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Interest Groups Interest Groups How Interest How Interest Groups Work Groups Work
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Interest Groups How Interest Groups Work. Interest Groups Generally employ 4 strategies for accomplishing their goals.

Dec 16, 2015

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Horatio Chapman
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  • Slide 1
  • Interest Groups How Interest Groups Work
  • Slide 2
  • Interest Groups Generally employ 4 strategies for accomplishing their goals
  • Slide 3
  • Interest Groups: Strategies (1) lobbying (2) electioneering (3) litigation (4) appealing to the public for support
  • Slide 4
  • Lobbying Attempt to influence government policies
  • Slide 5
  • Lobbying Term was originally used in the mid 17 th century to refer to a large room near the English House of Commons where people could plead their cases to members of Parliament
  • Slide 6
  • Lobbying In the early U.S. history, lobbyists traditionally buttonholed members of Congress in the lobbies just outside the chambers of the House or Senate
  • Slide 7
  • Lobbying In the 19 th century lobbyists were seen as vote buyers who used money to corrupt legislators
  • Slide 8
  • Lobbying Today lobbying is regarded less negatively, but the old stereotypes still remain
  • Slide 9
  • Lobbying Today, lobbyists influence lawmakers and agency bureaucrats in many different ways than cornering them outside their work places
  • Slide 10
  • Lobbying Some of their activities include: Contacting government officials by phone or letter
  • Slide 11
  • Lobbying Meeting and socializing at conventions Taking officials to lunch Testifying at committee hearings
  • Slide 12
  • Lobbying Members of Congress have learned to rely on lobbyists for information and advice on political strategy
  • Slide 13
  • How effective is lobbying?
  • Slide 14
  • Lobbying Lobbying clearly works best on people already committed to the lobbyists point of view, so much of it directed at reinforcing & strengthening support
  • Slide 15
  • Electioneering In order to accomplish their goals, interest groups need to get & keep people in office who support their cause
  • Slide 16
  • Electioneering Another important part of the work that interest groups do
  • Slide 17
  • Electioneering Many groups aid congressional candidates sympathetic to their interests by providing money for their political campaigns
  • Slide 18
  • Electioneering Today PACs do most of the electioneering
  • Slide 19
  • Electioneering As campaign costs have risen, PACs have helped pay the bills About of the members of the House of Rep get the majority of their campaign funds from PACs
  • Slide 20
  • Electioneering PACs overwhelmingly support incumbents Although.. they sometimes play it safe by contributing to the campaigns of challengers as well
  • Slide 21
  • Electioneering Incumbents, however, have voting records to check & also are likely to be reelected Most candidates, including incumbents, readily accept PAC money
  • Slide 22
  • Litigation If interest groups cannot get what they want from Congress, they may sue businesses or federal government for action
  • Slide 23
  • Litigation Environmental groups have used this tactic successfully to force businesses to follow government regulations
  • Slide 24
  • Litigation Even the threat of lawsuits may force businesses to change their ways
  • Slide 25
  • Litigation Lawsuits were used successfully during the 1950s civil rights groups
  • Slide 26
  • Litigation Civil rights bills were stalled in Congress
  • Slide 27
  • Litigation So...interest groups, such as the NAACP, turned to the courts to gain a forum for: (1) desegregation (2) equal housing (3) labor market equality
  • Slide 28
  • Litigation Influence groups may influence decisions by filling amicus curiae (friends of the court) brief
  • Slide 29
  • Litigation Consist of written arguments submitted to the courts in support of one side of a case or the other
  • Slide 30
  • Litigation In particularly controversial cases, many briefs may be filed on both sides of the issue
  • Slide 31
  • Litigation For example: In the case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke Case challenged affirmative action programs as reverse discrimination
  • Slide 32
  • Litigation Over a 100 different groups filed amicus briefings
  • Slide 33
  • Litigation Groups may also file class action lawsuits Enable a group of similar plaintiffs to combine their grievances into a single suit
  • Slide 34
  • Litigation A famous example is: Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka in 1954
  • Slide 35
  • Litigation Case not only represented Linda Brown in Topeka, Kansas, but several other children with similar situations around the country
  • Slide 36
  • Appealing to the Public Interest groups may best influence policy making by carefully cultivating their public image
  • Slide 37
  • Appealing to the Public Labor groups may want Americans to see them as hardworking men & women.. The backbone of the country
  • Slide 38
  • Appealing to the Public Farmers may favor an image that represents old-fashioned values of working close to the earth in order to feed everyone else
  • Slide 39
  • Appealing to the Public Groups that suffer adverse publicity often advertise to defend their products
  • Slide 40
  • Where Do Interest Groups Get Their Money? Most interest groups have to work hard to raise money But.. individual membership organizations have more trouble than most
  • Slide 41
  • Where Do Interest Groups Get Their Money? In addition to dues collected from members, groups receive from 3 important sources: (1) Foundation grants (2) Federal grants (3) Direct solicitation
  • Slide 42
  • Foundation Grants Public interest groups particularly depend on foundation grants
  • Slide 43
  • Foundation Grants Funds established usually by prominent families or corporations for philanthropy
  • Slide 44
  • Foundation Grants Rockefeller Family Fund almost single-handedly supports the Environmental Defense Fund
  • Slide 45
  • Foundation Grants Bill & Linda Gates Foundation supports many endeavors, including childhood immunizations, public education
  • Slide 46
  • Federal Grants Grants that are not granted directly to organizations for lobbying purposes But.. may be given to support a project an organization supports
  • Slide 47
  • Federal Grants Reagan administration reduced grants to interest grants Partly because much of the money was going to liberal causes
  • Slide 48
  • Direct Solicitation Most groups rely heavily on direct mail to solicit funds
  • Slide 49
  • Direct Solicitation By using computers, groups can target selected individuals identified by lists developed by staff or purchased from other groups
  • Slide 50
  • Direct Solicitation Most groups maintain websites that encourage visitors to contribute to their causes
  • Slide 51
  • Effective Interest Groups Many factors contribute to the success of an interest groups
  • Slide 52
  • Effective Interest Groups (1) Size (2) Intensity (3) Financial resources
  • Slide 53
  • Revolving Door Interest groups are often criticized for a type of interaction with government known as the revolving door
  • Slide 54
  • Revolving Door Through this practice government officialsboth Congress & executive agenciesquit their jobs to take positions as lobbyists or consultants to businesses
  • Slide 55
  • Revolving Door Many people fear that the revolving door may give private interests unfair influence over government decisions
  • Slide 56
  • Revolving Door For example: if a government official does a favor for a corporation because he/she is promised a job after leaving government, then the official is not acting for the good of the public
  • Slide 57
  • Revolving Door How widespread is this practice? Does it compromise the governments ability to act only for the public good?
  • Slide 58
  • Revolving Door The evidence is uncertain There are high-profile cases of individuals who used their government position to leverage work in the private sector
  • Slide 59
  • Revolving Door Businesses argue that former government officials seldom abuse their jobs while in office, and that there is nothing wrong with seeking advice form those who have been in government
  • Slide 60
  • Revolving Door According to this point of view, former government officials should be able to use their expertise to gain employment in the private sector
  • Slide 61
  • Interest Groups So, are interest groups contributors or distracters from the government process?
  • Slide 62
  • Interest Groups Do they help or hind the government in making good decisions that benefit citizens of the country?
  • Slide 63
  • Interest Groups Does our system of checks and balances work well in keeping the influence of particular groups in proportion to that of others?
  • Slide 64
  • Interest Groups Whatever your point of view, it is clear that interest groups have had a long-lasting influence on the American political system AND.. THEY SHOW NO SIGNS OF WEAKENING NOW OR IN THE NEAR FUTURE