Howard M. Leichter
. . . the sorry fact is that most state and local governments--with some notable exceptions--are poorly structured and poorly staffed to carry out new and innovative tasks. They have a hard time even meeting their routine commitments.
-- E. Ginsberg and R. Solow, "Some Lessons of the 1960s," The Public Interest, 1974.
But suddenly the states are where much of what is vital, new, interesting and important in American politics is going on.
-- Morton Keller, Governing, 1988.
What a difference a decade makes! After years of being overshadowed by the federal government and "neglected," "maligned," and derided by many national interest groups and scholars, the states are reemerging, "reformed, reinvigorated, [and] resourceful." 1 Suddenly pundits, policymakers, and political scientists have found "a burst of innovation at the state level" 2 and "a level of liberal and minority political activism heretofore unknown in state capitals." 3 The perception among political observers that domestic political power is gravitating toward, and policy creativity is emerging from, the states is accompanied by a favorable public attitude toward state governments. Opinion polls