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Interest Groups in Public Policy

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Interest Groups in Public Policy. The Influence Game. Pluralism. Political Arena is a 'marketplace' of competing ideas ... Contributions & Party Preference by ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Interest Groups in Public Policy


1
Interest Groups in Public Policy
  • The Influence Game

2
Pluralism
  • Political Arena is a marketplace of competing
    ideas
  • Interests within the public organize themselves
    into groups
  • Politics competition among organized interests
  • Not the public at large

3
Pluralism (Lasissez-faire)
  • Interests within the public organize themselves
    into groups
  • Interest groups are temporary
  • Only exist to service a need
  • Membership is open and fluid
  • Interest groups compete for resources, claims on
    government
  • Competition is open, fair, and dynamic
  • Government acts as an honest mediator

4
Pluralism (Lasissez-faire)
  • Role of Government (1)
  • Interest Group Intermediary
  • Government as referee
  • Public Interest
  • reconciliation of competing claims
  • Good Public Policy
  • Most acceptable/least objectionable policies to
    majority of interests
  • Government legitimizing of claims by certain
    interest groups shapes public understanding
  • Government defines the public interest by action

5
Pluralism (Lasissez-faire)
  • Role of Government (2)
  • Net Benefit Maximizer
  • Government uses procedural expertise to maximize
    net benefits among all claimants
  • Public interest
  • Most efficient use of public resources
  • Good Public Policy
  • Most efficient policies
  • Government valuation and action shapes public
    understanding of tradeoffs, relative worth, etc.

6
Pluralism (Corporate)
  • Interests within the public organize themselves
    into groups
  • Interest groups are permanent
  • Membership is specialized and stable
  • Certain interest groups acquire controlling power
    in specific policy areas
  • defects in political marketplace
  • Collusion among interest groups to establish
    turf
  • Parts of government (bureaucracy) are captured by
    special interests
  • Financial, human, and technical resources
    influence

7
Pluralism (Corporate)
  • Technical expertise of interest groups creates
    natural alliance with government agencies
  • BLM ? Cattle Grazing Association
  • FAA ? airline industry

8
Pluralism (Corporate)
  • Role of Government
  • Agent of Special Interests
  • Public Interest
  • Defined by special interests within policy area
  • Good Public Policy
  • Whatever serves special interests
  • What is good for business is good for America

9
Corporate Interest Groups
  • Industry Trade Groups
  • National Mining Association
  • American Farm Bureau
  • National Homebuilders Association
  • Blue Ribbon Coalition
  • Hierarchical structure with small powerful
    leadership group
  • Little Public Accountability
  • closed decision making
  • legal protections/limited liability
  • corporate secrecy
  • Goal Advance Industry interests
  • Narrow industry focus
  • Span Jurisdictions State, National,
    International Corporate Actors

10
Public Interest Groups
  • Public Membership
  • Open Decision-making
  • Broad missions
  • USPIRG
  • Consumers Union
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Specialized PIGs
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Urban Coalition

11
Modes of Influence
  • Lobbying
  • Campaign Contributions
  • Information (Reports, studies, etc.)
  • Personnel
  • Public Relations

12
What Lobbyists Do
  • Meetings with lawmakers, legislative staff,
    agency officials and staff
  • Develop a relationship with staff
  • Providing analysis and information to committees,
    legislative offices, and executive agencies
  • Testifying in committee
  • Providing research and information to bureaucracy
  • Negotiating with policy makers and other lobby
    groups

13
Outside Lobbying Activity
  • Media activity including news conferences,
    editorial board visits, and assisting reporters
    with stories
  • Local lobbying visits by constituents to their
    legislators
  • Building broad and diverse coalitions
  • Letter writing campaigns to legislators
  • Grassroots activity such as rallies, etc.

14
Lobbying Expenditures Vs. Campaign Contributions
15
Political Action Committees (PAC)
  • Organized interest group for the purpose of
    funding political campaigns
  • Single-issue groups
  • Opposite of political parties
  • Finance candidates and parties
  • Money comes from individual members, not PAC
    treasury
  • Sponsor Create Info-campaigns
  • Negative campaigns

16
PAC Growth Numbers
17
PAC Growth in Contributions
18
of PAC Contributions Going to Incumbents 1998
19
PAC Contributions Party Preference by Industry
millions
20
Top PACs
http//www.opensecrets.org/pacs/topacs.asp
  • Who gives to whom?
  • Controls of PAC financial influence

For ease of identification, the names used in
this section are those of the organization
connected with the PAC, rather than the official
PAC name. For example, the "Coca-Cola Company
Nonpartisan Committee for Good Government" is
simply listed as "Coca-Cola Co."
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