Discuss fact-based evidence about how interest groups, political party loyalty, or campaign money may influence your representative.

The Constitution states, “The House of Representatives shall be
composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several
States…” (Art. I, Sec. 2). Contrast this with the original constitutional
language for the other house of Congress, “The Senate of the United States shall
be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof
for six Years…” (Art. I, Sec. 3). The phrase “chosen by the Legislature” was
changed to “elected by the people” by the 17th Amendment, but not until 1912. In
other words, from the beginning the House of Representatives was intended to be
exactly what its name suggests –representative of the people. (Note that in 2010
the Tea Party, and some Republican politicians, called for repeal of the 17th
Amendment, eliminating the popular vote for Senators. While most Republican
politicians have backed away from that view, many Tea Party chapters continue to
demand its repeal.)

Textbook models suggest how members of the House of Representatives may fulfill their constitutional duty to “represent” – the delegate model, the trustee model, the oversight model, and
the service model. A weakness of these models is that they ignore the pervasive
influence of interest groups, partisanship, and political money (campaign
contributions) on the behavior of congressional reps. To what extent do these
factors interfere with effective representation?

Before writing your initial post, review the assigned resources.

After researching your representative by using the assigned resources, identify one
important issue directly related to your rep’s committee or subcommittee work in
Congress. Summarize your representative’s position on this focus issue as
described on his or her website or illustrated by legislation sponsored by your
rep.  Be concrete and specific.  Avoid vague generalities like “my
representative is for jobs” or “my Congressman is for national
security.”

With respect to this focus issue, evaluate your
representative’s performance as a representative of the people in your
legislative district. Justify your assessment from two perspectives:

How well does your rep’s position on that issue reflect your
district’s likely preferences or broad interests on the issue? Support your
inferences about the district with fact-based evidence – not just your opinion
about the district or your rep’s position on the focus issue. Demonstrate how
your rep does or does not reflect his or her constituency on this issue.
Consider your rep’s committee memberships and seniority.

  • Discuss fact-based evidence about how interest groups,
    political party loyalty, or campaign money may influence your representative.
    Can these influences weaken his or her effectiveness as a true “representative”
    of the district? Consider whether the district is considered a “safe” seat or a
    competitive district. Put on your critical thinking cap to respond to this
    aspect of the question.

Fully respond to all parts
of the question. Write in your own words. Your initial must be at least 200-250
words. Support your position with APA citations to two or more of the
assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you
demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument,
and cite them properly.

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