Election 2012: Policy, Process and Partisanship

University of California, Riverside scholars available to discuss topics from voting behavior to hot campaign issues

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — As campaign rhetoric heats up heading into the November elections, scholars at the University of California, Riverside are available to discuss issues from California’s initiative process and the impact of foreclosures on voting to immigration policy and the economy.

Voters, Initiatives, Corporate Influence

William Barndt

William Barndt

William Barndt, assistant professor of political science
(951) 827-3361
william.barndt@ucr.edu
http://politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/barndt/index.html

Barndt’s research focuses on the intersection of democratic politics, development and inequality in Latin America. His current book project, “Democracy for Sale: Business Parties and the New Conservative Politics in the Americas,” includes a discussion about the growing opportunities available to corporations for participating directly in the U.S. electoral process. “Over the past quarter century, business-sponsored parties and party factions have won presidencies and nationally important governorships throughout much of the (Americas), including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, and Panama,” he writes, and “corporation-based political organizations may be emerging in the United States as well.”

Benjamin Bishin

Benjamin Bishin

Ben Bishin, associate professor of political science
(951) 827-4637
ben.bishin@ucr.edu
http://politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/bishin/index.html

Among Bishin’s research interests are Cuban-American voters and gay and lesbian politics. Recent research found that attitudes of Cuban Americans have undergone significant changes in the last 30 years, driven largely by an influx of immigrants since the Mariel Boatlift in 1980. But those changes are not reflected at the ballot box, nor are they likely to be soon. Cuban-American voters still overwhelmingly support Republican candidates, despite moderating views of U.S. bans on trade with and travel to Cuba. He also can speak on congressional and presidential elections, public opinion and voting behavior; and on gay marriage and the political process, how different institutions tend to enhance gay rights while others impede them, and how democratic societies should balance majority rule and the rights to liberty and equality when fundamental rights are at stake.

Shaun Bowler

Shaun Bowler

Shaun Bowler, professor of political science
(951) 827-2443
shaun.bowler@ucr.edu
http://politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/bowler/index.html

Bowler is an expert on voting behavior and California’s initiative process. He has written extensively on direct democracy, citizen influence on government, and third parties. He predicts that the campaigns for and against Proposition 37 — which would make California the first state in the country to require labeling of genetically altered food products  – will be especially heated as many people are afraid of the term “genetically engineered” and farmers worry about lost sales. He is the co-author of “Demanding Choices: Opinion Voting and Direct Democracy” (1998) and “Reforming the Republic: Democratic Institutions for the New America” (2004).

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson, associate professor of political science
(951) 827-4612
martin.johnson@ucr.edu
http://www.politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/johnson/index.html

Among Johnson’s research interests are American political behavior, how social environments and other sources of information shape public opinion, and the impact of super PACs on American politics. With UCR sociologist Vanesa Estrada-Correa he recently published research linking foreclosures to diminished participation in the political process for voters who lost their homes as well as voters who remained in neighborhoods significantly affected by the housing crisis. Johnson is available to discuss local, state, and national elections, as well as public opinion, polling and survey research, and the news media’s role in politics. His research has investigated the role of public opinion in the policy process, as well as how people learn about policy issues and what motivates people to vote.

Vanesa Estrada-Correa

Vanesa Estrata-Correa

Vanesa Estrada-Correa, assistant professor of sociology
(951) 827-5851
vanesa.estrada@ucr.edu
http://sociology.ucr.edu/people/faculty/estrada/index.html

Estrada-Correa’s current research focuses on aspects of racial stratification related to housing and neighborhoods, including neighborhood change resulting from foreclosures. She and UCR political scientist Martin Johnson recently published research linking foreclosures to diminished participation in the political process for voters who lost their homes as well as voters who remained in neighborhoods significantly affected by the housing crisis.

Immigration Policy, Asian-American Influence

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science
(951) 827-5540
(818) 305-4865 (cell)
karthick.ramakrishnan@ucr.edu
www.karthick.com

Ramakrishnan has been researching immigration and public policy for 15 years. He is available to comment on the impact of Mitt Romney’s support for state immigration laws on his standing with Latino voters, who will play a significant role in battleground states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Ramakrishnan also can comment on issues involving the Asian-American vote in some key states for the presidential and Senate races, including Virginia, Nevada and Florida. He also can comment generally on Asian-American policy priorities based on the only nationally representative survey of Asian-American voters done so far. He will lead a new survey of Asian Americans this summer, with results to be announced in mid-September. Ramakrishnan has received fellowships and grants from several national foundations, and has provided consultation to public officials at the federal and local levels.

Edward Chang

Edward Chang

Edward T. Chang, professor and director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies
(951) 827-1825
edward.chang@ucr.edu
http://ethnicstudies.ucr.edu/people/faculty/chang/index.html

Chang is available to discuss Korean-American voters, whose political awakening in Southern California began with the 1992 Los Angeles riots. That event fundamentally changed how Korean Americans view themselves and their role in local politics and multiethnic, multiracial coalitions, Chang says. Prior to the riots, Korean Americans were unknown, invisible and unrecognized in American society. Afterward, Korean Americans became active in city politics and began to exert their political clout as they fought to gain visibility, accountability and representation in the city of Los Angeles.

Economy

Mason Gaffney

Mason Gaffney

Mason Gaffney, professor of economics
(951) 827-1574
mason.gaffney@ucr.edu
http://economics.ucr.edu/gaffney.html

 

Gaffney is available to discuss issues related to taxation. In a recent paper, “Europe’s Fatal Affair with the Value-Added Tax,” Gaffney asserts that America depends less on a national sales tax than any other major nation; that global investors seeking the best combination of yield, security of principle and tax havens beat a pathway to U.S. Treasuries; and that candidates who propose that the United States emulate Europe should be rejected.

 

Todd Sorensen

Todd Sorensen

Todd Sorensen, assistant professor of economics
(951) 827-6278
todd.sorensen@ucr.edu
http://economics.ucr.edu/sorensen.html

Sorensen is a labor economist whose primary research areas are labor market frictions and immigration. Some of his research has examined how a localized increase in enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border will affect the crossing decisions made by migrants, and has studied issues related to sentencing equity in the U.S. criminal justice system.

 

 

Loren Collingwood

Loren Collingwood

Loren Collingwood, assistant professor of political science
(951) 827-5312
loren.collingwood@ucr.edu
http://www.politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/collingwood/index.html

Collingwood studies minority politics and U.S. elections with particular emphasis on how candidates mobilize voters of different races, and on the Latino and African-American vote. American politics tends to work the best when parties are less polarized and moderates are able to actually get laws passed and move the levers of government. But more importantly, we must consider the minority vote as a whole — by 2050 the United States will be a majority-minority country. This spells doom for the GOP if they are unable to bring more blacks and Latinos (and Asians to a lesser extent — they are more evenly split on party preference) into their party. But that seems unlikely, so in the end they will have to moderate their stances on issues of central concern to minority groups, or risk the political wilderness. The real racial divide is pitched as a future of multiculturalism and diversity, and the Democrats seem to be heading in this direction, not only with their policies, but with their descriptive representation of elected officials (and delegates at the DNC in Charlotte). The GOP, on the other hand, seems to insist on an America that once was (read, predominantly white and upwardly mobile) and seems to believe that if the party can defeat Obama and the Democrats it can re-instate this vision.

Alan McHughen

Alan McHughen

Alan McHughen, cooperative extension plant biotechnologist
(951) 827-7532
alan.mchughen@ucr.edu
http://mediasources.ucr.edu/expertprofile.html?/display.cgi&id=66

If Proposition 37 — the labeling of genetically engineered food — passes this November, California would become the first state in the nation to require new labels on a host of food products commonly found on grocery store shelves. What is genetically engineered food?  How is it made?  Does it affect people?  Does it help?  Is it dangerous?  Are we already eating such foods?  Alan McHughen is available to give media interviews on these questions. A public sector educator, scientist and consumer advocate, McHughen helps non-scientists understand the environmental and health impacts of both modern and traditional methods of food production. He is the author of the award-winning book, “Pandora’s Picnic Basket; The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods” (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Bronwyn Leebaw

Bronwyn Leebaw

Bronwyn Leebaw, associate professor of political science
(951) 827-7379
bronwyn.leebaw@ucr.edu
http://www.politicalscience.ucr.edu/people/faculty/leebaw/index.html

Leebaw studies human rights, international politics and transitional justice, including the changing relationship between human rights and humanitarian movements, the development of truth commissions and war crimes tribunals, and diverse approaches to transitional justice. As a scholar of human rights, she can speak to the way death-penalty issues are framed in international contexts. She also is available to discuss the “Innocence Project,” which has established the innocence of 17 people serving on death row through the use of DNA evidence and has important implications for debates on the death penalty.

 

Robert Nash Parker

Robert Nash Parker

Robert Nash Parker, professor of sociology
(951) 827-3542
robert.parker@ucr.edu
http://facultydirectory.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/pub/public_individual.pl?faculty=49

Parker’s research interests include criminal justice policy analysis and evaluation, the relationship between alcohol and violence, and the relationship between alcohol policy and crime prevention. He is available to discuss whether the death penalty is the deterrent to crime that politicians and the public believe it to be.

First Ladies, Women in American Political History

Catherine Allgor

Catherine Allgor

Catherine Allgor, professor of history
(951) 827-1972
catherine.allgor@ucr.edu
http://www.history.ucr.edu/People/Faculty/Allgor/index.html

Allgor is available to speak about the role of women in politics across a broad spectrum of American history, particularly in the formation of U.S. government, and the importance of the nation’s first ladies. She is the author of “Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington City Help Build a City and a Government” and a biography of Dolley Madison. “Successful first ladies run the unofficial machine of politics, the social sphere, where much business is accomplished,” she says. In September Allgor was appointed by President Barack Obama to the board of trustees of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, which promotes the teaching of the Constitution by giving fellowships to secondary school educators to support earning master’s degrees in American history, American government, and social studies.

UC Riverside has a TV studio with a fiber-optic link to a satellite feed and an ISDN line at the campus radio station, KUCR-FM.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

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