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Political Interest Groups Interest Groups in Texas Politics and Government Topical Scenario Interest Groups Members and Goals Types and Influence Political.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Interest Groups Interest Groups in Texas Politics and Government Topical Scenario Interest Groups Members and Goals Types and Influence Political."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Political Interest Groups

3 Interest Groups in Texas Politics and Government Topical Scenario Interest Groups Members and Goals Types and Influence Political Activities Media

4 Topical Scenario Medical Liability –Tort Reform –New Judges Proposition 12 – Amending the Constitution in 2003 limiting civil liability Trial Lawyers and Consumer Groups –Save Texas Courts Medical Industry –Texas Medical Association (TMA) –TEXPAC Proposition passed – 51% to 49%

5 Interest Groups A group of people who share an interest and organize to influence government. Heritage –Slow Developing –Agriculture –Business –Ethnic and racial –Public Interests - Consumer rights, and environment Regulation –1957 and 1973 lobbying laws Register and provide activity information –Constantly amended Lobbyist expenses and gifts Pleasure trips and honoraria Conflict-of-interest issues

6 Interest Group Goals Primary goal - influencing the formation of public policy Secondary goals - –Changing policy process (target government) +Enhance group legitimacy +Decentralize political authority +Increase opportunity for policy input –Change social values (target society) +Consumer awareness +Parental awareness

7 Types of Interest Groups Business and Trade Associations –Texas Association of Business –lower taxes, favorable regulation –reduce labor union influence Professional Associations –Texas Trial Lawyers Association –influence profession specific regulation Labor groups –Texas AFL - CIO –Rights for collective bargaining –Occupational safety issues –minimum and increasing wages

8 More Types of Groups Racial and Ethnic Groups –Freedom from discrimination –MALDEF - TAAS testing discrimination –NAACP - Education, segregation, employment Public Interest Groups –Common Cause –Broad spectrum of social issues benefiting the public at-large +Environment +Consumer protection +Homeless, poor, elderly, disabled

9 Ideological Classification Favor Equality Regulation Oppose Govt Regulation Favor Order Regulation NAACPAFL-CIO MALDEFTSTA Abortion Rights TX Assoc of Bus Right to Life Take Back TexasChristian Coalition

10 Interest Group Influence Money - staff salaries, research Expertise, Skill, Information –Understand political situation and government –How it all relates to group goals Cohesiveness - actively mobilize membership Reputation - credibility, trustworthiness and political power

11 Direct Lobbying Lobbyists provide information about groups concerns to government. Influence through direct contact –1521 registered lobbyists in 2005 –Spent $ ,000,000 –Professional lobbyists increasing –More ethnic and gender diversity –Electoral activities –Campaign contributions (PACs) –Get out the vote –Administrators to legislative staff –Research information “Revolving door” –From government to lobby groups

12 Indirect Lobbying “Grassroots lobbying” –Mobilize member contact of officials Use of TV for PR ads (issue advocacy) Push polls Use of online web sites

13 Other Group Activities Electioneering –Campaign contributions (PACs) +$54,000,000 in Primarily to incumbents –Get out the vote Litigation –Becoming more common –More expensive tactic –Used as last resort –Use to slow changes taking place

14 Political Communication: The Media

15 Political Role of the Media Provides information public needs but wont research Media performs three roles –Provides information about political events as as gatekeepers –Provides conduit for public - government communication –Performs watchdog function Adversarial or Symbiotic Relationship? –Conflict of communication and watchdog –More interdependent than antagonistic

16 Factors Shaping the News Exactly what is news worthy –Has to be relevant, exciting, familiar, timely –Timeliness, proximity and conflict most important Values of Journalists –Liberals who vote democratic, although in the South they tend to be more moderate. Journalist Creed –Independence –Objective –Impartiality

17 Conflict Between Beliefs and Journalists Creed Tendency to pursue own agenda –Agendas usually liberal in nature Economics versus objectivity –Need for drama and problematic coverage –Need for novel and current stories not those isolated and unrelated to audience –Entertainment, sensational value rather the objective policy discussion –Crime, disaster, and war are favorites

18 The Media in Texas 618 newspapers, 532 radio stations, 102 TV stations, 91 cable systems TV most popular and trusted news source - 73% national & 53% local Local news leaves room for improvement –KVUE is the one exception Local news shows: –Don’t use multiple sources –Are usually not objective –Don’t plan ahead for issue coverage –Lack the research staff Cable News Growth

19 Local News Schedules 7-8 minutes of Commercials 4-5 Minutes of Weather and Sports Minutes of News National 7-9 Minutes Local Minutes

20 More Texas Media Newspapers second most popular 33% –Only one in each major market –Nationally controlled ( Cox, Hearst, Gannett) –Daily circulation decreasing Radio - less than 10% use as source –Shift to talk show format –Predisposed ideological objectives Magazines least used source –Used by those actively involved –Texas Monthly excellent example Internet newest source –95% of campaigns in 2006


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