Congress Committee Project

On March 21, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Here are the instructions for the Congress Project.  The rubric for the project is also included.  Be sure to read all the instructions and review the rubric.

Congress Project

Congress Project Rubric

Congress Committees List

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Congress Lecture

On March 9, 2018, in Information, by lwaddell

Here is the Congress Lecture PowerPoint

Congress Lecture

Article 1 of US Constitution

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Congress Court Cases

On March 9, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Here are three court cases that deal with Congress.  Write a short summary for each case and submit via email or the basket.

Baker v Carr (1962)

U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v Thornton (1995)

Immigration and Naturalization Service v Chadha (1983)

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Congress Readings

On March 9, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

For the readings below answer the questions and email your responses to

The Federalist Papers 53, 56, 57, 58, 62, 63

1. How do the authors of The Federalist explain the different terms of office for the House and the Senate?

2. According to the theory of The Federalist,  how does the Constitution bring about a system of checks and balances between the House and the Senate?

3. What are the primary functions of the legislature to be according to The Federalist?

Congress: The Electoral Connection

 1. Define and give an example of advertising.

2. Define and give examples of credit claiming.

3. Define and give examples of position-taking.

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Current Event-Congress

On March 9, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

The current event today will be Congress.  You will be completing two current events, one for the House of Representatives and one for the Senate.  Both current events are due at the end of the class session.  They may be handwritten or typed.

Current Event Form

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Unit 3 Group Project

On February 27, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

AP US Government
Lobbying, PAC, and Campaign Finance Group Activity

             Outside Lobbying is a process by which interest groups seek to use public pressure to supplement inside lobbying.  Through this process, interest groups are able to bring public or “outside” pressure as a means to influence policymakers.  Using grassroots lobbying and electoral action (votes and money), groups seek to apply pressure to the legislative and executive branch.  Please complete the following tasks in order to gain a better understanding of this process.


Grassroots Lobbying

  1.  Define grassroots lobbying:
  2. Give some examples of grassroots lobbying techniques.
    1. 1st example-


    1. 2nd example-


    1. 3rd example-


  1. Go to and browse the articles.  How and why was this group successful in using grassroots lobbying?


PAC Contributions

            Political Action Committes (PAC’s) are typically formed by interest groups as a fundraising arm that serves to make campaign finance contributions to candidates.  Differing from interest group dues that are used to pay for the organization and inside lobbying process, these funds are collected from voluntary contributors and are documented/limited by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Complete the following tasks to help better understand the influence of PAC’s

  1. Click on “Influences & Lobbying”; then “PAC’s”
    1. 1st Task:  Top PAC’s
  1. Who are some of the top PAC contributors for 2017-2018?


  1. Who are the top Democrat and Republican contributors?


  • What links do you see to what party?

2nd Task:  Leadership PAC’s

1.What are Leadership PAC’s?

2. What is their obvious connection?

3rd Task:  Foreign-Connected PAC’s

  1. What are Foreign-Connected PAC’s?

2. Who are some of the top contributors?


  • What countries/regions are some of the top contributors?


  1. Click on “Politicians & Elections” then  “Congress”; then  “115th Congress (2017-2018)”
    1. 1st Task:  Find your U.S. Representative:  2017 Data
  1. Total $?
  2. Total PAC $?
  • Of PAC #, from where?

2nd  Task:  Find each U.S. Senator:  (Most Recent Election Cycle)

  1. Total $?
  2. Total PAC $?
  • Of PAC #, from where?


Campaign Finance:  Historical Change

Because of the increased power and influence of money in elections, a variety of campaign finance laws and Supreme Court rulings have been issued in the last 40 years to create a fair system.  Many of these laws and rulings have had a significant impact on  interest groups and the contributions of Political Action Committees (PAC’s) in elections.

Go to and answer the following questions as they relate to campaign finance law.

  1. Click on “Historical Background
  2. What was the significance of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971/1974?
  3. What was the significance of Buckley v. Valeo?


  • What was the significance of the Biparisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) [also known as McCain-Feingold]?
    • Click on “Contribution Limits”
  1. What are the amounts for the 2017-2018 election cycle that PAC’s (multicandidate) may contribute?


  1. In response to the restrictions placed on interest groups and the financial limitations of PAC’s, a variety of “alternative” advocacy groups have arisen “outside” of the aforementioned system.  The Supreme Court has decided  in a number of rulings (Citizens United v. FEC [2010]; v. FEC [2010]) to allow these groups to exist.  Their influence in recent elections has increased substantially.  Many of these groups are linked to interest groups.
  1. Define Super PAC’s:


  1. What limitations exist for Super PAC’s


  • How much spending have they done in the 2012 election cycles?
    1. 2012:


  • Choose one of the top spending Super PAC’s and explain its influence.


1. Define 527’s

2. What limitations exist for 527’s


  • How much spending have they done in the 2012 election cycles?
    1. 2017:


  • Choose one of the top spending 527’s and explain its influence.


    • Go to; click on “Influence and Lobbying”, then “527’s”; then “Other Information”; then “Types of Groups”.

1.Define 501(c)

2.What limitations exist for 501(c)’s?

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Interest Groups

On February 27, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

For this assignment you will get to know some Interest Groups.  There are several the AP would like you to know.  You need to look up each Interest Group and write a quick summary.  Some things to include are who do they represent, what is their issue, what resources do they have, i.e., voters, cash and how do they influence government?

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
American Medical Association (AMA)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
National Association of Manufacturers  (NAM)
Sierra Club
National Rifle Association (NRA)

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Interest Group Readings

On February 27, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Answer the questions that proceed each reading and send your responses to

Madison’s Dilemma

1. Is the thinking of the framers relevant to contemporary politics?
2. Does Madison have anything to say that resonates with the dynamics of American politics in the twenty-first century?
3. Should groups, for example, be required to look at more than one issue, or should they be required to explain how their positions and interests would benefit the nation?

Interest Groups and the American Political System

1. What is the relationship between a system of government and the behavior of groups?
2. Mark Rozell and Clyde Wilcox note several factors which contribute to the important role played by interest groups in American politics. What are those factors and what is their role?
3. Discuss the single-member district system according to Rozell and Wilcox.

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Elections, Campaigns, and Voting Current Event

On February 22, 2018, in Uncategorized, by lwaddell

The  current event can be about anything in the government that relates to elections, campaigns, and voting.  This involves upcoming elections, voting rights, voting districts (gerrymandering) are a few topics.

Follow the instructions found on the attached sheet on how to complete the current event.  All current events must be in your own words.

Current Event-PDF

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Elections and Campaigns-Court Cases

On February 22, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Here are series of Supreme Court cases that will be helpful in your studies.  You will want to complete a summary in your own words of each case.  Include the outcome, the Constitutional point that is being argued and the impact of the case.  This assignment is due at the beginning of the next class period.

Buckley v Valeo (1976)
Bush v Gore (2000)
McConnell v FEC (2003)
Citizens United v FEC (2009)

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