Filed under: Elections
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Underhill ruled in favor of the Green Party in a case that was brought to court soon after Connecticut public financing system was passed in 2005.
Underhill ruled that the Citizens’ Election Program places an undue burden on minor party candidates seeking to qualify for the CEP’s grants. CT News Junkie, who first broke the story, writes:
The Citizens Election Program “imposes an unconstitutional, discriminatory burden on minor party candidates’ First Amendment-protected right to political opportunity,” Underhill wrote in his decision.
In the 138-page decision, Underhill concluded that the system provided candidates with “windfall levels” of funding for their campaigns, artificially enhanced the strength of the two major parties, made it difficult for minor party candidates to qualify, and discouraged minor party candidates from participating.
What does all of this mean? Well in the short term it means a suspension of the Citizens’ Election Program under court order and an appeal of the case. But as My Left Nutmeg contemplates, what happens after that?
For legal changes to Chapter 157, in order to make the Citizens’ Election Program constitutional:
Underhill suggested a drafting guide for a campaign finance law that would be constitutional. He used 3/4/5% thresholds of signature and/or previous vote totals for minor party participation in the CEP, as recommended by Jeffrey Garfield [the director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, which administers the Citizens' Election Program], instead of the current 10/15/20%.
For the future of public financing in Connecticut elections:
Don’t hold your breath waiting for the General Assembly to pass that kind of reform – narrowly tailored to meet compelling government interests. We stay at status quo.
The legislature won’t shoulder this yoke again until after the 2010 gubernatorial. No special session will occur this fall to craft a new bill, as the appeal will be pending.
Furthermore, if the House and Senate wait to the spring session, it will be too deep into the campaign season to be applicable. So it will be 2014 before we see a publicly financed gubernatorial run.
And in the end, 2011 seems like the first year that the Connecticut legislature will take a stab at recrafting Chapter 157, due to political considerations in the 2010 election (what Republican do you know that supports public financing – aside from maybe John McCain?). A spring 2011 passage of an new bill may be cutting it close to put the program into practice for the 2012 state elections, so it looks like 2014 – a year of state-wide and state legislator elections maybe the next time that the CEP gets put into practice. Four years from now, the work that was accomplished this summer will be worked on again.
Jan 8th – BU vs. BC at Fenway Park
Filed under: Life
Wolfers nails it:
Running is often touted as a particularly cheap sport. All you need is a pair of shoes and off you go.
The foundation of all economics is something called opportunity cost. It says that the true cost of something is the alternative you have to give up.
So each hour that I spend running is an hour that I don’t spend hanging out, working or sleeping. How do I choose? Following economic theory, I keep doing an activity only as long as it yields greater benefits than the alternative.
The NYT has a great timeline of the Senator’s life.
Filed under: Boston University
While the case might be that I’m just a student too, so who exactly am I to start telling people how to do their resumes and how to fill out applications, here’s some advice from someone who has seen enough resumes and applications over the past week to tell the difference between the good and the bad.
- Be yourself – form resumes are boring. Spice it up. Add a nice header for your time, put some color in if possible, write in a slightly different font. So many resumes fit the same format – it’s best to make yours mold to you. If your strongest area is the fact that you’ve done many great internships – make that the focal point.
- After your name (which should always be in the header), always put your education next (college and then high school). Put your graduation year for college, along with your major and any minors or special programs you’re in. Put your GPA, if it’s above a 3.7 because seriously, no one cares if you have 3.51, that’s not too special.
- For work experience – NEVER put something like babysitting or pet sitting. It makes you look like a middle schooler. If you started your own landscaping company, then go ahead and put that in, but don’t put just lawmowing – again, you look like a middle schooler.
- On the topic of middle school – don’t put any activities that you did in middle school or high school. You’re in college now – time to start participating in college activities. If you’ve volunteered at the hospital since you were in 7th grade and you still do, then go ahead and put that. But really, no one wants to know that you were in the drama club or on varsity soccer during high school. It’s over, move on.
- For applications – be aware of your audience. It might just be for a club, but you could also be filling out an application for a job. Going through application after application is difficult. Make yourself stand out by writing in full sentences and spelling out all of your words.
- Talk yourself up in applications but not to the point where it sounds like you’re putting other people down or making things up. If you come off too snobby in your writing, you’re not going to get the gig even if you are qualified- the people reading your application want to know that you can work well with others and not just by yourself.
- On qualities – don’t put a list of your “good” qualities on your resume. ”Works well with others” or “manages time wisely” are things to put on an application or to be said during an interview, there’s no space for them on your resume.
- On space – resumes should be one page ONLY. Do not go over a page – I don’t care if you need to make your margins super tiny, people stop reading after the first page. Squish it all in if you need to.
- Always put related experience, honors, community service, and interests on your resume. These areas are standard – have something to write for each of them so you look well rounded and interesting.
- Don’t make anything up. You may not thing people can tell if you’re BS-ing, but then again, you never quite know who will be reading your resume.
- Be yourself. You can make yourself stand out with your resume and applications- do that!
Now, I feel like SAPP and BURI need to have one day, at least, dedicated to resume writing and interviews. I’m fearful for these people, fearful.
Anyone who lives in West Hartford or is looking to buy a house in West Hartford, could tell you that the main draw to this lovely town if ours is the great schools. People are willing to take out huge mortgages and pay well above the average for homes in West Hartford because it means they don’t necessarily have to send their children to area private schools.
The cost of education as part of the cost of a home, not necessarily any economist or politician’s first thought when it comes to the housing bubble and the subprime crisis, but one that should definitely be considered:
Education There’s a lot of focus on the interest rate deduction that is embedded inside a mortgage. I think the most obvious embedded option inside a mortgage that isn’t discussed is the option to educate your children at the local school district. If sending 3 kids to a private high school at your old houses costs $5,000/year, and if the new house’s public high school is free and equally good then taking a $60,000 bath on the house is break-even. Completely rational.
The value of this option has increased, both with the returns to education but also with a general worry about the robustness of our educational meritocracy. The amount of money and energy that goes into securing access to high-end education has skyrocketed over the past decade, and part of that budget, though it isn’t treated as such, is in your house. And though we often think of educational inequality as a function of a Kozol-narrative of the poorest against the richest, this bidding may be most driven by inequality between the middle and the highest parts of the inequality curve. I’d really like to see some hard research into how much our desire to educate our children in the best way possible has driven subprime and the housing bubble.
Filed under: Life
School starts in about two weeks, so that means that more posts will be coming. Hopefully, I’ll be up to daily blogging around October – depending on my schedule.
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing this summer – instead of blogging:
- Visit in Boston at the end of April.
- Internship at the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission – seriously, this was such an amazing experience. Expect many future posts on voting and elections law.
- Working for pocket change at Target – softlines!
- Nannying for Annabelle (and Toby sometimes).
- Both of my brothers graduated – Aaron from high school (he’s headed off to UConn), Adam from middle school.
- Family reunion around graduation time- my mother’s family came from all over the country.
- Family trip to Baltimore to see the Sox play at the end of June.
- Aaron’s 18th birthday in June, parents wedding anniversary, Dad’s 50th birthday in August.
- Reading – currently: And the Band Played On
- Studying for the LSATs – almost 2 months worth of prep done (10 more to go)!
And that’s pretty much about it. It’s been a busy summer, but I’m ready to go back to school – 4 months of vacation is a lot (although I say that now…)
At Netroots Nation:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 14TH 4:30 PM – 5:45 PMPANEL, 301/302
Every four decades, America’s demand for change puts in motion a political realignment or makeover. Like all others before it, this realignment results from the coming of age of a new generation of young Americans and the emergence of new online organizing tools. Almost everything about American politics and government—voting patterns, the fortunes of the two political parties, the issues that engage the nation, and our government and its public policy—will change because of these two forces. This panel will feature presentations by Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, and Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, co-authors of “Millennial Makeover: MySpace, You Tube, and the Future of American Politics.” Rosenberg will discuss the parameters and implications of this “Dawn of a New Politics” in America, and Winograd and Hais will detail the contours and causes of the country’s five previous political realignments. This panel will examine the impact the Millennial Makeover has on the elections, issues, and public policies that will characterize America’s government and politics in the decades ahead.
Filed under: Healthcare
Wondering about some of the things you’ve heard about the new healthcare plan. The AP brings together the claims and the facts: