Mason in the News

Posted: February 15, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Sunday, Feb. 10, Los Angeles Times

Biggest Winner So Far: Voter Turnout

“The presidential primary season has not yet confirmed a nominee in either major party, but it has already notched a different political accomplishment: It has driven more people to participate in the process. More people have registered to vote, and many states have reported record voter turnout in the primary contests and caucuses so far. In the 2000 Super Tuesday primary, 740,852 voters cast ballots in the Republican and Democratic races, 64 percent of them for Republicans. Last week, even though the candidates did little campaigning in Missouri, about 1.4 million voters flooded to the polls, with 58 percent of the votes cast for Democrats. ‘I would much rather be in the situation of the Democrats than the Republicans,’ said Michael McDonald, an election-turnout expert at George Mason University and the Brookings Institution.”

Sunday, Feb. 10, Washington Post

Privacy, Safety at Odds in Proposals

“State lawmakers are considering several proposals that would require officials at Virginia’s public colleges and universities to notify a parent if a student is deemed a danger to himself or others, something that did not happen in the case of Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho. But officials at some schools are worried that the proposals will have serious negative consequences, including discouraging students from seeking needed mental health treatment and placing the burden of responsibility on colleges. ‘This law is a mistake,’ said Jeff Pollard, director of counseling and psychological services at George Mason University. ‘It will put people at risk.’”

Monday, Feb. 11, USA Today

Hopefuls Compete for Md., Va., D.C.

“Tuesday’s ‘Potomac primary,’ with large pockets of black and highly educated voters who have thus far favored Barack Obama in the Democratic race, looks like inhospitable territory for Hillary Rodham Clinton. But she’s not conceding the region. ‘It’s a matter of delegates,’ said Mark Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. ‘Even though she’s likely to lose the popular vote, there’s a real incentive for her to try to boost her numbers and increase her delegate count.’”

Monday, Feb. 11, Time

It’s Their Turn Now

“Basically, it’s 19th century politics using 21st century tools. The idea is rooted in a deceptively simple truth: voters are more likely to go to the polls if they are asked face to face by someone they trust. The rediscovery of this antique notion began in the 1990s when researchers at Yale University published several influential studies proving that personal canvassing is more effective than direct mail or phone calls from strangers. ‘It’s really the same way we organized back in the heyday of political machines: know your voters and turn them out personally,’ says George Mason University associate professor Michael McDonald, an expert on voter participation. ‘Obama has keyed into this and applied it on campus, using students to recruit other students.’”

Monday, Feb. 11, Washington Post

What Workers Should Consider When Voting for Their Next Boss

“There’s one group of voters in tomorrow’s Potomac Primary that has a vested interest in the promises being made by the presidential candidates — government employees and contractors. They are not only voting for a presidential candidate, they are voting for their next boss. Some agencies, such as Social Security and Veterans Affairs, project growing workloads, which means that federal employees should look for candidates who will address funding and hiring of personnel to provide critical services to the public, Perkinson said. ‘There are a lot of fiscal clouds coming together,’ especially on entitlements and taxes, that may affect federal employees, said Paul Posner, a George Mason University professor. Federal employees, he said, should look for a candidate who ‘is honest about the budget and the deficit.’”

Tuesday, Feb. 12, Time

Can Obama Keep the Momentum?

“In addition to investing in television and radio ads here, Clinton, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea spent the weekend campaigning across the Chesapeake Bay area. ‘Right now polls have Obama with a lead in the state, but the Clinton campaign is putting a lot of effort here, indicating that they have not given up on Virginia,’ said Mark Rozell, a political science professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. ‘Certainly the immediate schedule favors building some momentum for Obama, and that could help him solidify his existing advantages in the Potomac primary states.’”

Tuesday, Feb. 12, Washington Post

Rattled by Economy’s Ills, Consumers Forgo Life’s Little Luxuries

“The mood of uncertainty and budget-tightening has touched families across the Washington region, where many in a large and relatively prosperous middle class say they are rethinking how and where they spend their money. ‘There is a great anxiety among the general population, and people are making modest adjustments in their lifestyles and spending patterns,’ said Stephen Fuller, a professor at George Mason University and an expert on the local economy. This is not because most people have lost jobs or income, he said, but because ‘the economic news is bad, and they personalize that news.’”

Wednesday, Feb. 13, Wall Street Journal

Prediction Traders Put Their Money on Obama

“Barack Obama was trading at $7.12 a share, down one cent, in prediction markets yesterday, but still well ahead of Hillary Clinton, who was down a penny at $2.91. Could the markets know more about politics than the polls? Opinion polls show a tight race between the two candidates for the Democratic nomination. Among Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain was trading at $9.45 yesterday, which means that bettors believe he has a 94 percent chance of winning the nomination. And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was trading at $2 on the vice-presidential market, suggesting he has a 20 percent chance of becoming Sen. McCain’s running mate. Robin Hanson, an economics professor at Virginia’s George Mason University, says the predictions markets work much as other markets do, accumulating the best information of a self-selected group of people who are willing to bet money they are right. That differs from opinion polls, he adds, where people have no stake in the outcome and no incentive to get it right. ‘Markets give incentives to think carefully.’”

Thursday, Feb. 14, USA Today

Many Lawsuits Against Pharmacies Settled in Silence

“USA Today found a number of lawsuits that alleged corporate malfeasance in cases of pharmacy errors at Walgreens and CVS. Many were settled, and nearly all the settlements included confidentiality agreements. Walgreens challenges the notion that it typically asks for confidentiality in settling such cases. By including the confidentiality provision, CVS follows standard procedures typical for resolution of any liability claim. Michael Krauss, who teaches legal ethics at George Mason University Law School, says it’s true confidentiality is agreed to ‘in the majority of tort suits,’ particularly when a company’s or an individual’s reputation is at stake, as in medical or pharmaceutical malpractice. ‘If you and I agree to make a contract, we can condition that contract on secrecy,’ Krauss says. ‘And that’s all a settlement is, a contract. Remember, there is no (court) judgment — it is a voluntary payment.’”

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