By Richard F. Fenno
At a second while Congress is extensively considered as hyper-partisan and dysfunctional, Richard Fenno offers a variegated photograph of yank representational politics. The problem of Congressional Representation bargains an up-close-and-personal examine the complicated dating among individuals of Congress and their parts again home.
while now not crafting coverage in Washington, the 435 participants of the U.S. residence of Representatives are busy assessing and development voter help of their districts. Fenno delves into the actions of 5 contributors of the House—Republicans representing Pennsylvania and manhattan, and Democrats from California, Florida, and Illinois. Spanning the ideological spectrum, those former and present representatives are senior lawmakers and rookie back-benchers from either city and rural components. Fenno travels with them of their personal political territories, looking at and conversing with them, carrying out interviews, and assembly aides and elements. He illuminates the all-consuming nature of representational work—the advanced lives of residence participants shuttling backward and forward among domestic and Capitol, construction and holding networks, and making compromises. Agreeing to speak at the checklist with no protecting anonymity, those elected residence participants grow to be actual personalities, right now praiseworthy and fallible.
whereas balloting styles and coverage research represent an incredible window into the legislative procedure, the nonquantifiable human aspect that political scientists so often omit is the essence of negotiation. Fenno focuses our realization on how congressional leaders negotiate with components in addition to with colleagues.
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Extra info for The Challenge of Congressional Representation
They have a machine up there around East St. Louis. ”4 His only realistic possibility, therefore, was the eastern side of his old district, plus a string of unfamiliar counties running northward. The new twenty-five-county district would contain a city larger than anything he had known, plus a richer agricultural area than he had 48 The Challenge of Congressional Representation ever represented. . 5 Representative Poshard’s initial reaction was to remain undecided. My dinner companions described their friend’s lengthy “should I run” indecision as characteristic.
The next day he turned down an invitation to attend a large Columbus Day luncheon in the crucial Italian-American community—because “I would just be sitting over in the corner somewhere and get a chance to stand up and wave”—in favor of an invitation to speak to a small Rochester sales executive luncheon group. . ” Running against a popular Italian woman in a strongly Italian district, his activity in that context seemed strikingly untutored. His private reaction when he learned she might run was: “I’m afraid my district isn’t ready for an Italian woman.
We know we are not isolated. ” Later that same day, he charged into a suburban church group saying, “Dialogue is the name of the game. ” To a question about his job, he gave them this piece of his thinking. Early in our history, people were successful in some other occupation and went to Washington for only three months a year. Then they came back to their homes, plugged into local values, and recharged their batteries. And they gave an accounting to their constituents. They were not professional representatives.
The Challenge of Congressional Representation by Richard F. Fenno