The last time Mandar Oak, a graduate student in economics at Cornell, went home to India, he brought the usual gifts and stories, plus one observation about life in the United States: He noticed that most U.S. cities and towns have direct elections for local leaders, such as sheriff and county clerk, rather than political appointments. "I kind of thought, 'This is cool,' " Oak says. "And I told them, 'You should have more... More >>>