Hertel-Fernandez’s research currently focuses on the Democratic Party and the politics of federal tax policy; the sustainability of social insurance programs, with an emphasis on unemployment insurance and Social Security; and mobilization of business interests in state politics. Hertel-Fernandez is a member of the Roosevelt Institute Pipeline’s Boston Chapter, and is a former Board Member of the National New Deal Preservation Association.
In the News
Draws from research on changes since 2000 in the organizational universes surrounding the Republican and Democratic parties to highlight a major emergent force in U.S. politics: the recently expanded "Koch network" that coordinates big money funders, idea producers, issue advocates, and innovative constituency-building efforts in an ongoing effort to pull the Republican Party and agendas of U.S. politics sharply to the right. Reviews the major components and evolution of the Koch network and explores how it has reshaped American politics and policy agendas, focusing especially on implications for right-tilted partisan polarization and rising economic inequality.
Discusses the work and organizational innovations on the Right, the sputtering liberal efforts to counter the American Legislative Exchange Council, the success of Center-Left research networks. Discusses the shortcomings of the Left and what can be learned from the Right.
Finds that partisan differences between Democrats and Republicans are central, but goes beyond earlier analyses to measure added effects from two dueling factions within the Republican coalition: statewide business associations and cross-state networks of ideologically conservative organizations. Shows that GOP-leaning or GOP-dominated states have been most likely to embrace the expansion when organized business support outweighs pressures from conservative networks. Helps make sense of ongoing state-level debates over a core part of health reform and sheds new light on mounting policy tensions within the Republican party.