Definition A group that tries to get the government to pass laws to help their cause. Interest Group
Types of Interest Groups Public Interest Groups: Lobby for causes to try to benefit all of society.
Types of Interest Groups Public Interest Groups Environmental Groups –PETA –Sierra Club Religious Organizations –Christian Coalition –Operation Rescue (Single Issue) Other –National Rifle Association (Single Issue)
Types of Interest Groups Private Interest Groups: Lobby for causes to try to benefit members of their organization (MEMBERS ONLY).
Types of Interest Groups Private Interest Groups Professional Organizations American Medical Association American Bar Association National Education Association Other Organizations “Older Americans” AARP Businesses Foreign Governments
Tactics of Interest Groups Direct Lobbying Lobbyists speak directly with elected officials or members of their staff.
Tactics of Interest Groups Indirect Lobbying Groups mobilize average Americans to shape public opinion & place pressure on politicians Telephone Tree Mailings Civil Disobedience $$$$ AARP
Tactics of Interest Groups Civil Disobedience Violation of what is perceived to be an immoral law and accepting the punishment for violating those laws. Why?-- to bring about publicity & hopefully change.
Bus Boycott (Montgomery, AL, ) Rosa Parks ( )
Money & Lobbying PAC = Political Action Committee A private group (corporation, labor union, interest group, etc.) that raises and spends money for use in elections.
PACs Raising a lot of Money January 1, December 31, 2008 MoveOn.org –Supports Liberal Democrats EMILY’s LIST –Goal: Elect pro-choice women (primarily Democrats) to public office Source: fec.gov press release 6/4/09 NRA Political Victory Fund
EMILY’S LIST E arly M oney I s L ike Y east EMILY’S List Frontpage: 3/17/09
Federal Elections Commission
McCain/Feingold (2002 Reforms) John McCain R-AZ Russell Feingold D-WI
McCain/Feingold-Contribution Limits 1.Individuals may directly contribute up to: $2,000 to a candidate $5,000 to a single PAC 2.PACs may directly contribute up to: $5,000 to a candidate
Contributions & 2008 Election (Hard Money: contributions to political parties & to individual House & Senate Candidates) Democrats raised: $780.5 million Republicans raised: +$640.8 million $1,421,3 ($1.42 billion) The money was raised between 1/07-12/08 Source: fec.gov disclosure map For the 1992 election they combined to raise: $514 million
Loopholes In The System “527 Accounts” –No limits on contributions to 527 Account organizations –But only “independent” advertisements are allowed Citizens United Decision –Supreme Court decision allowed corporations to spend money on “independent” advertisements Opponents of Supreme Court decision gather outside the Court building