Presentation on theme: "Special Interest Groups. I. What is a Special Interest Group? An organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several."— Presentation transcript:
I. What is a Special Interest Group? An organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several point to try to achieve those goals.
II.What are the Positive Aspects of Special Interest Groups? 1. Raise awareness about the causes and issues that the group is passionate about. 2.Promote policies that the group is passionate about. 3.Provide useful, specialized, and detailed information to government. 4.Allow average citizens to participate in politics. 5.Check up on what politicians are doing and make the public aware of these actions.
I.What are the Negative Aspects of Special Interest Groups? III.What Are the Negative Aspects of Special Interest Groups? 1. Interest Groups push for their groups ’ goals, which are not always beneficial to all Americans. 2. Some groups have more influence than others (based on how much money they have, how organized they are) and that means that the playing field is not equal for all people. 3.Sometimes their tactics are questionable. For example they sometimes bribe members of Congress to pass certain laws, or they threaten to publish negative information or not provide funds for members of Congress who do not support the group ’ s goals.
1.Influence Public Opinion Supply the public w/ information via tv ads, magazine ads, facebook pages, etc…about the policies they support and the bills they want passed. Build a positive image for the group. They want to look good to the public so that more people join and pay membership dues.
2. Influence Parties & Elections Influence Parties & Elections Campaign on behalf of a candidate or candidates and try to help get them elected. Donate money to candidates and to political parties through PACs (Political Action Committees). PACS are a way for interest groups and corporations to donate money to candidates. Each PAC can only give $5,000 to each candidate, but there are no total limits on how much they give to all candidates.
3. Lobby Lobbying: trying to persuade elected officials to support a bill your interest group likes or oppose a bill your interest group dislikes. Lobbyists: people who work for corporations or interest groups who meet with elected officials and provide information and propaganda about what their groups wants. Sometimes this is pure persuasion…other times lobbyists with special expertise help members of Congress literally write the bills. Grass-Roots Lobbying: bring a TON of public attention to an issue, so that people come out and protest, or email Congress, etc... in the hopes that Congress will feel pressured into doing what the interest group wants.
What Are Some Examples of Special Interest Groups? Economic Interests Labor Unions: AFL-CIO with 14 million members, represents a variety of unions such as electrical, construction, etc... Business: Chamber of Commerce represents small business owners. Professional Associations: American Medical Association.
What Are Some Examples of Special Interest Groups? Environmental Over 10,000 with revenues of over 2.9 billion dollars. Fight things such as: drilling for oil in Alaska, wilderness protection, nuclear power plants. Biggest opposition: Energy companies.
What Are Some Examples of Special Interest Groups? Equality NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NOW: National Organization of Women NRA: National Rifle Association Amnesty International
What is a lobbyist and what do they do? A lobbyist is a political persuader who represents an organized group. What they do: Provide information to politicians about what their members want, what current research shows, what public opinions show, etc... Try to convince politicians to write a certain bill, fund a certain program, or take certain action. Bring new ideas to politicians to introduce as bills.
Are Special Interest Groups Good or Bad? Good People feel like they have a say, because government listens to interest groups. People are able to pressure politicians, which is the point of a democracy. A lot of different interest groups compete, so one group doesn’t dominate.
Are Special Interest Groups Good or Bad? Bad The most powerful are usually those controlled by big business. Not everyone is represented by interest groups; especially the young, minorities, and the economically disadvantaged. Groups can give more, which means they have more power than individuals.