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Interest Groups in SC Bob Botsch. The Founding Fathers and “Factions” (Federalist Number 10) Factions = interest groups + parties Factions a natural outgrowth.

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Presentation on theme: "Interest Groups in SC Bob Botsch. The Founding Fathers and “Factions” (Federalist Number 10) Factions = interest groups + parties Factions a natural outgrowth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interest Groups in SC Bob Botsch

2 The Founding Fathers and “Factions” (Federalist Number 10) Factions = interest groups + parties Factions a natural outgrowth of freedom and human nature Undermine the public interest Endanger stability Solution is republican principle + democratic pluralism in large nation Problem in SC: lack of sufficient diversity for pluralism—but growing

3 Range of Interest Groups in SC and why active Business groups #1 in size and power Agriculture in long term decline (Farm Bureau)Farm Bureau Professional/Occupation groups growing (SCEA; Bar)SCEABar Unions and workers groups, natural counterweight to business are extremely weak (Teamsters) (SC State Employees)TeamstersSC State Employees Ideological/single/public interest issue groups growing (SC Policy Council)SC Policy Council Intergovernmental groups (Municipal Association)Municipal Association “Free rider” problem particularly a problem for public interest groups like the Coastal Conservation LeagueCoastal Conservation League

4 Targets/Techniques of Interest Group Activity Legislature: information, campaign support, “smoozing” or “wining and dining” Bureaucracy: information, political support, litigation Grassroots (us!): public relations to alter public opinion—the goal: “what is good for ___ is good for SC!”

5 Growth in Registered Lobbyists **current list**current list YearNumber Registered Lobbyists Percentage Increase % % % %

6 Lobbying, 2011: #’s & $ Figures compiled by Phil Noble SC has 542 registered lobbyists, and 545 lobbyist principals (the people who pay the lobbyist) there are 822 different lobbying contracts, often with one principal hiring multiple lobbyists 12 state agencies have lobbyists, mostly colleges and universities 36 separate contracts is the largest number of contracts for one lobbyist $11,118 is the average size of a lobbyist contract $142,000 is the biggest single lobbying contract from a single principal 22 lobbyists make over $100,000 a year in direct lobbying contracts alone $525,802 is the largest amount paid in various contracts to a single lobbyist $11,385,031 is the total paid to lobbyists in 2011 for lobbying contracts $12,113,965 is the total of lobbyist payments, including contracts and expenses $71,258 per legislator is the total lobbying cost per legislator, for 124 Representatives and 46 Senators (does not include campaign $)

7 The 2000 Lottery Battle and Interest Group Power Lesson: large groups do not always win Especially when the smaller groups have more $ and more unity Social conservative groups not as dominant as they once were as culture of state changes, but regional differences remain

8 Region and the 2000 Lottery Vote: Up vs Low Country

9 Factors that Affect Interest Group Power State policy domain: changes from year to year, e.g. payday lending in 2009; budget cuts & state retirement in 2012 Inter-governmental spending and policy making: efforts shift depending on where money is and who makes policy, e.g. recently? Rejection of federal $ for education and for Medicaid expansion Political Attitudes: “traditionalist” culture less likely to get organized and protest Level of integration/fragmentation: higher means more opportunity (access points) for interest groups and their lobbyistslobbyists Professionalism: interest groups match level in govt Socioeconomic development: increases diversity and possibility of pluralism

10 How to Determine the Power of Interest Groups and Who is Powerful Reputational approach—business—tablestables Decisions approach—varies with decision Non-decisions approach—business Groups resources approach—business

11 How well democratic pluralism applies to South Carolina Growing diversity within business sector— no longer “King Cotton” Growing educated middle class, especially with in-migrant retirees (“non-southerners” about 12% of population in 2011) Still primarily conservative Protestant Unions still weak Liberal groups still weak (e.g. civil rights, environment)

12 Conclusions 1.Interest groups still dominant force in SC 2.More important than political parties 3.Conditions for pluralism increasing


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