George Mason in the News

Posted: November 17, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Friday, Nov. 10, Wall Street Journal

Politics and Economics: Redistricting: Home to Roost – How Republicans’ Gerrymandering Efforts May Have Backfired

“Gerrymandering was supposed to cement Republican control of the House of Representatives, offering incumbents a wall of re-election protection even as public opinion turned sharply against them. Instead, the party’s strategy of recrafting district boundaries may have backfired, contributing to the defeats of several lawmakers and the party’s fall from power. The reason: Republican leaders may have overreached and created so many Republican-leaning districts that they spread their core supporters too thinly. That left their incumbents vulnerable to the type of backlash from traditionally Republican-leaning independent voters that unfolded this week. Republicans created two new vulnerabilities: the dangerous dilution of core voters and the nurturing of a sense of invulnerability that contributes to corruption and scandal. ‘You can do a little thing wrong and, if you were in a district where you might be punished, you probably wouldn’t do the little thing,’ says Michael P. McDonald, a redistricting expert at George Mason University. Today, he said, most House districts aren’t in jeopardy unless ‘you take a bribe for a vote and you are thrown into jail for it.’”

Saturday, Nov. 11, New York Times

Early Opposition to Iraq War Bolsters Moran in House Race

“The annual Business for Social Responsibility conference came to New York this week, and it only seemed as though half of corporate America ground to a halt to attend. Starbucks was there, of course, in force, but companies like Chevron, J.C. Penney, Pfizer, McDonald’s, Ford Motor and Exxon Mobil all had representatives as well, according to the program. You’d be surprised at the range of companies that are embracing the corporate responsibility mantle. Certainly, I was. Corporate Social Responsibility, as the movement is called by its adherents, has gone mainstream … Russell Roberts, an economist at George Mason University, said: ‘Doesn’t it make more sense to have companies do what they do best, make good products at fair prices, and then let consumers use the savings for the charity of their choice?’ Their essential point is that companies are simply not equipped to ‘save the world’ – nor is it their mission. That’s what governments are supposed to do.”

Sunday, Nov. 12, Boston Globe

Let Quality of Life Be Your Beacon

“Take the question of where to live seriously. Don’t let inertia push you toward a big-name city, the place you grew up, or your old college haunt. Make a conscious decision to live somewhere that will improve your quality of life by really understanding what your core needs and interests are – and will be. Learn what matters. Richard Florida, professor at George Mason University in Virginia and author of ‘The Rise of the Creative Class,’ summarized conclusions from a recent summit of the mavens of the economic development and the psychology of happiness: ‘Place is as important as having a job that challenges you, but not as important as relationships with family and friends.’”

Sunday, Nov. 12, Washington Post

Webb May Be Senate Maverick

“Webb’s long shot paid off last week as he unseated Allen after a bruising campaign, giving Democrats control of the Senate. But Webb, a former Republican and Reagan administration official, said he might be a bit of a maverick in the Senate, which could frustrate Democratic leaders who poured more than $6 million into his campaign. ‘He was the ultimate outside candidate,’ said Mark Rozell, a politics professor at George Mason University. ‘The trouble is, an outsider can run successful campaigns running against Washington, running against incumbents, but once elected they have to learn the task of government and taking responsibility of governing. Not only does he lack legislative experience, he lacks any electoral experience,’ Rozell said. ‘I think everyone will say his victory is an anti-Allen vote.’”

Sunday, Nov. 12, Philadelphia Inquirer

Voters Turned Out in Force to Turn Congress Out

“Hotly contested congressional races – the ones in which voters felt they were truly taking part in a national election – drove voter turnout, rather than the top-of-the-ticket races for governor and U.S. Senate. Turnout rose dramatically in the five congressional districts, three of them in the Philadelphia suburbs, where residents were told repeatedly during the campaign that their votes would determine which party controlled the House of Representatives. ‘You don’t expect House races to drive turnout, but this time they did, not just in Pennsylvania but in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio,’ said Michael McDonald, an expert on the subject at George Mason University in Virginia. “The lesson is that if you give people competitive races and meaningful choices, they’ll vote.”

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