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THE PLURALIST BATTLE A Theoretical Look at the Critiques and Defenses of Interest Group Power

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Title: THE PLURALIST BATTLE A Theoretical Look at the Critiques and Defenses of Interest Group Power


1
THE PLURALIST BATTLEA Theoretical Look at the
Critiques and Defenses of Interest Group Power
  • Jared N. Lyles
  • Senior Capstone Political Science
  • Dr. Jeremy Lewis

2
Outline
  • I. Introduction
  • II. Literature survey and the critiques of
    pluralism
  • Madison, Marx, Weber, Olson, and
    Schattschneider
  • III. Literature survey and the defense of
    pluralism
  • Bentley, Truman, Berry, Dahl, Domhoff, and
    Mahood
  • IV. The modern critique of the pluralist battle
  • V. Conclusion

3
Introduction
  • The pluralist battle began with Federalist 10 by
    James Madison
  • The debate consists of two highly polarized
    sides defenders and critics of pluralism
  • Evolution of the pluralist battle into todays
    political society

4
Literature SurveyCritiques of pluralism
5
Literature SurveyDefending Pluralism
6
The Pluralist Battle TodayResearch
  • Citizen.Org Reports
  • Two case studies of interest group power
  • Federal Election Commission Studies
  • PAC and party fundraising
  • The Candidate as a Campaign Spectator
  • How the candidate has lost power to the special
    interest groups
  • Buying Time Moneyed Interest and Mobilization
    of Bias
  • The effects of special interests during the
    committee stage

7
Auto Industry Case Study
  • Auto safety legislation born out of the
    Ford/Firestone rollover crashes
  • Would require companies to recall defective
    vehicles and alert government about defects
  • 5 senators, who were recipients of auto industry
    money, put a freeze on the legislation
  • Auto Industry pushed through much weaker bill
    that gave even more secrecy and protection to the
    auto industry

8
Asbestos Legislation Case Study Overview
  • Samuel Heyman and the GAF Corporation
  • Fairness in Asbestos Compensation Act
  • What the bill would do and how GAF would gain
    from the passage
  • How the bill would effectively achieve this end
  • Examples of the relationship between the money
    contributions and the support of the bill

9
Asbestos Legislation Case Study
  • 13 House sponsors received 1,000 within 2 days
    to 4 months of sponsoring the bill
  • 50 of Heyman contributions went to individuals
    with access to influence on bill
  • Gave 40,000 to DSCC, which is chaired by the
    ranking Democrat on the committee
  • In total, 110,000 went to members of the
    committee handling the bill

10
Decrease in The Number of PAcs
  • Number of PACs, 1990
  • 4,193
  • Number of PACs, 1995
  • 3,982
  • Number of PACs, 2000
  • 3,706

11
Rise of Pac fundraising
  • Contributions to Individ.
  • 167 million, up from 134.3 million
  • Total Disbursements
  • 357.7 million, up from 279 million
  • Total Receipts
  • 430.6 million, up from 344.5 million
  • Data from 9/00 FEC Study

12
Rise of party fundraising
  • 1992 Election Cycle
  • Dem.- 191.8, Rep.- 316.1
  • 1994 Election Cycle
  • Dem.- 170.2, Rep.- 276.2
  • 1996 Election Cycle
  • Dem.- 332.3, Rep.- 548.7
  • 1998 Election Cycle
  • Dem.- 244.9, Rep.- 404.6
  • 2000 Election Cycle
  • Dem.- 513.0, Rep.- 691.8
  • Data from 1/01 FEC Study

13
The Power of Money
  • Candidate as a Campaign Spectator
  • Money from large interest groups has begun to
    have several affects on the campaigns and the
    candidates.
  • Buying Time The Mobilization of Bias
  • An alternative look at the impact and importance
    of money in the political process.

14
Campaign Finance Reform
15
Decline in Voter Turnout
  • 1960 62.8
  • 1992 55.2
  • 2000 51.0
  • Information from Committee for the Study of the
    American Electorate

16
Organizational Involvement-Education
  • Perct. of people involved in organizations that
    take political stands
  • 8th Grade or Less 10
  • Some High School 24
  • H.S. Graduate 42
  • Some College 51
  • College Graduate 65
  • Some Grad School 70
  • Grad. School Degree 82

Source Crotty, Schwartz, and Green.
Representing Interests and Interest Group
Representation. University Press of America,
1991. P. 76.
17
Organizational Involvement - Income
  • Percent of people involved in organizations that
    take political stands by income
  • Less than 15,000 29
  • 15,000-24,999 39
  • 25,000-34,999 51
  • 35,000-49,000 56
  • 50,000-74,999 57
  • 75,000-124,999 72
  • 125,000 or more 77

Source Crotty, Schwartz, and Green.
Representing Interests and Interest Group
Representation. University Press of America,
1991. P. 76.
18
Conclusion
  • Most of the current state of the American
    political system lends support to the arguments
    of the pluralist critics
  • Some still argue that interest groups serve to
    educate and activate the public
  • The Madisonian Dilemma still exists
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