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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Congressional Republican Leadership

Justin Buchler, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University
Friday September 27, 2013
12:30-1:30 p.m.

***Special Location: Mather House - Room 100***
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

As a song in The King and I goes, "It's a Puzzlement" The American political system seems heck-bent for yet another budgetary showdown between the Obama Administration and the House Republicans, with the Senate seemingly quivering in between. Any agreement requires that someone be able to negotiate and make agreements. It can be hard enough to figure out what the Administration wants. But does anyone really speak for congressional republicans? Can anyone "deliver"?

While non-Republicans may find it hard to muster sympathy for Speaker Boehner or Senator McConnell, their jobs – if they are not simply opposing things – are rather difficult. As part of their campaign against supposed corruption, leaders have given up the ability to buy votes (much) through earmarking benefits to districts. Members might worry much more about being "primaried" than about the leaders' disapproval. Groups like the Heritage Foundation and Club for Growth issue scorecards on members' ideological purity. Factions have to be managed and the leaders have few tools for management.

To make sense of all this we need an expert on Congress. Fortunately we have Professor Buchler, who will explore the problems and pressures and help us puzzle together.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Justin Buchler studies elections, with an emphasis on legislative elections. He has written extensively about the effects of competitive elections on political institutions. His recently published book, Hiring and Firing Public Officials: Rethinking the Purpose of Elections (Oxford University Press), argues that we should think of elections as employment decisions rather than as markets. Thus, competitive elections do not indicate a healthy democracy, as market analogies suggest. Instead, they indicate a failure of democracy because competitive elections are a poor method of making employment decisions regarding public officials. Consequently, they create perverse incentives and unrepresentative outcomes. His published papers on the topic include “The Social Sub-Optimality of Competitive Elections” (in Public Choice), which received the 2007 Gordon Tullock Prize. His other papers on the topic focus on redistricting.

Currently, Justin Buchler writes about the use of spatial models to study elections. His papers address the role of party influence on candidate position-taking, as well as the impact of valence characteristics, such as competence and honesty.

In the past, he has also written about campaign finance, and published several pieces on voting technology.

Where We Meet

Mather House is located next to the Thwing student center two buildings to the right of Kelvin Smith Library on Euclid Avenue. Please enter the front door to Mather House and turn right. Mather House Room 100 is at the end of the hall. Please do not be bothered by the scaffolding currently over the entry door.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level labeled as for the Thwing Center.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

October 4: China's New Leadership After a Year. With Paul Schroeder, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science. ***Alternate Location: Mather House Room 100***

October 11: "3D Printing" or Additive Manufacturing: What Is It, and What Could It Do? With Malcolm Cooke, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Executive Director of think(box). ***Alternate Location: Spartan Room, 3rd Floor of Thwing Center***

October 18: Patenting Genes. With Craig Nard, Tom J. E. and Bette Lou Walker Professor of Law, and Director, Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts.

October 25: Why Performance Enhancing Drugs Should be Legal in Sports. With Max Mehlman, Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law and Director of the Law-Medicine Center.

November 1: Press Freedom and the Edward Snowden Affair. With Jim Sheeler, Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing.

November 8: Is It or Is It Not Cancer? Is That the Question? With Nathan A. Berger, Distinguished University Professor and Director, Center for Science, Health and Society.

November 15: The Opportunity Corridor and Beyond: Transportation Issues in University Circle. With Debbie Berry, Vice President of Development, University Circle Inc.

November 22: Economic Effects of Health Care Reform: The Massachusetts Experience. With Mark Votruba, Associate Professor of Economics.

November 29 : No Session - Thanksgiving Break

December 6: TBA
September 23 2013

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Upcoming Events

Opportunity Corridor Public Meeting

The Ohio Department of Transportation invites you to attend a Public Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Opportunity Corridor Project. Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 7510 Woodland Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44104.

The proposed scope of the project includes the reconstruction of 0.3 miles of I-490; construction of a new 2.2 mile arterial roadway connecting I-490 at E55th Street with E105th Street at Quincy Avenue; and the reconstruction and widening of 1.0 miles of E105th Street from Quincy Avenue to just north of Park Lane. The new roadway is part of a 5.38 mile proposed extension of State Route 10 and a 0.09 mile proposed eastward extension of I-490.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the purpose of this hearing is to provide an opportunity for review and comment on the project's DEIS and for citizens to provide feedback through written or recorded verbal comments. Comments received (at the meeting, by mail, on the web, email, or fax) by 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 31, 2013 will be considered in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

This public hearing will be held in an open-house format with a formal presentation beginning at 5:30 p.m., immediately followed by a public verbal comment period after 6:00 p.m. Those wishing to give a public verbal comment will be asked to pre-register at the hearing. Respondents should expect to limit their statements to two (2) minutes each. If you have any questions, please call 216-584-2007

Rationing v Reengineering: the 21st Century Challenge for American Health Care

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, President, The Commonwealth Fund, October 10, 2013, 4:30 P.M. - 5:30 P.M., Moot Courtroom (A59), CWRU School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard Cleveland, OH 44106-7148. Sponsored by the The Oliver C. Schroeder, Jr. Scholar-in-Residence lecture presented by the Law-Medicine Center

Dr. Blumenthal will discuss emerging trends in health care spending growth and synthesize an array of recent cost control frameworks. As private managers and public policy-makers look for strategies to contain health care costs, they will face two fundamental options. The first is tantamount over the long run to rationing services: reducing insurance benefits, increasing cost-sharing by users of care, restricting eligibility for programs, and cutting payments to providers. A second strategy takes the very different direction of trying to reengineer health services to make them more efficient.

Dr. Blumenthal will present a thoughtful analysis of recent bipartisan cost control proposals that will provide attorneys with the most up to date information available as well as expert analysis on what lies ahead for our nation’s health care system.

September 2013






































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