Social Action Interest Groups (4) NOW-National Organization of Women Sierra Club- Protection of Wildlife ACLU- Amer. Civil Liberties Union- Protect 1 st Amendment Rights National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP- Equality
Economic Interest Groups (3) Labor Unions AFL-CIO-Rights of skilled and unskilled workers. Chamber of Commerce
Economic Interest Groups Professional Associations American Medical Association-AMA American Bar Association-ABA Protect Lawyers Agriculture National Grange
Functions of Interest Groups Functions PROVIDE INFORMATION to legislators and the public (most significant role) EX) AAA provides highway death figures when the speed limit is increased INFLUENCE PUBLIC POLICY
Tactics of Interest Groups Tactics hold rallies stir/start legislation Lobbying raise money $$ for candidates/parties use persuasive propaganda
What is Lobbying?? Lobbying: interest group representatives speak DIRECTLY with lawmakers to influence them Lobbyists have tremendous power Origin: British reps once crowded into the lobbies outside legislative chambers of Parliament to speak with lawmakers
Types of Lobbying “grassroots” A movement started and carried out by people at a local level, not by professionals EX) petitions, protests, letters – MADD Why effective?
Types of Lobbying “PROFESSIONAL LOBBYISTS” Companies hire professional to speak to officials (Sydney Allen Wade- Movie) EX) Tobacco companies hire people to persuade officials to oppose laws damaging to the tobacco industry.
Types of Lobbying “ASTROTURF” What is astroturf??? So, what do you think “astroturf lobbying” is? A lobbying movement set up by big $$ (usually big business) to have the appearance of a grassroots movement EX) “Big Tobacco” sends out letters with self- addressed envelopes to people with the hope that they will sign their names to the letter and mail it back
Anti-Astroturfing Code of Ethics Kami Huyse proposes an anti-astroturfing code of ethics and asks for input:proposes an anti-astroturfing code of ethics I will not fabricate a public concern by paying or coercing individuals to falsely act as concerned citizens. I will only seek to help give voice to those who already hold an existing concern and/or provide education to stakeholders that might be affected by a particular issue. When supporting grassroots efforts, I will ensure that I am transparent in all my actions and clearly and publicly state what actions I am taking and which organization or client I represent. I will never knowingly distort of falsify information to help my client/interest achieve a strategic/emotional advantage in a public debate. I will encourage all grassroots supporters to be open and honest in all of their communications, just as I will be open and honest in mine.
How do interest groups raise money $$$ ??? “PAC’s” PAC = Political Action Committee Ex) VOTE-COPE (NY teachers union PAC); EMILY’s List (support female candidates) set up by interest groups to RAISE MONEY $$$$$ for candidates and parties Individual Campaign contributions are limited to $2,300 per election, but PAC’s can give $5,000 to a candidate or $15,000 to a party PAC’s can also run their own “issue ads” on TV Opensecrets.org
“Hard” $ vs “Soft” $ The limited $2,300 per election amount is called “HARD” MONEY and goes directly to the candidate running for office Candidates can use this $ to run ads supporting their candidacy
“Hard” $ vs “Soft” $ “Soft” Money Unlimited $$$ raised and spent by interest groups on their own ads “527” interest groups and some PAC’s can run “issue ads” w/ soft $ Such "issue ads" won't explicitly tell you to elect or defeat a particular candidate, but the group's view of the candidate's stance on their issue is clear. Highly controversial….why?
Why are there so many interest groups in America? Constitutional protection 1 st amendment (free speech & assembly) Pluralistic Society Many different political, social, and economic interests Many access points to influence the law making process Rising costs of political campaigns
Other Incentives Material Benefits Discounts Money Special services to members only Travel Free items