Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun

In his latest column in the Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller writes about his views on the American justice system in the wake of the Michael Brown and Ray Rice news stories in recent weeks.

Tom SchallerIn the column, Schaller notes, “we remain far from the perfect union to which our Constitution aspires. To get there, we must demand a justice system that’s blind not only to gender, race and socioeconomic status, but also the advantages conferred to some Americans by virtue of their affiliation with powerful institutions.”

To read the complete op-ed titled, “Yet another social bias: institution-based privilege,” click here.

Felipe Filomeno, Political Science, Participates in United Nations Association Consultation with UMBC Students

Filomeno with students

Felipe Filomeno, Aaron Kennet, and Benjamin Fosbaugh pictured with Ed Elmendorf, former president of the UN Association.

Felipe Filomeno, an assistant professor of political science, participated in a United Nations Association consultation in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 17 at the Johns Hopkins offices in Fells Point. Filomeno, along with UMBC students and political science majors Aaron Kennett and Benjamin Fosbaugh, participated in a consultation along with representatives of other organizations (local government and NGOs) to provide input for the post-2015 global development agenda of the UN, considering the needs and interests of Baltimore. The meeting will be followed by a broader event to take place at the JHU Homewood Campus on Nov 11, in which Filomeno will serve as a moderator and other UMBC students will also participate.

Roy Meyers, Political Science, in the Herald-Mail

An article published September 13 in the Herald-Mail examines Question 1 on the November 4 Election Day ballot for Maryland voters. The legislatively referred constitutional amendment seeks to ensure money from the state’s transportation fund will be used for transportation-related bond payments and for the construction and repair of highways. If approved, the measure would prevent money from the transportation fund being transferred to the state’s general fund or any non-transportation projects.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)

Political Science Professor Roy Meyers was interviewed for the article and discussed his views on the measure: “I think that if the state had a bad year, it should be allowed to transfer money,” Meyers said. “The state should have flexibility during a crisis.”

“During bad times, why should transportation go on spending merrily while spending is cut in other areas?” he asked. Meyers said that he understands the desire to keep faith with Marylanders who are paying the gas tax: “But the best way of doing that is for the state to have a long-run transportation strategy that promotes mobility at an acceptable cost while protecting the environment. The provision in this referendum doesn’t contribute significantly to that goal,” he said.

To read the full article, click here.

Social Sciences Forum: The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today (9/17)

Rogers SmithOn Wednesday, September 17 at 4:30 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, Dr. Rogers Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the Social Sciences Forum, “The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today.”

The author of seven books on citizenship and equality in the United States, including one that was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History, Dr. Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will address why America’s political leaders avoid discussing racial policies, even as many forms of racial inequality persist and deepen. Smith argues that the United States is profoundly divided between two rival conceptions of civic equality–but that common ground may be found in the bold views of the Constitution’s purposes advanced by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

This is a Constitution and Citizenship Day Lecture, co-sponsored with the Departments of Political Science, Africana Studies, American Studies, Philosophy and Public Policy, and the Office of Student Life. For more information, click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, on MSNBC

Tom SchallerOn Sunday, September 7, Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller appeared on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki,” to analyze the future of the Democratic party in the South. Schaller is author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South (Simon and Schuster 2006).

Schaller participated in an engaging panel discussion with political consultant Steve Jarding, NBC News Senior Political Reporter Perry Bacon Jr., and MSNBC Political Analyst Joan Walsh. The group discussed what the 2016 presidential election could look like in the South for Hillary Clinton and how it may be different from the 2008 and 2012 elections.

“Clinton’s states are Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee…Kentucky. Obama’s states are new South states, the states with the most non-native Southerners: Florida, Virginia, North Carolina,” Schaller said. “So Democrats are going to win in the South, but they aren’t going to win in the ‘bubba’ states.” He added, “the notion that Democrats are going to win with economic populism…if they can’t win on economic populism after the greatest financial crisis in 60 years, then when are they going to win? When are white, working class Southerners going to move Democratic if not in 2007, 2008, 2009?”

To view Schaller’s main segment on the program, click here. Links to other parts of the segment can be found in the “more clips like this” section.

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in The Christian Post

Research by Laura Hussey, an associate professor of political science, and Geoffrey Layman, a professor of political science at University of Notre Dame, was the focus of a recent article published in The Christian Post about voting habits of Catholics. In their research, Hussey and Layman found that a minority of Catholics were both pro-life and pro-welfare, and those that were showed little ambivalence in their vote choice.

Laura HusseyThe following is an excerpt from the article which explains the reasoning for this that Hussey found from her research: “One reason, Hussey and Laymen found, is that PW/PL Catholics incorrectly assume that the Democratic candidates they vote for are pro-life. Forty-three percent of PW/PL Catholics believed a pro-choice Democratic candidate was pro-life, which was much higher than the rate of misperception among other Catholics. Hussey described the misperception as a psychological coping strategy to deal with the cognitive dissonance that results from being PW/PL.”

“Pro-life, pro-welfare Catholics generally seem to deal with this dissonance by projecting their church’s [views on abortion], which also happens to be their own view … onto their candidate of choice,” Hussey said during a recent panel presentation in which she presented her research. These Catholics are “not agonizing” about their vote choice, she added, because their “policy knowledge of politicians is pretty inaccurate.”

To read more about Hussey’s research and to read the full article titled, “Why Do Many Pro-Life Catholics Vote Democrat?” click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun

In the wake of Horseshoe Casino opening in Baltimore last week, The Washington Post ran an article on September 3 focusing on Governor Martin O’Malley’s ambivalence toward Maryland’s slow embrace of casino gambling. Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller was interviewed for the story and commented on what the state’s soon-to-be ­$1 billion-a-year casino industry could mean for the governor as he considers a run for the White House.

Tom Schaller“It may not be something he wants to tout, but it’s absolutely part of his résumé,” said Schaller. “Maryland held out for a long time, and it’s now become a real player in the casino industry.”

Schaller also offered insight on what O’Malley’s ties to the casino industry could mean politically as he makes appearances in other states: “It’s hard to project an image as a progressive when you know that this will bankrupt some people and put a dent into some working-class families,” said Schaller. “It’s nice to have the tax revenue, but you wonder who’s picking up the tab.”

You can read the full story in The Washington Post titled, “Governor O’Malley brought casinos to Maryland, but that doesn’t mean he likes them,” here.

In his latest column published in The Baltimore Sun on September 2, Schaller wrote about his view that Maryland’s Republican party has been lacking a charismatic candidate since former Governor Bob Ehrlich left office. You can read the full column titled, “The GOP needs another Ehrlich,” here.