Presentation on theme: "Interest Groups Chapter 9. The Role of Interest Groups Gun control, prayer in schools, abortion, minimum wage. –Groups exist at all levels of government."— Presentation transcript:
The Role of Interest Groups Gun control, prayer in schools, abortion, minimum wage. –Groups exist at all levels of government –Concerned with public policy and public affairs
How do interest groups and political parties differ? 1.In the making of nominations 2.In their primary focus Winning elections and office Controlling or influencing the policies of gov’t 3.In the scope of their interests VS
Are interest groups good or bad? Long history, 1787, James Madison warns against “factions”. Alexis De Tocqueville viewed the numerous groups in America as part of the reason for its successful democracy
Valuable Functions Stimulate interest in public affairs Represent based on shared beliefs, not geography Provide information to government Vehicles for political participation (MADD) Serve as a checks-and-balances Competition against other groups
Criticisms 1.Some have more influence than they should 2.Who, and how many people a group really represents 3.Dominated by active minority 4.Some groups use poor tactics (bribery)
Groups Based on Economic Interests Business Groups: National Association of Manufacturers (NAM; 14,000) and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States (200,000)
Groups Based on Economic Interests Labor Groups: group of workers in same job or industry. –AFL-CIO American Federation of Labor- Congress of Industrial Organizations 13 million members
Groups Based on Economic Interests Agriculture Groups: National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation, and the National Grange
Groups Based on Economic Interests Professional Groups: American Medical Association (300,000), American Bar Association (400,000), and National Education Association (2.4 million)
Other Interest Groups Groups that promote causes –Right to life, women’s vote, ACLU Promote welfare of certain groups –Veterans of Foreign Affairs, AARP Religious Organizations –National Council of Churches
Interest Groups They feel they are trying to benefit all members of the country, whether or not they are members of their organizations.
Influencing Public Opinion Interest Groups want to achieve the following goals 1.Supply the public with information an organization thinks the people should have 2.Build a positive image for a group 3.Promote a particular public policy http://www.thetruth.com/videos/magicalAmount. cfm
Propaganda A technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behavior.
Influencing Parties and Elections Usually done through campaign financing often by PACs. –Often single-issue groups
Lobbying Usually defined as those activities by which group pressures are brought to bear on legislators and the legislative process. –Who would be concerned about gun legislation?
Lobbyist by the Numbers At least 35,000 just for Congress current In very state capital, even more when in session –Indiana 684 lobbyist, 150 members, 4 to 1 YEAR 2000
Lobbyist at Work Many lobbyist are former members of Congress or state legislatures. –Why? Favorable data passed along Ratings –http://www.conservative.org/archive2/House_ standout.asphttp://www.conservative.org/archive2/House_ standout.asp
Lobby Regulation 1946 Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act –Lobbyist had to register, aimed at congressmen not staff 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act –Requires registration to speak to all congressional staff –Laws vary at the different levels of government
Top Spenders Lobbying ClientTotal US Chamber of Commerce$527,473,180 American Medical Assn$212,602,500 General Electric$191,270,000 AARP$169,752,064 American Hospital Assn$168,880,431 Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America$161,638,400 AT&T Inc$151,040,816 Northrop Grumman$144,414,935 National Assn of Realtors$132,797,380 Exxon Mobil$131,786,942 Edison Electric Institute$131,305,999 Business Roundtable$129,870,000 Blue Cross/Blue Shield$128,818,703 Verizon Communications$128,444,841 Lockheed Martin$118,735,633 Boeing Co$115,398,310 General Motors$106,261,483 Southern Co$100,970,694 Freddie Mac$96,194,048 Securities Industry & Financial Mkt Assn$95,353,143
Ethics Highlights No lobbyist paid travel –Staffers trips must be declared in advance No gift of $50 or more may be accepted
Current Year http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/firmsum. php?lname=Patton+Boggs+LLP&year=20 09http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/firmsum. php?lname=Patton+Boggs+LLP&year=20 09 Capitol Crimes –http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/ capitol/index.htmlhttp://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/ capitol/index.html