Political Science at Huntingdon College
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PSC 212American Policy System

Lecture & Discussion Outlines on Policymaking:

by Jeremy Lewis; revised 1 Mar. 2012

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US Health Care System
Highest cost in world, 15% of GDP Lifestyle issues:
  • deadly weapons: cars, guns, hamburgers and even swimming pools
  • booze, cigarettes not as deadly as elsewhere
  • prevention versus cure
  • difference between inner cities and suburbs
  • Mixed system:
  • Still leaves about 47 million Americans without coverage
  • Maldistribution shows inefficiency
  • geographic:
  • Where are the hospitals and clinics?  Where are the patients?
  • speciality: prestige and pay, versus patients' needs
  • age issue of patients: when does most health care occur?
  • preventive services versus care
  • Greatest strengths:
  • best research in world
  • best testing and certification of drugs
  • excellent quality of doctors
  • excellent medical schools
  • fabulous resources
  • for those employed, living in suburbs, good health care
  • Possible savings without loss of patient care:
  • 25% of hospital costs lie in administration, so digital records have potential
  • shifting to prevention
  • reducing expensive testing
  • reducing expensive jury awards and unnecessary trials
  • opening up to imported drugs

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    Introductory Lectures on Defense and International Relations

  • US needs to interact with other countries for:
  • the trade that enriches the economy
  • relations for security and common defense
  • There is a distinction between unilateral and multilateral relations with other nation states
  • go it alone, or
  • cooperate with international organizations like NATO and the UN?
  • The scale of the US military:
  • What makes North Korea and South Korea different from us?
  • they are insecure
  • permanently at war (officially at least)
  • share a dangerous border
  • used to being invaded, historically
  • one nation, divided into two states
  • one richer, one poorer
  • heavily militarized
  • one liberal democracy, one hardline dictatorship
  • but like us they have to defend long coastlines
  • Nuclear weapons --
  • do they have a different logic from conventional weapons?
  • the nuclear triad
  • first and second strike weapons
  • escalation theory

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    Local Government Issues:
    William L. Riordan, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall (orig. 1905)

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    House Bill 76 Maryland Legislative Session 2004
    Dr. Jaime Demick, spring 2010

    I want you to appreciate the legislative process from a personal point of view- and to know that ordinary people-like us- really can find a sponsor and be active participants in the legislative process.
    We learn about the American legislative system in school- but we often forget that it was designed by our founding fathers to be a tangible system that we take an active role in.
    It is our civic responsibility to take action when political or legal system has a flaw- we cannot wait for or expect it them to repair themselves.
    Purpose, 2
    I am going to tell you about my personal experience in which I felt that I had found a flaw legal system- I was the victim of an act that I thought was criminal- only to find out that there was no law prohibiting it.
    I decided to become an active participant in the system- in effect I wanted to make a new law- so that if this type of thing happened again their would be legal recourse.
    November 2000- February 2001
    At least 5 victims
    Janitor leered at me at work
    Stopped what he was doing to stare at me when I walked by
    Stalked me the at office
    Knew whereabouts so that he could enter office undetected
    Started by urinating/masturbating in a cup in the restroom, and then entered office and poured the fluid into beverage
    Yes- I noticed my Coke tasted bad sometimes- but I never thought it was that- I thought it was a bad lot of Coke, or high humidity, or something else
    Victimhood, 2
    Getting bolder
    He started urinating/masturbating in my office directly into my drinks
    One day it was unmistakable
    I took a big drink and gagged- the Coke can smelled like body odor, and it tasted horrible.  When I poured it out- it was thickened
    I knew something bad was happening-
    But everyone else thought I was crazy
    Victimhood, 3
    I told a few people, and they told me I was crazy
    This type of thing could never happen
    I started locking my office all the time
    My coworkers thought I was the behaving strangely
    This angered the perpetrator
    So he left me a sexually explicit note taped to my office door
    Victim hood, 4
    Now I had some evidence, so I called security
    I told the detective about the drinks, and he told me I was crazy.  He said it was probably just liquor.
    I was scared
    I was afraid the perp would follow me home
    The Chase
    Another victim received a note the next day
    Now security took it seriously.
    Cameras were installed
    Backgrounds check performed on the janitor who leered at me (I had also seen him diligently writing a note the morning before I received mine)
    Janitor had a prior sex offense against his stepsister
    Upon interview, he admitted his guilt
    Plus he was caught on tape
    All victims who wanted to prosecute had to go through a series of interviews, and had to write statements that would be submitted to court
    We had to de-brief our bosses and higher officials of our companies and the government
    Met with Assistant US Attorneys (AUSAs)
    There was no state or federal law applicable to this type of act (since act occurred on federal property, either state or federal law may be used)
    Although he confessed and was on tape- he may be found guilty because there was not a law expressly forbidding this!
    Prosecution, 2
    Charged perpetrator with Federal Simple Assault
    Argued that he used his bodily fluid as an extension of his body to come into contact with us (an assault charge requires contact to made between perp and victim)
    He plead not-guilty
    Argued that it was just a prank, and he was not guilty of what he was charged with (simple assault)
    He was found guilty by a female judge (waived his right to a trial by jury)
    Sentenced to 6 months jail time for each charge
    Something Still Bothered Me
    Perp committed these acts for 4 months, and got 6 months in jail for it
    Could have transmitted diseases to us
    His intent to do sexual harm was evident by the notes
    Seemed like a soft sentence to me
    I didn’t like being told that he could be found not-guilty or acquitted
    A not-guilty verdict was very possible because there was not an applicable charge in state or federal law code
    Legislative Session 2003
    I called Delegates and Senators from my area and asked them to sponsor a bill for me
    Senator Leo Green
    I researched Maryland criminal law code and drafted a bill
    Sen. Green submitted bill to Senate
    causing someone to ingest bodily fluid against their will is a sex offense
    Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
    AN ACT concerning
    Crimes - Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree - Causing a Person to Ingest Bodily Fluid

    FOR the purpose of expanding the crime of sexual offense in the fourth degree to
    include prohibiting a person from intentionally causing another to ingest bodily
    fluid without consent or by force or threat of force; defining a certain term; and
    generally relating to certain sexual offenses.

    MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:
    Article - Criminal Law

    (B) A person may not [engage in]:

    [(b)] (C) A person who violates this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of
    sexual offense in the fourth degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not
    exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.

    Visited the offices of senators on the Judicial Proceedings Committee
    Made business cards outlining support of SB 349 and handed them out
    Obtained signatures on a petition to submit in support of the bill
    Printed form letters/envelopes and distributed for people to send to their senators
    Asked people to email their senators
    Testimony Day
    SB 349 goes before Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
    I testified about what happened to me in front of the committee
    Submitted my petitions and written testimony
    There was also written support from the police
    Legislative Session 2003
    Lessons Learned
    I had not contacted any Lobbying Groups for their support
    Or the State Police
    Sex Offense Code was too polarizing
    Legislation involving gun control, sex offenses, domestic violence, and victims’ rights takes years to push through because legislators do not want to choose a side
    I needed to start with the House of Delegates
    I needed to market my legislation better
    Summer Homework
    What other criminal code could I amend to include the idea that causing someone to ingest bodily fluids is a crime?
    Legislative Session 2004
    Found a sponsor from House of Delegates
    Del. Warren Miller
    Re-submitted 2003 bill
    Removed from sex offense code & made it a new criminal offense
    Made it a felony
    Submitted another bill-
    Amended criminal law code regarding poisoning to include bodily fluids
    Visited the offices of senators on the Judiciary Committee
    Made business cards outlining support of the bills and handed them out
    Obtained signatures on petitions to submit in support of the bill
    Printed form letters/envelopes and distributed for people to send to their senators
    Asked people to email their delegates
    Asked for support from the State Police and from local lobbyist groups
    Marketing: made “Bodily Fluid” mugs and pens
    Distributed them to delegates on the Judiciary Committee
    The mugs made a good point- and made my cause stick in the delegates memory
    Path of a Bill
    Amendment Process
    The House initially combined the two bills into one, making a felony poisoning law
    The Senate re-amended this new bill (still called HB 76) back to it’s original language of creating a new criminal offense against causing someone to ingest bodily fluid- but made it a misdemeanor
    House approved these changes
    HB 76 passed unanimously at all votes
    Bill Signing
    Maryland State house, Annapolis, MD
    Governor signs legislation in a ceremony and a photo is taken
    I got my picture taken with him, and he gave me the pen he signed the legislation with
    Now HB 76 is a law in Maryland Criminal Law Code

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