Tx Govt Ch 9 Vocab

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Officially charging an office holder with improper conduct in office.


Informal (extralegal) powers .

Powers that are not stated in rules, a law, or a constitution but are usually derived from these legal powers.


Formal (legal) powers

Powers stated in rules, a law, or a constitution



The executive power to reject a proposed law unless an unusual majority of the legislature (usually 2/3) votes to override the governor’s opposition. This is almost an absolute power in Texas because the legislature is seldom in session when the governor issues the veto.


Threat of veto

An informal power of the Texas governor. Threatening in advance to veto legislation enhances the governor’s bar-gaining power with legislators, enabling the governor to shape the content of legislation while it is still in the legislature.


Presession bargaining

Negotiations that let the governor and the legislative leaders reach the necessary compromises prior to the start of the legislative session. This usually ensures passage of the legislation.


Message power

The influence a person gains merely by being in the public eye. For example, message power allows the governor to focus the attention of the press, legislators, and citizens on legislative proposals that he or she considers important. The visibility of high office draws instant public attention for the officeholder’s proposals, a power that led Teddy Roosevelt to refer to the presidency as the “ bully pulpit.”


Blue-ribbon commission

A group assembled by the governor (or legislature) that may have both fact-finding and recommending authority. It often contains public personages or authorities on the subject that is being considered. Such commissions can help measure public reaction to proposals and may also let the governor delay consideration of issues that may be politically uncomfortable.


Senatorial courtesy

The tradition of allowing a senator to reject the governor’s appointment of a political enemy from the senator’s district. The senator declares the appointee “ personally obnoxious,” and the other senators vote to reject the appointee.


Chief of state

The governor, who serves as the symbol of Texas, performs ceremonial duties and represents the state at meetings with foreign officials and other governors.


Clemency powers

Executive authority to grant relief from criminal punishment; Texas’s governor’s clemency powers are very limited.