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Partisan Presidential Change and Regulatory Policy: The Case of the FTC and Deceptive Practices Enforcement, 1938—1974

Joseph Stewart Jr. and Jane S. Cromartie
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Vol. 12, No. 4, Perceptions of the Presidency, Leadership and Statesmanship (Fall, 1982), pp. 568-573
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27547869
Page Count: 6
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Partisan Presidential Change and Regulatory Policy: The Case of the FTC and Deceptive Practices Enforcement, 1938—1974
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Abstract

This brief piece of research tracks the patterns in the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) issuance of official deceptive practices complaints and the changes that occur with partisan transitions in the White House. Generally, it is found, the FTC issues an increasing number of official complaints each year there is a Republican President and a declining number in each year there is a Democratic President. Activity during the Truman administration provides the only systematic deviation from this pattern. A look at the literature on deceptive practices regulation provides an explanation for the overall pattern. And, a look at the historical record provides plausible explanations for both the Truman-era deviations and the question of how Presidents are able to exert their influence. Suggestions for future research by Presidential scholars are presented.

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