discussion post / student replies

Chapter 11 highlights the continual debate among political scientists as to whether negative campaign ads help or hurt a candidate’s prospects of winning. Regarding whether or not negative ads ‘work’, Hershey notes that these appeals are often useful because they are memorable and emotionally engaging. However, “after the individual has made his or her choice, attack ads are likely to depress turnout, especially among people who are not strong partisans” (pg. 220).

Where do you fall on this debate? Does negative campaigning garner your attention by providing useful information? Or does negative campaigning cause you to tune out? Explain and provide current examples of ads from Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race.

*Note: Reaction posts should be approximately 2 paragraphs in length. Responses to other students do not have a length requirement but serve as your participation grade (i.e., the more thorough the better).


Student replies 

4 sentences each


When it comes to the debates, candidates and their party would tend to highlight their successes as well and promises. This is a good thing and very informative. It allows voters to see who they are, what they have done and what they would like to do. Often we see their agendas align closely with current issues to motivate or connect with concerned citizens. From there the opposing party/candidate attacks. 

For me, I think that we as voters are entitled to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Nothing is ever an issue until you try to hid it. So when there are things that are thrown out from one party/candidate to another, i would be impressed if they would own it. I’m pretty turned off when i see the back and forth attacks. It comes off a bit desperate. However, it does not deter me from my vote. 

Currently, Stacey Abrams is running for Governor of GA. Her campaign appeared to be pretty positive to me. I didn’t see much about any of the candidates that was too negative. Then the first negative blow that I heard was about Stacey Abrams not paying IRS debt. However, the same person who’s campaign brought it up, has also had tax issues. The biggest thing for me is, Stacey Abrams is not the only person who has IRS bills. I like how she addressed the issue that has been brought up. These actions has not secured my vote for or against Stacey Abrams.


I take political ads with a grain of salt. Whether they’re positive or negative and whoever the candidate is. Not to say the ads aren’t true but you can spin anything in any direction you want to. A great example is the governors race here in Georgia. There is the notion that the Secretary of State’s office is holding 53,000 votes that will not be eligible to vote in the upcoming 2018 midterms. This is completely untrue, every vote that was turned in before the voter registration deadline will be able to vote in the election. There is also an ad out by the Abrams camp that Brian Kemp leaked Georgians information while in office. Again is 100% untrue and is trying to gather support by playing on the fears of people. Attempting to be as less biases as possible the Kemp campaign has tried to label Abrams as an “extremist” and a socialist. Most recently I’ve only seen the Abrams campaign running these negative ads. 


I like to do my own research and not rely to heavily on what I’ve seen in political ads. For reasons like I stated above. At the same time like a large majority of voters negative ads tend to stick with me. Negative ads are usually the ads I look to see are true or just hot air.

discussion questions


As discussed in this module, plural executive systems involve the separate elections of multiple positions in the executive branch. 

If a plural executive system were instituted at the federal level, would this be an improvement over the existing singular executive system?  How might national-level politics work differently under such a system?


As discussed in the module, state judges are usually either selected through appointment or popularly elected.  Which of these systems seems preferable to you, and why?

max length 2 paragraphs no citations or quotations 


Student Replies 


I believe that a plural executive system would not be an improvement to our current system. A plural executive may have its advantages such adding more accountability and seriousness to the positions, but overall I think it would cause chaos and stalemates in our system. Whenever a party takes over office and is able to appoint people with similar values and ideas it is much easier to get things done. Leaders are on the same page with their peers and this overall creates ease in operations. When a political party takes office I think it is counterproductive for them to have added struggle to pass laws and policies. We already have the checks and balances system, there is no need to create more barriers from getting things done. Another issue with elected positions is the fact that a huge portion of the population actually has no idea what they are talking about when it comes to politics. They are easily swayed by flashy campaigns and propaganda. Elected officials are not always the best choice. At least if they are being appointed it is more likely they have a proven track record. Further more I do not think having more elected positions would help current political climate. The way our elections have been going have really been a circus. There is a true lack in actual political debates that cover real issues. They have evolved into slanderous, televised reality shows. 


I certainly am all for popularly elected in most cases; however, when it is in regards to electing judges, I prefer them to be appointed. I don’t like the idea of the public popularity aspect coming into play. I like the idea that judges would be somewhat free from the pressure of political pressure when making the decisions that they have to make. I think the stakes are too high for judges to be elected and run a part of a political party. I do understand that it is still somewhat politically connected based on who is in office and appoints them. You are never completely free of political pressure in political offices, but I do feel that judges being appointed helps this in some way. They should definitely be able to make decisions objectively and be in pursuit of justice without the typical ugliness that comes with political battling between parties. It seems that appointing judges takes out some of the negative outcomes that can stem from being concerned with contributions and approval from voters. The job of a judge is so important that it is one area that you just want a sound, rational, but most of all fair person making those decisions. Of course in politics nothing is 100% fair or black and white, but I do think that appointment judges has less negative complications than relying on popular vote.

Max is 4 sentences each

discussions / replies


2 paragraphs


A proposed amendment to the Georgia State Constitution will eliminate the current county-based property tax system and replace it with a statewide property tax system.  

Would you support / vote for this amendment?  What factors are important for you in considering this issue?


Here’s another hypothetical scenario:

Governor Kersey has appointed you to lead a state commission for economic development in Georgia.  You must develop a strategy for improving the state’s economy.  What will you suggest?  What are your long-term goals for the state?


3 sentences each


No, I wouldn’t vote for this amendment to be put in place. I believe the county-based property tax system is put in place for a reason and is working for us already, so why try to fix it? County’s set the rate of taxes and receive the revenue from that, therefore can use it for leverage and benefit greatly. A area that has a higher tax rate is mostly likely generating lots of revenue and putting it towards making the community even better, such as improving schools, libraries, and parks. This creates a prestigious and safe community that people aspire to be like. If this were to be a statewide property tax, all counties would be the same and it would not matter what part of town you move to. Also, counties differ greatly based on their resources. A county in Atlanta does not compare and cannot have the same amount of tax rate as a county in south Georgia. This is because of the large amount of jobs, people, and resources that Atlanta has. Atlanta also has a very scarce amount of land, therefore property tax rates should be higher because of scarcity whereas south Georgia has a great amount of land and less amount of people. 


I would not vote for this legislation.  I like the idea of my tax dollars going to my local officials and public utilities.   The money can immediately be used to hire police and fire rescue.  It can help pay teachers a better wage and it can help build and secure the roads we drive on everyday.  Every year the state takes my tax dollars to support whatever state programs that they feel are necessary.  In this case, I would much rather the county that I live in, receive the funds from my property taxes.  Another issue that I have with this legislation is the fact that not every county pays the same amount in taxes.  In other counties, the property tax rate may very from higher to lower and if we are all paying different amounts, I want the money that I am paying to go to the things that benefit me and my community.



Electoral rules within presidential primary elections are dictated by state laws. For instance, states decide whether to hold a primary election or a caucus, states decide the date of this event, and states decide who can vote/caucus in each race (e.g., closed primaries, top-two primaries, etc). Below are some illustrative resources.


To what extent do state laws shape primary outcomes? Are some states more influential in determining party nominees because of their electoral laws? Provide examples to support your position. Consider the role of the national party (including the nomination process and allocation of superdelegates) as well as the demographics of typical primary voters (Chapter 10).

*Note: Reaction posts should be approximately 2 paragraphs in length. Responses to other students do not have a length requirement but serve as your participation grade (i.e., the more thorough the better).


3 sentences each

believe that state laws shape the primaries in certain ways. I believe that states such as Florida and Nevada and others that have a closed primary system help to create a strong party basis by preventing cross over voting, but they also exclude the ‘leaners’ that identify as independent which could sway the vote overall.  Furthermore, I believe that the states such as Georgia and Wisconsin, which have open primaries, give voters the most freedom and flexibility but can cause issues on who the true nominee should be from those states. Open primaries can lead to many people voting across party lines and have them choosing the least desirable candidate and the easiest to beat in the general election. This would essentially take the freedom away from the other party voters who are playing by the book.

I feel that there are states that are influential in determining nominees based on their primary type, as discussed previously, and on when they choose to hold their primary. It has been shown that the states that hold there primaries early will typically begin to shape the field of candidates and often some candidates drop out of the race before a majority of states even get the chance to go to the polls and have a say. This was shown in the “Our Broken Presidential Nominating System” article when it discussed how the 2000, 2004 and 2012 nominations were already being virtually decided before an overwhelming majority of the voters had the chance to vote. This leads to the later states having little say in the nominee that is chosen.

In regard to the delegates being awarded, I believe that the proportional allocation process is the best. This provides viable chances for all nominees to make it to the national party. By allocating the delegate proportionally you keep the candidates in the race longer because they still have a fighting chance. If John Smith comes in third in Georgia but comes in first in California, then he still may win over the person that comes in second in both states. It is a fair and more competitive solution to a winner take all type of system. This also would afford the most favorable nominee overall.

Urgent Discussion Main Post Required – 4-5 Hours

Critical Incident

Steve is an experienced licensed professional counselor working in a community clinic. He is by nature outgoing, has friends from many walks of life, and feels confident about his many years of practice with diverse clientele. He recently completed a protracted divorce from his wife of seven years and has no children. A fourth-generation Japanese American, Steve was raised in an uppermiddle-class area of the West Coast. When he glanced at the intake form completed by Riza (the female client described at the start of this chapter), Steve immediately felt concerned about how a recent immigrant from the Philippines might react to him, given that the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in the 1940s must have affected the client’s parents and extended family. In session, Riza haltingly described her difficulties in adjusting to life in the United States. Steve observed that Riza had adopted a coping strategy of avoidance of contact with most Americans after several poignantly negative experiences in which she went away feeling incompetent, despite her high level of occupational qualifications. Riza maintained close contact with friends and family members in the Philippines via the Internet, but she did not socialize with anyone outside her immediate family after work hours. Steve observed that Riza’s strongest emotional reactions occurred when she spoke about her husband. She described circumstances that were very similar to those Steve had experienced in his marriage, but when asked whether she had considered divorce, Riza strongly affirmed her commitment to her husband and his family. Steve was at first surprised that many of Riza’s decisions stemmed from her sincere faith in Catholicism. He fought against his initial reaction to judge Riza’s daily devotions and prayers, and he directed conversations back to what he believed were the central issues for Riza: her social isolation, passivity, and excessive guilt, which seemed to be the primary causes of her depressed moods. Even after specific questioning about those issues, Riza seemed to be holding something back. Steve then raised the issue of their different ethnic backgrounds as part of checking Riza’s perceptions about how things had gone during their initial session together. Riza acknowledged that her maternal grandfather had died during the Japanese occupation, but she said that her family seldom recounted the past and she understood that neither Steve nor his family had any connection to her own past. In fact, she believed that her being assigned to work with Steve was a spiritual metaphor: Having a counselor of Japanese ancestry meant that God brought them together to prove that all things can be healed. After the session, Steve recognized that his personal beliefs about taking the initiative in social settings and about family roles and divorce had made it difficult for him to follow up on Riza’s perspectives. After consultation with a Filipino colleague, Steve started to gain appreciation for the cultural contexts influencing Riza’s actions. 



Read the Critical Incident.

Answer the following: 

Discuss the materials that you read in your text in chapter four pertaining to the following question.

After becoming more familiar with Catholicism and Filipino culture, list a series of culturally sensitive adaptations that might enable Steve to work effectively with Riza.  Try particularly to point out those adaptations as they apply to your specific field of study (i.e. teachers – classroom adaptations, library media – adaptations within your role).

#2 Discussion Post/ and student response

This is a class discussion post that needs to be approximately 2-3 paragraphs in length. 

***Discussion Post should be followed accordingly each question asked needs to be answered.

********I will post the students response below.  With the Student response it should be 1 paragraph in length reply to the students disccusion.

********************Discussion Post*****************


Has the Presidency become too big?  Is there a way for Congress to reassert its power without creating a power vacuum or gridlock?

************************ Student Response***************************


I believe that the presidency has not grown to big. It is important to recognize the role that the media has played in this situation. This last presidential elections saw an inflated social media presence that had not been seen in the past. Because of the media presidential elections get more attention from citizens. Citizens equate increased attention to greater importance. I believe that this is very untrue. Most local and congressional elections get overlooked and do not receive much if any attention. What people fail to take into account is that the president can only serve a maximum of 8 years while Congress men and women can serve an unlimited amount of times. The impact of a president on the country can be huge but it can be swiftly overturned by the next president as evidenced by many of the Obama’s policies that Trump overturned once he was sworn in. Acts of Congress are far more difficult to reverse. That difficulty is increased because the turnover rate in congress is relatively low. I also do not believe Congress has to reassert its power. Congress can literally just wait out a president in order to push through bills a sitting president will not let pass. The real power lies in the last man standing and that will almost always be Congress. 

WK4 DB2 response 1 (75 words)


Discuss the causes of conflict and cooperation at the local, national, transnational, and global levels surrounding the issues discussed in the film.

The cause of conflict that is surrounding the issues discussed in the film, is ultimately contamination. Texaco and Ecuador are in a legal battle or trial as to who is to blame for the contamination in Ecuador. Texaco the defendants, claim it is not their fault and puts the blame on a local company in Ecuador named PetroEcuador as Ecuador the plaintiffs and their community is claiming it is their fault completely. According to a local, both of his children died due to the contamination. One child stopped developing six months after birth as the other child bathed and drank in the contaminated water which caused his untimely death. Along with this information the Ecuadorian people also believe the contaminated water is the cause of their skin issues and cancer. In the arguments there is simply one side in the conflict that is claiming it is poor sanitation resources available as well and another side claiming the blame game.

◦Discuss the effects of conflict and cooperation at the local, national, transnational, and global levels surrounding the issues discussed in the film.

After hearing testimonies from both Chevron and Ecuador, the judge ordered an end to the judicial inspections and appoints an independent expert to assess the validity of the plaintiff’s claims. The procedure was called “Global Assessment”. The purpose of this is to quantify the damage and establish the cost of what it would take to repair the damages. The independent expert’s damage assessment report that was 4,000 pages long recommended that Chevron pay up to $27 billion in damages. The report recommended compensation or environmental remediation on excess cancer deaths, impacts on indigenous culture, and Texaco’s “unjust enrichment” from its operations. Two weeks after being interviewed for the film Chevron attorney Ricardo Veiga was indicted for fraud by the Ecuadorean government over the remediation process. Seven former government officials were also charged. Along with this, Trudie Styler and the famous band Sting’s Rainforest Foundation teamed up with UNICEF and the Amazon Defense Front to provide filtered drinking water to the affected region.

◦Describe the political behavior, human rights, and environmental justice issues revealed in the film.

Unable to see any evidence of hydrocarbons on the ground’s surface, why? Because it has been buried in the ground. It is said to be migrated into a stream ten meters away which affects the human population with diseases like cancer and skin issues. The human rights issue that were revealed in the film were the people of Ecuador not knowing what legal actions they were able to take in the situation of contaminated water.


Berlinger, J. (Director & Producer). (2009). Crude (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?

POL111 WK3 DB2 response 2 (75 words)

One of the challenges in modern democracy identified in the film is that there is a freedom recession going around in the world today, that we have the fewest electoral democracies since 1995 and the number of overall countries that are free have stagnated since 1998. Another one of the challenges stated in the film is that parties are supposed to be the conduit, the lifeline and the link between citizens and government decision making, parties are breaking down. There is also belief that in the future with the rate it is going that parties could someday possibly not perform any significant functions (Kijne, “After Democracy”).

           I believe that separation of powers is a strength in modern day democracy because is separates the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in government to keep them from abusing their powers. I also think that checks and balances are a strength in modern democracy as well, not allowing one of the three branches to become to powerful over another.

           One of the suggestions mentioned in the movie to address the shortcomings of modern democracy identified in the movie is bringing together ideas and experiences into an agreed political program that can be put in front of voters. Another is the need for no more participation and monitoring, but we need more effectiveness (Kijne, “After Democracy”).

           I believe modern democracy will survive as long as there is more of a movement to work together and listen to the people. Separations of powers and checks and balances really help separate the power in order to keep from a superior. I think if we continue to have a government full of dishonesty and selfishness you could see the fall of modern democracy. I know in the United States many people get upset with the inability of our government to not carry through on things they promised. I know and everyone knows that not everyone will be satisfied but we can do a better job of coming together and listening to the people and their wants.


Kijne, C. (Director). (2011). After Democracy [Motion picture]. Retrieved from             https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=50424&aid=18596&plt=FOD&l            oid=0&w=400&h=340

POL111 WK3 DB1 response 1 (75 words)

Research the agency in depth and discuss what is the main purpose of that agency.

The Bureaucratic Agency from the United States that I chose to discuss is the FBI. The FBI originated from a force of Special Agents created in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.  The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. Some of their main priorities include protecting the United States from terrorist attack, protect civil rights, combat major white-collar crimes, and protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage. 

Next, describe what interest groups are involved with that agency and why.

There are many different types of interest groups that are involved in the FBI, but some include the Cyber Division, Laboratory Division, and the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. The Cyber Division is a part of the FBI because it helps investigate cyber attacks by criminals, overseas adversaries, and terrorists. The Laboratory Division which was created in 1932, is one of the largest and most comprehensive crime labs in the world. In the Laboratory Division, they examine DNA to help determine guilt or innocence, analyze fingerprints left at a crime scene, and links exploded bomb fragments to terrorists as well as much more. The Laboratory is dedicated to solve cases and prevent acts of crime and terror. Finally, the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is a three-agency entity–FBI, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Department of Defense (DoD). Established in 2009 that brings together intelligence professionals from the U.S. Intelligence Community to conduct interrogations that strengthen national security and that are consistent with the rule of law. High-value targets are nominated by U.S. intelligence agencies and must be approved by the appropriate partner agency leadership, which includes all three-agency entities. 

Finally, evaluate the accessibility or utility of one of the agency’s websites. Is it user friendly, why or why not?

After evaluating the accessibility of a number of the agency wesites, I found that they were all user-friendly. The reason I say this is because I found it very easy to get the information that I was looking for. Also, the websites had very clear and simple labels that show what each section of the website is about as far as history or the mission of the agencies. 


FBI ( 2016, May 03). Retrieved from: https://www.fbi.gov/about/mission

(Links to an external site.)

Response 3 DB1 (75 words)

IR Theories: Strengths and Weaknesses

After viewing the text “Perspectives help us decide what the primary cause of an event is” (Nau, 2014). Intrinsic in description are three principal perspectives; the realist, liberal, and identity perspectives.

As we look over the strength of the realist perspective. In the text it is stated that “The realist perspective focuses on conflict and war, not because people adopting this perspective favor war or believe war is necessary but because they hope by studying war to avoid it in the future” (Nau, 2014). I believe this to be one of the strengths as by studying war, you can therefore be better equipped to prevent it and if not successful, then you will be prepared to win it. I believe that the weakness of the realist perspective is the assumption that it does not allow for the possibility of the parties actually choosing to working together in the future. This makes the assumption that there is only one way in which the perspective would work.

The liberal perspective “is interested in the problem of cooperation” (Nau, 2014). That interest shows that as a result of a focus on cooperation between parties, they are able to rise above and avoid violence associated with conflicts throughout the world. However, conversely the same attributes which creates the strength of this perspective, can cause exposure to weaknesses. For example, as a result of cooperation as an emphasis, we realize that there is a rise in interdependence between societies, industries, and economies. These relationships have in turn led to globalization, which can eventually raise risk from security threats. This risk, is what I believe can be described as a weakness.

Identity perspective is reliant on the conceptualization of ideas as they relate to the identity of the players. I believe that focusing on the ideas which form the identity of a government and key power brokers on the global stage, enables one to better navigate the nuances associated with finding the a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties involved. I think the weakness of this issue can be seen as the dependence on the supporting factors for each of these identities.

In evaluating each of the perspectives which we discussed, I would think that the realist is the most accurate and comprehensive of the three. I base this on the numerous areas which are covered by this perspective. Running the gambit of concepts from anarchy to balance of power, shows that this perspective has the breath to consider a wider range of variables than the other perspectives.

Nau, Henry R. Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, and Ideas, 4th Edition. CQ Press, 04/2014.

student response. ONLY Paragraph in length


All parties in America have a central element and that is their ability to attract thousands of small contributions through mass mailings to likely party supporters, Hershey(75). Hershey then points out that this ability allowed the national party an independent financial base. (75) Then in the 1960s the two parties wanted to increase every aspect of their parties from contributions to finding the most qualified candidates.

The first was the service party path followed first by the RNC. The foundation of this strategy was implemented in the 1960s by RNC chair Ray Bliss and was continued later by chairman Brock until the 1970s as a means to reviving the party post water-gate. (75) There were two keys to success in performing this new service role: money and campaign technology. (76) The republicans used direct-mail appeals that brought in larger levels of income. The example the book provides is that the RNC fund-raising jumped from $29 million to $105.9 million within the next few years.(76) This strategy offered a broad array of services from candidates to local party organizations. State and local party leaders were glad to accept the help since the party worked closely to identify with the business community. A great example of this strategy was the 1980 presidential election. The republicans suffered huge losses in the house and senate after water-gate and eventually cost them the White House. After only four years the republicans were able to take back the White House in the 1980 election largely due to the service party path.

         Like the service party the democrats came up with there own plan to grow and expand their parties role in the 1960s. The democrats had a larger problem due to the diversity within their own party. You had reformers supporting the civil rights and opposing American involvement in Vietnam pushing the democratic party to change their view on these issues. This strategy was an effort to more “democratic” in the nominating process and in particular more representative of people like themselves such as: blacks, women, and young people.(76) The 1968 election was the first of the series of reforms which limited the autonomy of state parties and more authority to the national party for reason in my previous sentence. This change was not limited to democrats due to key court decisions that upheld these actions in certain states. State legislatures passed bills that implemented these reforms that applied to all parties within that state. By the 1970s the problems with this strategy became evident with several democrats staying home during conventions for the reason of feeling alienated. A great example would be the elections of 1980. After gaining large majorities in the house and senate the democrats lose control of the senate. Part of this was due to the republicans raising large sums of money and allowing the state parties use it in ways they deem necessary. The other part was have divided the democratic party was over their new Procedural-reform path. Democrats having the White House and both chambers of congress and not accomplishing much didn’t help either. The democratic party eventually adopted the service path.

Its pretty evident to which path worked. The service path allowed the state and local party to have something to say in decisions, while the procedural-reform path put the majority of the decisions in the hands of the national party. Who knows best in state and local elections? Who knows more about the way people think and behave? The people that are there, the people that are closer and on the ground. The service path offered support to local and state elections. The procedural-reform path offered solutions, but what works in one area of the country will not work in another. Todays elections require more money than ever to be raised and the service path proved that it was better at raising money. I believe results speak for themselves, and the democrats adopted their own form of the service party strategy.