POLI 065
First Year Seminar: Pressure and Power
M, W, 3:30–4:45pm, Hanes 112

Prof. Frank R. Baumgartner
313 Hamilton Hall, phone 962-0414
Web site: http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/

Office hours: M, W, 2-3pm and by appointment

Click here for the syllabus

Space below reserved for course materials, check back often.

Web and e-library resources created by the UNC libraries specifically for this class.

Useful web sites for information on lobbying

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/Public_Disclosure/LDA_reports.htm The law requires lobbyists who spend more than $20,000 in any six-month period to register with Congress and to make public the amount they spent, what firms they hired to represent them, the names of their lobbyists, and the issues on which they lobbied. This site contains the actual PDF records of the reports themselves. It is searchable (best is to search by "client" which would be the organization that lobbied if they used their own government relations office or the entity which hired a PR firm if that is what they did). Note that it can be hard sometimes to search by specific names as there is no standard way to list the names: Try UNC-CH or University of North Carolina and you may or may not come up with the same results, so be careful and try many versions of the name in your search.

http://www.opensecrets.org/ This site provides campaign contribution and lobbying expenditure reports in a searchable database where you can aggregate by what elected official got the money and what industrial sector gave or spent it. They make available information from the US Senate site above, but it is easier to use if you want to get aggregates for entire sectors of the lobbying world.

A good site that compares all the current health care reform proposals, from the Kaiser Family Foundation:


A homework assignment on plagiarism due September 21: Go to this site (at the Penn State library) and print out the booklet. Read it, study it (it won't take long), and fill out the last page. Bring it to class on Monday September 21. We'll talk about it in class.

Click here for a handy template that you can use to write your papers in this class, including examples of how the references should look. Note that the UNC library site has a great page about citation styles and rules. In social sciences, we use the APA style.

Click here for a reminder about some writing basics.

Voter turnout assignment due September 23 and for class discussion on that day: Go to the Orange County Board of Elections web site: http://www.co.orange.nc.us/elect/index.asp and click on Past Elections. In a one-page word document with your name, my name, class details, date, and honor pledge at the top, make a table showing the following numbers in 3 columns: Total Voters Registered; Votes Cast; and Turnout (in percent). Make sure you are looking at the table for voter turnout statistics, and that you report data for the entire county, not just a single city or voting precinct. (There should be about 100,000 registered voters, roughly.) Do this for the following elections: 2008 General; 2006 General; 2007 Municipal; 2005 Municipal; and 2003 Municipal. In one page, present this data table and then answer this question: Why would Schattschneider say we have municipal elections on odd-numbered years when we have to have Congressional and Presidential elections by law on even numbered years? (One paragraph is fine.) If you want, you can substitute another county, for example your home county, for Orange County. But make sure you look at a number of different elections.

Useful class notes on how to get around the free-rider problem, from September 30, 2009.

Homework assignment due on October 5, focusing on looking things up in the library and understanding the Library of Congress call number system.

Slides on the growth of interest groups from different sectors of the economy I showed in class on Oct 14.

Special class on Monday October 19. Librarian Mike Van Fossen will introduce us to print, government documents, and electronic resources useful for social science research. We'll meet at the regular time in class but walk as a group over to Davis Library, room 247. Be to class on time that day.

Read the email I forwarded to you from OpenSecrets.org and go here for the link to the US Chamber of Commerce report. Note that they spent almost $90 million in 2008 and about $26 million so far in 2009.

Special class on Wednesday October 28; Kimrey W. Rhinehardt,  Vice President for Federal Relations, The University of North Carolina, and Karen Regan, Director of Federal Affairs for UNC-Chapel Hill will be in class. Come to class with your questions. Look up the UNC lobby disclosure reports on the US Senate web site.

Slides for class on Wed Nov 11, about whether the wealthiest lobbyists always win.

Other assignments will be posted here periodically.