Presentation on theme: "Interest Groups Duffy - Government. What are Interest Groups? Groups that seek to influence public policy in ways that help their members – Support policies."— Presentation transcript:
What are Interest Groups? Groups that seek to influence public policy in ways that help their members – Support policies that help – Oppose policies that hurt Seek to… – persuade policy makers – Influence public opinion through education – Advocate needs / wants of their group
Who Makes Up Interest Groups? Virtually EVERYONE has an interest in influencing public policy Examples – Doctors – Students – Parents Most people, however, aren’t directly involved in an interest group
Types of Interest Groups Economic Interest – Promote the economic interest of their members – Ex: business, labor, trade organizations (NFIB, AFL- CIO, Chemical Industry Council, etc.) Public Interest – Focuses on topics affecting general public, like education, the environment, politics – Ex: Sierra Club, ACLU, Common Cause, AARP, etc.
Types of Interest Groups Professional Groups – Advocate for people in a particular profession – Ex: Ill. Education Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, American Medical Association, etc. Ideological Groups – Promote policies based on a set of core political or religious beliefs – Ex: Christian Coalition, Federalist Society, etc.
Types of Interest Groups Single Issue Groups – Focus on one narrow topic, like immigration, abortion or drunk driving – Ex: MADD, SADD, NARAL, Family Research Council, etc.
How Do Interest Groups Work? Lobbying – IGs hire lobbyists to meet with members of the government (Executive, Legislative, Judicial) to discuss group’s issues, concerns – Lobbyists say their job is to provide information to decision makers – Problem: BIAS - info provided is chosen to persuade audience to take favorable view for that IG
How Do Interest Groups Work? Endorsing Candidates – During elections, IG may endorse, or officially support, a candidate – Support or opposition based on voting history, stance of candidate on issues of import to IG – IGs help candidates with money and encourage their members to vote Raising Money – Raise $ from members / supporters to influence gov’t – $ raised that go to candidates must go through Political Action Committees, or PACs
Problems Involving Interest Groups Amount of influence in government – “Buying” candidates with campaign donations – “Revolving door” of elected officials, congressional staff into lobbying groups Use of propaganda, to influence the ill-informed Are the interests of IGs in the interest of the public? Who represents the public?