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Overview

New information about policymaking and analysis about politics in the Lone Star State is written by top Texas politics scholars.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
". . . The major strength of the Brown text is its comprehensive coverage of the fundamentals of Texas politics—in particular its coverage of major institutions and description and analysis of local government. Second, it reads like a political science text without being too overwhelmed by discipline jargon. Third, there are enough contemporary examples of events and issues that can be used to guide students in relating their own experiences to the broader issue of Texas politics." - Franklin Jones, Texas Southern University

"PRACTICING TEXAS POLITICS is the most comprehensive, authoritative, and current of all the Texas government and politics textbooks available. It engages student interest through a variety of stimuli, including interesting and often ironic political cartoons, feature boxes filled with intriguing facts about Texas, comparisons of Texas with the other states, 'learning check' questions at the end of major sections, 'Point/Counterpoint' boxes that spell out opposing arguments on current political issues, colorful maps and photographs, and an ample marginal glossary." - James A. Norris, Texas A&M International University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618310470
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 8/18/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 12
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lyle C. Brown, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, is Professor Emeritus at Baylor University. Other academic experience includes teaching at Mexico City College (now University of the Americas), Texas College of Arts & Industries (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville), and Wayland Baptist College (now Wayland Baptist University). Lyle served as president of the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies. He is co-editor of RELIGION IN LATIN AMERICAN LIFE AND LITERATURE and author or co-author of articles in professional journals, anthologies, and textbooks. His involvement in Texas politics includes participation in precinct, county, and state conventions.

Joyce Langenegger teaches government at Blinn College-Bryan and is the Director of Professional Development. She received her M.A. and J.D. from Baylor University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Fielding Graduate University. She was named the Blinn College-Bryan Academic Faculty Member of the Year for 2014. She has been named to WHO'S WHO AMONG AMERICA'S TEACHERS three times and received a NISOD Award for Teaching Excellence and a "Most Valuable Player" award from San Jacinto College for her work there as a professor and an administrator. Joyce is a frequent workshop presenter on innovative teaching strategies. She practiced law for a number of years and has been involved with politics at the local and state level.

Sonia Garcia, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, is Chair of the Political Science Department at St. Mary's University. She has published articles on Latina politics and is a co-author of MEXICAN AMERICANS & THE LAW: EL PUEBLO UNIDO JAMÁS SERÁ VENCIDO (2004). Sonia also is the lead author of POLITICAS: LATINA PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN TEXAS (2007), which examines the first Mexican-American women elected to public office in Texas from various levels of offices.

Ted A. Lewis is Dean of Instruction at Lone Star College - CyFair and continues to teach Texas government at the college level. He earned his MS from the University of North Texas in Denton and is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. Ted has conducted workshops on Texas election procedure for the Texas Secretary of State and has served as a county party chairperson, on state political party executive committees, and on statewide candidate campaign advisory committees. Ted is listed in both WHO'S WHO IN AMERICAN POLITICS and WHO'S WHO AMONG AMERICA'S TEACHERS.

Robert E. Biles, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, is Professor and former Chair of Political Science at Sam Houston State University. He has published several books and numerous scholarly articles. Bob has served as a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a member of the local school board, county political party chair, county election supervisor, state board member of a citizen's lobbying group, a member of advisory committees to the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education and the Texas State Board for Educator Certification, and secretary and president of the Women's Caucus of the Southwestern Social Science Association. He has received four Fulbright grants to teach and do research in Latin America. He received his university's top award for research, his college's award for teaching, and the first university Faculty Senate award for administration.

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Table of Contents


Preface     xix
The Environment of Texas Politics     1
Political Behavior Patterns     3
Government, Politics, and Public Policy     3
Points to Ponder     4
Political Culture     4
Texas Political Culture     6
How Do We Compare...in Area?     9
Learning Check 1.1     9
The Land     9
The Politics of Geography     9
Points to Ponder     9
Economic Geography     12
Points to Ponder     13
Learning Check 1.2     15
The People     15
How Do We Compare...in Population?     16
Demographic features     16
Racial/Ethnic Groups     19
Learning Check 1.3     24
Searching for New Economic Directions     24
Energy     25
High Technology     26
Biotechnology     27
Services     27
Agriculture     28
Trade     29
Learning Check 1.4     30
Meeting New Challenges: Social and Economic Policy Issues     30
Immigration: Federal and State Problems     30
Water     33
Point/Counterpoint: Recognition of the Matricula Consular by the State of Texas     34
Environmental Protection     34
Points to Ponder     35
Education and Economic Development     35
Poverty and Social Problems     36
Learning Check 1.5     37
Looking Ahead     37
Chapter Summary     37
Key Terms     38
Learning Check Answers     39
Discussion Questions     39
Internet Resources     40
Notes     40
Selected Readings
The Role of States in Immigration Enforcement   Kellie Dworaczyk     44
Federalism and the Texas Constitution     55
The American Federal Structure     57
Distribution of Powers     57
Points to Ponder     59
Interstate Relations and State Immunity     59
State Powers     61
Federal-State Relations: An Evolving Process     62
Learning Check 2.1     64
The Texas Constitution: Politics of Policymaking     64
Historical Developments     64
How Do We Compare...in State Constitutions?     65
Today: After More Than a Century of Usage      69
How Do We Compare...in State Constitutional Amendments?     71
Points to Ponder     71
Learning Check 2.2     72
Constitutional Amendments and Revision     72
Points to Ponder     74
Constitutional Revision     74
The Revision Efforts of the 1970s     74
Recent Revision Attempts     76
Point/Counterpoint: Should the Texas Constitution Be Rewritten?     77
Piecemeal Revision and Turnout for Ming on Amendments     77
Learning Check 2.3     78
The Texas Constitution: A Summary     78
The Bill of Rights     79
The Powers of Government     81
Suffrage     82
Local Governments     82
Other Articles     82
Learning Check 2.4     83
Looking Ahead     83
Chapter Summary     83
Key Terms     84
Learning Check Answers     84
Discussion Questions     85
Internet Resources     85
Notes     86
Selected Readings
The American Tradition of Language Rights: The Forgotten Right to Government in a "Known Tongue"   Jose Roberto Juarez, Jr.     88
They Haven't Got a Prayer    Pamela Colloff     91
Local Governments     94
Local Politics in Context     96
Local Governments and Federalism     96
Grassroots Challenges     96
How Do We Compare...in Employees and Spending at State and Local Levels?     97
Municipal Governments     98
Legal Status of Municipalities     98
Forms of Municipal Government     99
Municipal Politics     103
Point/Counterpoint: Should Term Limits Be Instituted for City Council Members and the Mayor?     105
Municipal Services     106
Municipal Government Revenue     107
Generating Revenue for Economic Development     109
How Do We Compare...in Funding of Services?     109
Learning Check 3.1     110
Counties     110
Structure and Operation     110
County Finance     115
Points to Ponder     116
County Government Reform     117
Border Counties     117
Learning Check 3.2     117
Special Districts     118
Public School Districts     118
Junior or Community College Districts     119
Noneducation Special Districts      119
Points to Ponder     120
Learning Check 3.3     120
Metropolitan Areas     120
Councils of Governments     121
Municipal Annexation     122
Learning Check 3.4     123
Looking Ahead     123
Chapter Summary     123
Key Terms     124
Learning Check Answers     125
Discussion Questions     125
Internet Resources     126
Notes     126
Selected Readings
"Extreme"Term Limits-San Antonio Style   Alexander E. Briseno     128
Bottoms Up   Cecilia Balli     131
Political Parties     135
Party Structure     136
Temporary Party Organization     137
Selection of National Convention Delegates     140
Permanent Party Organization     141
Learning Check 4.1     143
Political Democracy     143
Ideology     143
An Overview of Texas Political History     144
Point/Counterpoint: Positions of the Two Major Parties on Key Issues     145
Points to Ponder     148
Electoral Trends     151
Third Parties      152
How Do We Compare...Which Party Controls the Statehouse?     153
Independents     153
Points to Ponder     154
Learning Check 4.2     155
Racial/Ethnic Politics     156
Latinos     156
African Americans     158
Learning Check 4.3     158
Women in Politics     158
Learning Check 4.4     159
Political Campaigns     160
Conducting Campaigns in the Twenty-first Century     160
Points to Ponder     162
Campaign Reform     162
Campaign Finance     163
Learning Check 4.5     165
Looking Ahead     165
Chapter Summary     166
Key Terms     167
Learning Check Answers     167
Discussion Questions     168
Internet Resources     169
Notes     169
Selected Readings
The Elephants in the Room   Paul Burka     171
The Politics of Elections     178
Voting     179
Obstacles to Voting     180
Democratization of the Ballot     182
Voter Turnout     183
Administering Elections      185
Points to Ponder     187
Point/Counterpoint: Online Voting as a Means to Increase Voter Turnout     188
Learning Check 5.1     192
Primary, General, and Special Elections     192
Primaries     192
How Do We Compare...in Types of Primaries?     194
General and Special Elections     196
Learning Check 5.2     197
Looking Ahead     197
Chapter Summary     197
Key Terms     198
Learning Check Answers     198
Discussion Questions     198
Internet Resources     199
Notes     199
Selected Readings
In High-Tech E-Voting Age, Glitches Usually Low-Tech   Laylan Copelin     200
Small Communities Can't Afford Required Voting Technology   Joe Conger     203
The Politics of Interest Groups     205
Interest Groups in the Political Process     207
What Is an Interest Group?     207
Political Parties and Interest Groups     207
Factors Postering Interest Group Formation     208
Learning Check 6.1     209
Organization of Interest Groups     209
Organizational Patterns      209
Membership and Leadership     210
Learning Check 6.2     210
Classification of Interest Groups     210
Economic Groups     211
Professional and Government Employee Groups     213
Social Groups     215
Public Interest Groups     218
Texas Power Groups     218
Learning Check 6.3     219
Interest Group Activities     220
Techniques of Interest Groups     220
Points to Ponder     221
Lobbying     221
Points to Ponder     223
Electioneering     223
Point/Counterpoint: Should Campaign Contributions Be Limited?     224
Points to Ponder     225
Campaign financing by Political Action Committees     225
How Do We Compare...in Total PAC Contributions for the 2004 Congressional Election?     226
Bribery and Unethical Practices     226
Learning Check 6.4     228
Regulation of Interest Group Politics     229
How Do We Compare...in Campaign Finance Laws?     231
Learning Check 6.5     231
Interest Group Power and Public Policy     231
Pinpointing Political Power     232
Looking Ahead      233
Chapter Summary     233
Key Terms     234
Learning Check Answers     234
Discussion Questions     235
Internet Resources     235
Notes     235
Selected Readings
Unsung Hereof Civil Rights: "Father of LULAC" a Fading Memory   Hector Saldana     238
"Texas Capitol's Lobby Has Revolving Door   Lisa Sandberg     240
The Legislature     243
A Preliminary View     245
Legislative Framework     245
Composition     245
Points to Ponder     246
Election and Terms of Office     246
How Do We Compare...in State Legislative Seats?     247
Sessions     248
Districting     248
Learning Check 7.1     253
Compensation     253
Pay and Per Diem Allowance     253
Contingency Expense Allowances     253
How Do We Compare...in Salary of Legislators?     254
Retirement Pension     254
Learning Check 7.2     254
Membership     255
Qualifications of Members     255
Characteristics of Members     255
Learning Check 7.3     261
Powers and Immunities     261
Legislative Powers     261
Other Powers     262
Immunities     264
Learning Check 7.4     264
Presiding Officers     264
President of the Senate: The Lieutenant Governor     264
Speaker of the House     265
Points to Ponder     267
Learning Check 7.5     268
Committee System     268
House Committees     268
Senate Committees     270
Learning Check 7.6     270
Legislative Caucus System     271
Party Caucuses     271
Racial/Ethnic Caucuses     271
Ideological Caucuses     272
Learning Check 7.7     273
Procedure     273
Rules     273
A Bill Becomes a Law     273
Point/Counterpoint: Should Record Votes Be Required on Bills and Amendments?     279
Learning Check 7.8     281
Influences Within the Legislative Environment     281
The Governor     282
Judges, the Attorney General, and the Comptroller of Public Accounts     282
Lobbyists     282
Research Organizations     283
The Media     285
Learning Check 7.9     285
Looking Ahead     285
Chapter Summary     286
Key Terms     286
Learning Check Answers     287
Discussion Questions     288
Internet Resources     288
Notes     288
Selected Readings
Governor's Proclamation Calling a Special Session of the Texas Legislature Commencing April 17, 2006   Governor Rick Perry     291
Redistricting and Electoral Results in Texas in the Twenty-first Century   Lycle C. Brown   Jerry Wilkins     291
The Executive     301
Looking Back     303
Overview of the Governorship     303
Gubernatorial Politics: Money and Media     303
How Do We Compare...in Qualifications for the Office of Governor?     306
Election     306
Points to Ponder     307
Compensation     307
Succession     307
Removal from Office     308
How Do We Compare...in Governor's Compensation and Staff Size?     308
Staff     309
Point/Counterpoint: Should Top Aides Receive Supplemental Pay from Campaign Funds?      311
Learning Check 8.1     312
Powers of the Governor     312
Executive Powers     312
Legislative Powers     318
Judicial Powers     321
Informal Powers     323
Learning Check 8.2     324
The Plural Executive     324
Points to Ponder     324
The Lieutenant Governor     325
The Attorney General     326
The Comptroller of Public Accounts     328
The Commissioner of the General Land Office     329
The Commissioner of Agriculture     330
The Secretary of State     330
Learning Check 8.3     331
Looking Ahead     332
Chapter Summary     332
Key Terms     333
Learning Check Answers     333
Discussion Questions     334
Internet Resources     334
Notes     334
Selected Readings
At the Governor's Pleasure   Leah Caldwell     337
How Texas Plays "Let's Make a Deal" for Jobs   Mike Ward     338
Public Policy and Administration     342
Role of State Agencies     344
State Employees     346
Bureaucracy and Public Policy     346
Number     347
Competence, Pay, and Retention     348
How Do We Compare...in Number of State Employees?     348
How Do We Compare...in State Employee Compensation?     350
Learning Check 9.1     350
Education     350
Public Schools     351
Points to Ponder     352
Colleges and Universities     355
Learning Check 9.2     357
Health and Human Services     357
Point/Counterpoint: Should Texas Continue to Use the "Top 10 Percent" Rule?     358
Human Services     360
Health and Mental Health Services     362
Employment     363
Learning Check 9.3     363
Economic Policies     363
Business Regulation     363
Points to Ponder     365
Business Promotion     366
Learning Check 9.4     368
Environmental Issues     368
Air and Water     369
Hazardous Waste     369
Learning Check 9.5     370
Homeland Security     370
Looking Ahead     371
Chapter Summary     371
Key Terms      373
Learning Check Answers     373
Discussion Questions     374
Internet Resources     375
Notes     376
Selected Readings
Privatized Services Stumbling   Robert T. Garrett     378
Dallas Region's Reservoir Plans Irk East Texas   Thomas Korosec     379
Laws, Courts, and Justice     382
An introduction to Texas's Justice System     384
State Law in Texas     385
Sources of Law     385
Code Revision     385
Points to Ponder     386
Courts, Judges, and Lawyers     386
Local Trial Courts     386
County Trial Courts     391
State Trial Courts     392
Appellate Courts     393
How Do We Compare...in Salaries of Highest Court Justices and Judges?     394
Disciplining and Removing Judges and Justices     395
Lawyers     396
Points to Ponder     397
Learning Check 10.1     398
Juries     399
Grand Jury     399
Trial Jury     399
Learning Check 10.2     402
Judicial Procedures     402
Civil Justice System      403
Civil Trial Procedure     403
Criminal Justice System     405
Criminal Trial Procedure     408
Learning Check 10.3     410
Correction and Rehabilitation     410
How Do We Compare...in Prison Incarceration Rates?     410
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice     411
State Correctional Institutions for Adults     411
Local Government Jails     414
Private Prisons     415
Supervision of Released Offenders     415
Point/Counterpoint: Should Texas Make Reentry Easier?     418
Learning Check 10.4     419
Juvenile Justice     419
State and Local Agencies     419
Procedures and Institutions     419
Learning Check 10.5     422
Problems and Reforms: Implications for Public Policy     422
Coping with Crowded Dockets     423
Judicial Selection     423
Technology     424
Exoneration Issues     425
Racial and Ethnic Diversity     426
Learning Check 10.6     426
Looking Ahead     426
Chapter Summary     427
Key Terms     428
Learning Check Answers     428
Discussion Questions     429
Internet Resources     429
Notes     430
Selected Readings
Guidelines for Practicing Gender Neutral Courtroom Procedures$dThe Supreme Court of Texas Gender Bias Task Force     432
Mumphrey Attorney Called Shining Star in Legal Arena   Renee C. Lee     433
Finance and Fiscal Policy     436
Fiscal Policies     440
Taxing Policy     441
How Do We Compare...in Taxes and Spending?     442
Budget Policy     443
Spending Policy     444
Learning Check 11.1     444
Revenue Sources     444
The Politics of Taxation     445
Revenue from Gambling     450
Point/Counterpoint: Should Texas Expand Gambling Operations?     451
Nontax Revenues     452
Points to Ponder     455
The Public Debt     455
Learning Check 11.2     456
Budgeting and Fiscal Management     456
Budgeting Procedure     456
Budget Expenditures     460
Budget Execution     460
Purchasing     461
Accounting     461
Auditing      462
Learning Check 11.3     462
Future Demands     462
Public Education     462
Points to Ponder     463
Public Higher Education     467
Points to Ponder     468
Public Assistance     470
How Do We Compare...in Tuition and Fees?     471
Other Needs     472
Learning Check 11.4     474
Looking Ahead     474
Chapter Summary     474
Key Terms     475
Learning Check Answers     476
Discussion Questions     477
Internet Resources     477
Notes     477
Selected Readings
Put This Effort in Drive$dFort Worth Star-Telegram     479
The Mission and Philosophy of Texas State Government$dThe Governor's Office of Budget, Planning, and Policy and the Legislative Budget Board     480
Glossary     483
Index     495
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