Professionalism in Politics

With the whole world watching, Miami's destiny calls: It's time for leadership!

Dear Students:

Welcome to the start of what I know will be a rich and rewarding time for you at the Electoral College of the Americas. Founded in 1982, the College is the undisputed leader in the area of electoral arts and sciences, and the only institution offering the distinguished Master of Electoral Engineering. Our instructors — nearly all of them current or former public officials — are among the most accomplished election professionals in the nation. Through research, teaching, and extensive field work, members of our faculty have helped shaped the political life of not only Miami-Dade County but cities, states, and small republics around the globe. We have every reason to believe that you will follow in their footsteps and that the Electoral College's motto — "Producing tomorrow's election results today" — will continue to have special meaning.

So take a moment to get acquainted with our faculty, staff, and our lovely Miami campus. We think you'll agree: The Electoral College is a remarkable place.

"If you've been around here long enough, you know that nobody gives a flying fuck if you ran a clean campaign. Nobody gives a shit if you were involved in absentee-ballot fraud or what have you. The bottom line is that you won."

-- Professor Humberto Hernandez

"If you've been around here long enough, you know that nobody gives a flying fuck if you ran a clean campaign. Nobody gives a shit if you were involved in absentee-ballot fraud or what have you. The bottom line is that you won."

-- Professor Humberto Hernandez

Best wishes for a successful academic year.


Gerald F. Wrigg, Ph.D.
Dean, Electoral College of the Americas

Given the controversy over the presidential election and the increased attention being directed at the national electoral college, we believe some perspective is necessary. Specifically we'd like to address the growing sentiment that the electoral college should be abolished. It wields too much power, say its mostly Democratic detractors. We disagree.

Yes, every four years the electoral college chooses our nation's leader. But as we know, this is largely a ministerial function, an opportunity for party hacks to take a weekend in our nation's capital, run up huge bar and "entertainment" tabs at the public's expense, then rubber-stamp the election results. And yes, every 100 years or so there's a discrepancy between the electoral vote and the popular vote, and we get stuck with the candidate who, collectively speaking, was our second choice.

But that's not because the electoral college wields too much power. Just the opposite. The real problem is that the institution, which doesn't even become involved until after the election, currently plays not too great but too small a role in determining the president of these United States. The electoral college was created in the first place because the Founding Fathers understood that some elections were just too important to be left to the complete discretion of the huddled masses. It was a good idea then. It's a better one now.

The solution is not to eliminate the electoral college but to make it integral to the daily political life of the nation, to make it more proactive, more -- well, more like the Electoral College of the Americas, right here in Miami. After all, this young institution already has demonstrated what the right people, with the right training and motivation, are capable of achieving. Why not take Miami's political culture national? You can bet there'd never be another contested presidential election.

But we don't want to preach, and we'll leave boosterism to the other publications in town. Instead we've decided to simply reprint, with the school's permission, of course, excerpts from the Electoral College of the Americas' most recent catalogue. The folks in Washington would be well advised to take a page out of it.

Master of Electoral Engineering, M.E.E.

Advanced Topics in Geography 506a: A cross-cultural analysis of the physical and theoretical construction of place.
Instructor: Demetrio J. Perez
Note: The final assignment (100 percent of the final grade) will require students to formulate original and compelling new definitions of what it means to "live" in a particular locale.

The Psychology of Political Life 509a: This course utilizes Freudian analysis to deconstruct the political ego, super ego, and id (the "little voice" that drives individuals to seek public office). Emphasis will be on the interpretation of personal testimony.
Instructor: Joe Carollo

Grassroots Campaigning 547a: This course examines the art and science of one-on-one campaign outreach. Students will accompany the instructor on walking tours of the City of Miami, interacting with potential voters in such intimate settings as the corner bodega, the neighborhood coffee shop, and the occasional front lawn.
Instructor: Xavier Suarez
Note: This class may sometimes meet late at night. Students should wear reflective clothing and carry their college ID.

Managing a Successful Campaign 604b: An examination of the people, resources, and ideas that are absolutely indispensable to a winning campaign. Students will receive instruction in advantageous propaganda placement, creative-opposition research, and the art of persuading reluctant candidate-clients to see things your way.
Instructor: Armando Gutierrez

Influencing Senior Citizens 610b: This advanced lecture course explores specific techniques for harnessing the support of a large bloc of constituents. Topics covered include the power of emotional appeal, effective pandering, and psychological manipulation.
Instructor: Humberto Hernandez
Note: This course will be offered via closed circuit from our satellite campus in Pensacola, Florida.

Aggressive Financing 633b: A real-politik approach to campaign financing. This course looks beyond the traditional public money-private money paradigm while teaching students the basics of raising, directing, and redirecting funds, borrowing against existing assets, and purchasing adequate influence.
Co-instructors: Carmen Lunetta and Donald Warshaw

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