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Lone Star Politics

Lone Star Politics
Tradition and Transformation in Texas

Fifth Edition
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January 2017 | 592 pages | CQ Press
In Texas, myth often clashes with the reality of everyday governance. Explore the state’s rich political tradition with Lone Star Politics as this Nacogdoches author team explains who gets what, and how. Using the comparative method, the authors set Texas in context with other states’ constitutions, policymaking, electoral practices, and institutions as they delve into the evolution of Texas politics. Critical thinking questions and unvarnished “Winners and Losers” discussions guide students toward understanding Texas government and assessing the state’s political landscape. This Fifth Edition expands its coverage of civil rights in the state, and includes contemporary issues such as fracking, the minimum wage, and transgender bathrooms that highlight the push and pull between federal, state, and local governments.

An Interactive eBook is also available, and you can bundle the new print edition with the interactive eBook version and save your students money. Order using bundle ISBN 978-1-5063-8415-3. Learn more.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Texas Geography  
History: The Birth of Texas Traditions  
Mexican Independence  
The Texas Revolution  
The Republic of Texas  
Texas Statehood  
Texas in the Confederacy  
Reconstruction in Texas  
The End of Reconstruction and Rise of the "Redeemers"  
Era of Reform  
The Great Depression and the New Deal in Texas  
Transitions to the Twenty-first Century  
Texas Today  
A Tradition of Change  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 2: Texas Constitution
Constitutional Government  
The Federal System of the United States  
Vertical Federalism  
Horizontal Federalism  
The Evolving Idea of Federalism  
Texas Constitutions  
Immigrant Rights  
The Republic of Texas: The Constitution of 1836  
Statehood: The Constitution of 1845  
Secession and the Confederacy: The Constitution of 1861  
The First Reconstruction: The Constitution of 1866  
The Second Reconstruction: The Constitution of 1869  
The Current System: The Constitution of 1876  
Individual Freedom  
The Legislative Branch  
The Executive Branch  
The Texas Judiciary  
Civil Rights in Texas  
Distrust of Government  
Criticisms of the Texas Constitution  
Amending the Constitution  
Constitutional Revision  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 3: Texas Legislature
The Texas Legislature in Context  
Typologies of State Legislatures  
Qualifications for Office and Length of Terms  
Representation: Theories and Demographics  
Winners and Losers  
Electing the State Legislature  
Single-Member District versus Multi-Member District  
Legislature Size and Population Size  
Legislative Sessions  
The Redistricting Process  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 4: Legislative Organization and Process
Legislative Organization  
Presiding Officers  
Political Parties in Texas Legislative Organization  
Special Legislative Caucuses  
Winners and Losers  
Legislative Process  
Introducing Bills in the Legislature  
Introducing Resolutions in the Legislature  
Legislation in Committee  
Debate in the Legislature  
Voting on Passage  
Trends in Legislative Activity  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 5: Texas Governors
The Office of the Governor  
Powers of the Governor  
Executive Roles  
Legislative Roles  
Judicial Roles  
Other Roles  
Military Roles  
Texas Governor: Weak?  
Informal Powers  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 6: The Plural Executive and Bureaucracy in Texas
The Plural Executive  
Lieutenant Governor  
Attorney General  
Comptroller of Public Accounts  
Agriculture Commissioner  
Land Commissioner  
Secretary of State  
Boards and Commissions  
Texas Department of Transportation  
Department of State Health Serivces  
Railroad Commission of Texas  
Texas Department of Criminal Justice  
State Board of Education  
Public Utility Commission of Texas  
Staffing the State Government  
Bureaucratic Accountability  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 7: Texas Judicial System
Judicial Federalism and Texas Courts  
Local Trial Courts  
Municipal Courts  
Justice of the Peace Courts  
County-Level Trial Courts  
Constitutional County Courts  
County Courts at Law and Statutory Probate Cases  
District Courts (State-Level Trial Courts)  
Appellate Courts  
Courts of Appeals (Intermediate Appellate Courts)  
Texas's Highest Appellate Courts: The Court of Criminal Appeals and the Supreme Court  
Judicial Selection  
Judicial Appointment  
Judicial Removal  
Texas Judges  
Problems with the Texas Judiciary  
Alternative Systems of Judicial Selection: Appointment and Merit  
Criminal Justice in Texas  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 8: Texas-Sized Justice
Justice in Texas  
Incarceration in Texas  
Shift to Rehabilitation  
Prison Conditions  
Privatization of Prisons  
Rights of the Accused  
Law and Punishment  
Tort Reform  
Castle Doctrine  
Capital Punishment  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 9: Campaigns and Elections, Texas Style
Democracy, Representation, and Elections in Texas  
Voter Qualifications and Registration  
Voting Rights in Texas  
Legal Barriers to Voting in Post-Reconstruction Texas  
Eliminating Barriers to Voting for African Americans  
Hispanics and Voting Rights  
Voting Rights for Women, Members of the Armed Forces, and Younger Voters  
Winners and Losers  
Types of Elections in Texas  
Primary Elections versus General Elections  
Direct Democracy Elections  
Too Much Democracy?  
Voting, Voter Registration, and Turnout  
Electronic Voting in Texas  
Contemporary Voter Registration and Turnout  
Who Votes?  
Electoral Competition in Texas Elections  
Campaigns in Texas History  
Campaigns in Texas Today  
Campaign Finance in Texas  
Regulating Campaign Finance  
Contribution Disclosure  
Judicial Campaign Contributions  
Campaign Spending  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 10: Political Parties
The Development of Political Parties in Texas  
Parties, Competition, and Voter Participation  
Political Parties in Texas  
Party Loyalty and Identification  
Functions of Parties  
The Consequences of Weak Parties  
Party Organizations  
Local Parties  
State Parties  
Nominating Presidential Candidates  
The State Parties and the National Parties  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 11: Organized Interests
Organized Interests in Texas Politics  
Interest Group Formation  
Types of Interests in Texas  
What Organized Interests Contribute to the Political Process  
Influencing Policy in Texas through Organized Interests  
Organized Interests' Spending on Elections  
From Activism and Litigation to Lobbying  
Lobbying Regulation  
Lobbyists' Relationship with Texas Legislators  
The Relationship between Organized Interests and Parties  
Winners and Losers  
Ch 12: Local Government in Texas
Local Government: The Basics  
County Government, Texas-Style  
History and Function of Counties in Texas  
Governing Texas Counties  
County Finances and Operations  
Forms of City Government  
City Elections  
Issues in City Government  
Homeowners Associations: Not Quite a Government, but Close  
Other Forms of Local Government  
Special Districts  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 13: Fiscal Policy
The Policymaking Process  
Sources of State Revenue: Taxes  
Taxes in Texas History  
State Taxes Today  
Property Taxes  
Winners and Losers  
Sources of State Revenue: Other Resources  
Federal Grants  
Interest, Licensing, and Lottery Funds  
Spending and Budgeting  
State Budgeting  
State Spending  
The Rainy Day Fund  
The Legislative Budget Board  
Fiscal Policy Tools  
Tax Expenditures  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 14: Social Policy, Education, Health, and Immigration
Education Policy  
Public Education in Grades K-12  
Funding for K-12  
Accountability and Reform in K-12  
Winners and Losers  
Higher Education  
Access to Higher Education  
Costs of Higher Education  
Accountability in Higher Education  
Universities' Other Contributions  
Winners and Losers  
Health and Human Services  
Social Welfare Programs  
Health Care  
Winners and Losers  
Immigration Policy  
Costs and Benefits of Undocumented Workers  
Winners and Losers  
Chapter 15: Transforming Texas: Energy, Environment, and Transportation
Oil and Gas in Texas  
Oil's Influence in Texas  
The Natural Gas Boom and Fracking  
Environmental Policy  
Texas Air Quality  
Water and Scarcity  
Alternative Energy  
Hazardous Waste  
Winners and Losers  
Transportation Policy  
Mass Transit  
Winners and Losers  


Instructor Site

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  • Diagnostic chapter pre tests and post tests that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives
  • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation 
  • Activity and quiz options that allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want
  • Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives and make learning easier
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course that give you options to customize your course in a way that is perfect for you
  • An instructor manual that summarizes key concepts and matches content in each chapter to Texas curriculum standards to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions 
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Integrated links to the FREE interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
  • transition guide that provides a chapter-by-chapter outline of key changes to the fifth edition

Student Study Site

SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning in an easy-to-use environment that offers:

  • Mobile-friendly flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, and make it easy to maximize your study time, anywhere, anytime
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow you to assess how much you’ve learned and where you need to focus your attention
  • A customized online action plan that includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
  • Chapter-specific study questions that allow you to engage with the material 
  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives, and make learning easier

“The authors have created a true Texas political science textbook. Lone Star Politics is written with the intent to teach about Texas government. The book and its resources are an advantage to all who read it because you can truly tell that the authors care about educating students.”

Alicia Andreatta
Cisco College

“Of all the textbooks I’ve used, Lone Star Politics is my favorite. It does an excellent job of providing a deeper look at the roots, and the making, of Texas. It not only has more to offer students, but it’s depth of content makes this textbook one of the better, if not best, ones out there.”

Bonnie Ford
Collin College

“The authors’ approach, attention to detail, and writing style in Lone Star Politics are superior. They do an excellent job at communicating local government and policies while balancing an array of relevant topics and issues.”

Brian Johnson
Tarrant County College

“Being someone who is partial to tradition, I think that Lone Star Politics is a great textbook on the theme of tradition and transformation, and the subject of Texas government as a whole. The authors have created a well-organized, detailed, and scholarly textbook without being intimidating.”

Robert Findley
Odessa College

Lone Star Politics is definitely a stand out. The text strategically focuses on the institutional aspects of government. The authors have created a well-organized book with emphasis on traditions and changes important to Texas politics.”

John Seymour
El Paso Community College
Key features
  • Increased discussion on federalism, such as disagreements between the state and local governments on sanctuary cities, fracking, and the minimum wage
  • Expanded civil rights coverage throughout, where it’s most relevant, including
    • abortion,
    • police brutality,
    • transgendered bathrooms,
    • de-facto segregation in Austin, and
    • participation rights of undocumented workers
  • “Federalism in Action” (formerly “Texas the Fed”) boxes now appear in nearly every chapter and also highlight city and state issues, such as
    • fracking in Denton
    • campus carry
  • New and updated “How Texas Government Works” infographics, including
    • comparing state legislature size and legislator demographic makeup
    • where immigrants in Texas come from, domestically and internationally
  • Many “Texas versus...” boxes are revised with a data literacy approach, such as
    • Texas versus Louisiana uses real data from the 2016 election for Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives to comprehend how statistically the winner of the largest vote in an initial round of a plurality vote can ultimately lose the run-off election, and whether such a scenario is likely in the Texas House
    • Texas versus Florida analyzes data from two of the fastest growing states in the country on internal migration and foreign immigration to examine how state population growth is a mixture of migration from other states as well as the immigration of foreigners
    • Texas versus Minnesota compares and contrasts crime rates between the two states through exploration of the link between political culture, criminal justice policy, crime rates, and the impact on state spending on criminal justice
  • Chapter objectives and Core Assessment questions align with the Texas Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM), reinforcing chapter content and ensuring that learning outcomes are achieved/
  • “Federalism in Action” boxes (formerly called “Texas the Fed”) appear in nearly every chapter and highlight city and state issues, such as fracking in Denton, campus carry, and transgender bathrooms.
  • Texas vs. ______ boxes are an extension of the book’s comparative method, encouraging students to think about how Texas differs vis-à-vis other states.
  • "Texas Legends" boxes showcase figures and events that have shaped—and continue to influence—Texas politics.  Examples include Sam Houston, Barbara C. Jordan, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and Texas Supreme Court justice Raul Gonzalez.

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