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Friday 2/13 RAP: analyze cartoon
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  • Friday 2/13RAP: analyze cartoon

  • What are Interest Groups?

  • Interests groupsAn interest group is a private organization that tries to persuade public officials to respond to the shared attitude of its members.NRAAARP

  • Interest groups are sometimes called pressure groups. They are also known as:Special interestOrganized interestLobbies

  • Lobbying Lobbyists are political persuaders who represent organized groups. They may be paid employees of the group or hired on a temporary basis. Lobbyists are primarily out to influence members of Congress but can be of help to them as well.

  • Lobbyists help members of Congress in four ways:1) they are an important source of information 2) they can help a member with political strategy.3) they can help formulate campaign strategy. 4) they are a source of ideas and innovations. Evidence suggests that lobbyists power over policy is often exaggerated, but there is evidence to suggest that sometimes lobbying can persuade legislators to support a certain policy. Lobbying clearly works best on people already committed to the lobbyists policy position.

  • James Madison used the derogatory term faction to describe interest groups. Americans generally have an unfavorable view of interest groups.Defenders counter that the relationships between public officials and lobbyists is probably more free of out-and-out bribery than ever before in American history.

  • Whatever they call themselves their role is toInfluence Public Policy

    Public Policy- includes all the goals a gov. sets and the various courses of action it pursues to realize these goals.

  • Interest groups are made up of people who unite for some political purpose.So too are political parties. YET there are distinct differences!

  • Parties nominate candidates for office, interest groups do not.

    Political parties are interested in winning elections.

  • Interest groups function at every level of government. Wherever policies are made or can be influenced.

  • Interest groups are solely concerned with controlling or influencing the POLICIES of government. Issues such as environmental protection or gun control. They only concentrate on the issues that most directly affect the interest of their members.

  • Political parties are policy generalists Political parties are concerned with the whole range of public affairs, everything that concerns voters.

  • Interest groups are often policy specialists Interest groups almost always concentrate on those issues that directly affect the interest of their members. Greenpeace &Sierra club: both environmental

  • Interest groups are NOT accountable to the public!It is their members, not voters that pass judgment on their performance.

  • PositivesStimulate interest in public affairs. (Affairs that concern the public at large)

    Represent their members based on shared attitudes NOT geography.

  • More to consider: They provide useful, specialized, and detailed information to government (for ex. On employment, price levels, or sale of new or existing homes). These are important data to the making of public policies, and gov. officials cannot obtain them from any other source!

  • This also works the other way too.Interest groupsPublic agenciesTheir members

  • Vehicles for political participation.

    For example: One mother concerned about drunk driving cannot accomplish very much alone. BUT thousands of people joined in MADD (mothers against drunk driving) CAN!!!!=/

  • Checks & Balances Many interest groups keep close tabs on the work of various public agencies and officials, and thereby help to make sure that they perform their tasks in responsible and effective ways.

  • Interest groups compete with one another in the public arena. There are over 10,000 environmental interest groups, and over 2,000 public interest groups (ex. Consumer groups, like the center for auto safety)

    That competition places a limit on the lengths that some groups would go to advance their interests.

  • What could be Bad?

    Some Negatives

  • Some interest groups have influence far out of proportion to their size, or to their contribution to the public good.The more organized and highly financed groups have a distinct advantage.

  • Small organized groups have an advantage Many groups do not in fact represent the views of all the people for whom they claim to speak. Often an organization is dominated by an active minority who conduct the groups affairs and make its policy decisions.

  • PETAPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, Founded in March 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and fellow animal rights activist Alex Pacheco. It is a non-profit corporation with 300 employees; it claims to have three million members and supporters and to be the largest animal rights group in the world. Its slogan is "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any way."

  • Some groups use tactics that, if they were to become widespread, would undermine the whole political system.BriberyThreats of revengeNot common but the danger is there.

  • HW: Read Ch. 9 Interest GroupsAs you read Ch. 9, please complete the reading notes.Due on TuesdayWe will have a quiz, on vocabulary from UNIT 2: Ch. 6, 7, 8, and 9, the last 20 minutes of class on Tuesday!

  • Video on Thank you for Smoking A look at a lobbyist in DC.Answer questions on the video on a separate piece of paper.

  • Monday 2/16RAPLook at the picture on page 243, and answer the question below it.Answer the questions below the graph on page 244.Today:Video on Thank you for Smoking A look at a lobbyist in DC.Answer questions on the video on a separate piece of paper.

  • What are Political Action Committees? (PACS)Political Action Committees (PACs) are an important aspect of American politics and the American electoral system. Political Action Committees exist legally as a means for corporations, trade unions etc. to make donations to candidates for Federal office - something that they cannot do directly.The money goes to the Party (therefore their candidate). Individuals can only give $2,600. maximum.

  • Interest groups versus Political action committees Interest groups cannot give money to candidates to influence elections or policys.

    That is what PACs do. Electioneering: aiding candidates financially and getting group members out to support them

  • An organization will establish a Political Action Committee for which they solicit financial support. In 1974, 608 Political Action Committees were registered with the FEC (Federal Election Committee). By December 1995, there were more than 4,600 of them. There are more corporate Political Action Committees than any other type.

  • In a presidential campaign, PACs contribute to the parties to support the election campaign expenditure of the candidate. The amount a PAC can contribute to a national party is limited to $15,000.Therefore ten PACs could spend a maximum of $150,000 on a national party.However, PACs can contribute a lot more to state and local parties. In some states the amount is restricted but in others it is not.

  • Super PACSSuper PACs, officially known as "independent-expenditure only committees," may not make contributions to candidate campaigns or parties, but may engage in unlimited political spending independently of the campaigns. Also unlike traditional PACs, they can raise funds from corporations, unions and other groups, and from individuals, without legal limits.

  • To each candidate or candidate committee per electionTo national party committee per calendar yearTo state, district & local party committee per calendar yearTo any other political committee per calendar yearSpecial LimitsIndividual may give$2,600*$32,400*$10,000 (combined limit)$5,000No limitNational Party Committee may give$5,000No limitNo limit$5,000$45,400* to Senate candidate per campaignState, District & Local Party Committee may give$5,000 (combined limit)No limitNo limit$5,000 (combined limit)No limitPAC (multicandidate) may give$5,000$15,000$5,000 (combined limit)$5,000No limitPAC (not multicandidate) may give$2,600*$32,400*$10,000 (combined limit)$5,000No limitAuthorized Campaign Committee may give $2,000No limit No limit $5,000No limit

  • Have you heard of, or seen commercials for Clean Elections?Clean Elections ( also known as clean money or voter owned elections) is a term for a particular form of political campaigns funded by the government rather than private donations or holdings.

  • Under a "clean elections" system, candidates wishing to receive government financing collect a certain number of small "qualifying contributions" (often as little as $5) from registered voters. If they collect enough of these qualifying contributions, they are then paid a flat sum by the government to run their campaigns, and agree not to raise any other money from private sources. Candidates who are outspent by privately funded opponents may receive additional public matching funds, but this provision was held to be unconstitutional.PLEASE read more about this on your own time

  • Comprehensive Clean Elections systems have been in effect in Arizona and Maine since 2000.A 2003 study by the federal government's nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), requested by Congress as part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law passed in 2002, found that the Clean Elections system had failed to produce measurable benefits in the two election cycles run under the system in both Maine and Arizona.

  • Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Political Donation CapAPRIL 2, 2014 The Supreme Courtcontinued its abolition of limits on election spending, striking down a decades-old cap on the total amount any individual can contribute to federal candidates in a two-year election cycle.

  • USSC DecisionThe ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will very likely increase the role money plays in American politics.The 5-to-4 decision, with the courts more conservative members in the majority, echoed Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions.

  • There is no right in our democracy more basic, than the right to participate in electing our political leaders. Chief Justice John RobertsThe decision seemed to alter campaign finance law in subtle but important ways, notably by limiting how the government can justify laws said to restrict the exercise of First Amendment rights in the form of campaign contributions.

  • In your notesPlease define and briefly explain the purpose of an interest group.Explain the purpose of PACs.Watch: Steven Cobert I am a super Pac and so are you

  • Wednesday 9/24RAPToday:Present CERead and complete questions / notetaker for Ch. 9-Interest GroupsDue Friday.Vocabulary Quiz on Unit 2 on Friday

  • Friday 9/26RAPPlease answer the question (s) below the pictures, graphs, etc. on pages 250, 251, and 253.

    Today:Turn in Ch. 9. You will get it back before the end of class.Finish video on Thank you for SmokingGet out the questions for the video and your answers.If time permits; study for quiz next Tuesday.