I NTEREST G ROUPS Range of Interest Groups Economic Groups Largest interest group Represent big business such as Chambers of Commerce American Federation of Labor Public Interest Groups Don’t usually expect profit from policy changes They gain financially from donations from individuals They “receive disproportionately positive news coverage” Environmental Defense Fund, League of Women Voters Religious Interest Groups Separation of church and state does not prevent religious groups from lobbying All religious groups are involved to some degrees Christian Coalition draws support from conservative Protestants Opposition towards homosexual rights and abortion
L ITIGATION (I T ’ S PROBABLY GONNA BE ON AP TEST ) Don’t know what it is?
I NTEREST G ROUPS A CTIVITIES How Groups try to Shape Policy Lobbying Lobbyists are political persuaders that represent organized groups Act as important source of information Lobbying is directed towards activating and reinforcing one’s supporters Electioneering Aiding candidates financially and getting them to support the group PACs has served as a reason for groups to participate in electioneering Litigation A process of taking a case through court Most common in civil lawsuits Often used if interest group fails in Congress or gets only a vague piece of legislation Tactic lawyers use to employ interest group views are filing “amicus curiae” Amicus curiae is someone outside of court who offers information to the court
E FFECTS OF I NTEREST GROUPS ON THE P OLITICAL P ROCESS Influence on Policy-making Focused on smaller issues Provide important information about a specific topic Connects policy-makers to the public Tries to influence politicians in elections to guarantee his support in the issue Support of a Politian means that the desired policy is stated in the political arena Supporting Candidates Provides strategies for candidates Specialized knowledge Source of information & ideas Provide money (see PACs)
U NIQUE CHARACTERISTICS AND ROLES OF PAC S IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS Unique Characteristics Need to register with the FEC (Federal Election Commission) Required to report expenditures Can only provide a max. of $15,000 to national parties In some states PACs are not limited in contributions Roles Provide funding for election campaigns Support candidates Be involved in electioneering Like interest groups, try to influence certain desired policies
F UNCTIONS AND S TRUCTURE OF THE M EDIA Mass media in the U.S. are privately owned Public television and radio are a small part Private ownership allows freedom from government oversight Public Opinion Report results of public opinion surveys Incorporate their own polls into news coverage Newspaper and television help share opinions Political agenda issues Americans think are the most important and that the government needs to address Affected by the manner and the extent of media coverage Link between the government and the people Mass media is the bridge through which the government explains and tries to win the support for its policies and programs President Franklin Roosevelt utilized “fireside chats”
I MPACT OF M EDIA ON POLITICS Affects how Americans take on critical issues and are influenced by media especially when they present multiple views and provide in-depth analysis about the programs and policies Television Cable opened a lot of media opportunities Time slots were filled with talk shows and news programs 24/7 Sound bites are a short clip of speech extracted from a longer piece of audio Negative advertising refers to trying to win an advantage by referring to negative aspects of an opponent or a policy rather than appealing to the public with one’s own interests or preferred policies Internet Major informant in politics On the web you can gain political info and express political opinion Able to make political donations Convenient