, a definition: Lobbying is the act of attempting...

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Why women do not run for office

Why so few women run for office It’s not hard to find articles bemoaning the small number of women who choose to run for office, despite the fact they perform just as well as (and often better than) men once elected. My Yahoo search on “too few women candidates” turned up more than 5.7 million results. There are plenty of reasons given: A 2008 study by The Brookings Institution shows that women...

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When public officials try to silence criticism

It is human nature. People don’t like to be criticized. However, those who hold public office must accept criticism as part of holding office. We have the right (and the duty) to hold our officials accountable for respecting our rights and spending our tax dollars wisely. Usually, the way public officials try to hide from accountability is to persuade the legislature to frame sunshine laws as...

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How Activists Create Change

How do activists create change? Last June, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University asked the question, “How does activism drive corporate change?” While their research focuses on activism’s impact on corporate management, most of their insights also apply to political activism. Sometimes the impact is direct: A shareholder group filed a resolution urging McDonald’s to replace...

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Ralph Nader marks 50 years of consumer activism

November 30 marked the 50th anniversary of Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed. This book was a stern critique of American automakers who neglected safety in automotive design. It shook up the auto industry and brought Mr. Nader to the forefront in the new role of consumer advocate. Some may disagree with government regulation to protect consumers; but there is no question that his political...

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Want to join the [political] fight against terrorism?

American organizations dedicated to fighting terrorism tend to bathe in strongly pro-Israeli or anti-Islamic rhetoric. Having had several personal friends who are Muslim, I firmly oppose any effort to marginalize Muslims in American society. The best way for non-Muslims to fight terrorism is to actively support our secular Constitutional form of government, seek friendship and understanding with...

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