For a while, it looked like the newly reconstituted Federal Election Commission was about to end up in the same place as the old FEC: deadlocked. In the end, however, the commissioners were able to compromise during an Oct. 31 open meeting, approving by a 5-1 vote an advisory opinion for the campaign of Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller (AO 2013-11). The ruling was the first substantive question to face the FEC since the arrival of two newly appointed commissioners, Lee Goodman and Ann Ravel
McGhee, Masket, Shor, Rogers and McCarty have written this article for AJPS. Here is the abstract:
Many theoretical and empirical accounts of representation argue that primary elections are a polarizing influence. Likewise, many reformers advocate opening party nominations to nonmembers as a way of increasing the number of moderate elected officials. Data and measurement constraints, however, have limited the range of empirical tests of this argument. We marry a unique new data set of state legislator ideal points to a detailed accounting of primary systems in the United States to gauge the effect of primary systems on polarization. We find that the openness of a primary election has little, if any, effect on the extremism of the politicians it produces.
Must-read Sarah Binder on the filibuster nuclear threat.
With the Tuesday’s election looming large, independent spending already is more than twice its previous all-time high while key legislative swing districts are drawing millions of last-minute dollars from those groups as well as the two main parties, according to the latest reports filed with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
“Independent special interest groups have spent more than $35.4 million already on gubernatorial and legislative elections plus another $2.3 million to promote or oppose public ballot questions,’’ said Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director. “This mind-boggling total of nearly $38 million, unprecedented in state history, is more than twice the previous record $14.9 million spent independently on elections in 2009.”
“It’s a whole new world in New Jersey politics,’’ Brindle said.
Congratulations to: Jan Baran, Mark Braden, Guy Charles, Kevin Hamilton, Steve Huefner, Nate Persily, Rick Pildes, and Trevor Potter.
Paul Sherman on Worley cert. petition.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, is leading to a new era of voter suppression that parallels the pre-1960s era—this time affecting not just African-Americans but also Hispanic-Americans, women, and students, among others.
The reasoning employed by Chief Justice John Roberts in Shelby County—that Section 5 of the act was such a spectacular success that it is no longer necessary—was the equivalent of taking down speed cameras and traffic lights and removing speed limits from a dangerous intersection because they had combined to reduce accidents and traffic deaths.
Linda Greenhouse in the NYT. The #Posnerversy is discussed in detail.