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Interest Groups Chapter 7. Types of Interest Groups Economic – Labor unions, agricultural, Business, Professional Consumer – public interest, environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Interest Groups Chapter 7. Types of Interest Groups Economic – Labor unions, agricultural, Business, Professional Consumer – public interest, environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interest Groups Chapter 7

2 Types of Interest Groups Economic – Labor unions, agricultural, Business, Professional Consumer – public interest, environmental Equality and Justice – racial issues, gender issues, minority issues

3 Interest Groups Interest groups want to PASS POLICY BUT don’t run their own candidates for office Interest groups can “access,” or influence many points and levels of government First amendment freedoms: speech, petition, assembly

4 Interest Group Examples AARP (American Association of Retired People) Sierra Club (Environment) NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) NOW (National Organization of Women) ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) NEA (National Education Association) AMA (American Medical Association) Thousands of interest groups in the US

5 How Interest Groups Work 1.Lobby – (aka Buttonholing) influence government policy Ex - call/ officials, meet and socialize, go to lunch, testify at committee hearings, ask for political favors 2.Electioneering – keep people in office who are sympathetic to group wants and needs Ex. - GIVE MONEY TO CAMPAIGNS

6 How Interest Groups Work 3.Litigation – (aka amicus curiae – “friends of the court”) (1) File briefs that consist of a written argument for their side OR… (2) groups sue business or gov for action 4.Appealing to the public – make the group’s own public image look good 5.The “Ratings Game” – interest groups rate politicians based on voting records

7 What makes Interest Groups powerful? Size Power of AARP – 25% of the population 50 and over (Baby Boomers ) Intensity – drive or effort put forth (single issue groups fall into this category) Money form a PAC (Political Action Committee) – donate money to campaigns and advertising

8 How do Interest groups get money? Donations (YOU!) Foundations Ex. - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation Federal grants (free government money) and contracts (companies hire them to lobby)

9 Sierra Club

10 United Auto Workers (UAW)

11 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

12 American Association of Retired People (AARP)

13 National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

14 Interest Group Politics Are interest groups good or bad for American politics? Pluralism, Elitism, and Hyperpluralism

15 Interest Groups and Pluralism Theory Many interests and groups prevents one from being too powerful Linkage Institution – links people and government, gives voice to people Federalist 10 – factions are bad, but a necessary evil All groups are not equal, but gives voice

16 Interest Groups and Elitism Theory Yes, there are lots of groups, but many do not matter AT ALL Power held by business groups – MONEY Most interest groups have no power

17 Interest Groups and Hyperpluralism Interest groups causing political chaos TOO MANY GROUPS Government trying to please everyone, resulting policies are haphazard and ill- conceived Ex. – support removing business regulations and support environment protection??? –impossible

18 Results Campaign contributions from PAC, Soft Money, and Donations – 2000 elections TotalDem%GOP% Business75% $1,233,136,672 42%57% Labor6% $90,105,425 94%6% Ideological5% $75,920,267 51%49% Other9% $144,991,377 38%60% Unknown5% $92,861,587 30%67%

19 The Revolving Door A criticism of interest groups Government officials quit their jobs or don’t get reelected Then take government jobs for a certain lobbying agency Fear that private interests by business have an unfair influence on gov decisions Ex- official does favor in return for later job Jack Abramoff (60 Minutes interview) very critical of this; wants to ban government officials from going into lobbying work after serving in government

20 The Lobbyists

21 PAC’s, SuperPAC’s, 527’s: examples

22 Perception of Power in Society?

23 Lobbying Contributions (read clockwise)

24 Lobbyists


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