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Texas Politics Today, 11th Edition


They sway politics by influencing the voters to sympathize with their views and ... blurring of lines between involvement in state politics and interest groups ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Texas Politics Today, 11th Edition

Texas Politics Today, 11th Edition
  • Chapter 5
  • Interest Groups

Interest Group
  • Meaning of an Interest Group
  • Influencing Government (directly)
  • Influencing Government (indirectly)
  • Support of Interest Groups
  • Factors of Interest Group Power
  • Lobbying (Regulation, Craft)

Meaning of an Interest Group
  • Definition volunteer organization designed to
    create awareness of a specific issue
  • Examples include NAACP, NRA, NORML, LULAC, TBA,
    and AMA.
  • They sway politics by influencing the voters to
    sympathize with their views and by arranging
    meetings with elected officials to discuss their

Direct Government Influence
  • Lobbying Legislative and Executive Branches
  • Contact with these groups to influence a policy
  • Legislative branch gives discretion to executive
    branch, allowing policy to be set, and also
    allowing interest groups to influence the
    executive branch.
  • Filing Suit in Court
  • Less expensive than influencing legislature
  • More favorable interpretation of the law than by
    going through enforcing agency
  • To delay implementation of rules or law
  • Constitutional challenge if the political battle
    was lost

Direct Government Influence
  • Advising and Serving the State
  • Government-appointed boards must include members
    from professions of the issue at hand.
  • These people exercise power as state officials,
    and are often members of interest groups.
  • Co-optation blurring of lines between
    involvement in state politics and interest groups
  • Public Demonstrations
  • Marches and demonstrations are used to create
    publicity for their issue.
  • This pressures the state in their favor.

Indirect Government Influence
  • Electioneering
  • Endorsement of a sympathetic candidate outside
    the interest group
  • PAC gives donations to candidates for campaigning
  • Educating the Public
  • Public relations used to build positive
    reputations for their organization and those the
    organization supports
  • Socializing
  • Lobbyists invite public officials to establish
    positive relationships and connections
  • Access to public officials is the key to
    influencing public decisions
  • Public demonstrations not required if a
    friendship is built with public officials

Support of Interest Groups
  • Joining Interest Groups
  • Most joiners lack status, knowledge, political
    skills, and money to be independently pursuing
    their goals
  • Career and social goals are also advanced due to
    the network created between people of similar
  • Provides source of information within a field of

Interest Group Support
  • Types of Interest Groups
  • Economic business and professions seeking
    advantages for its members. Advocates of
    decentralization of state government. Pro-labor.
  • Noneconomic seek betterment of society as a
    whole, including environmentalists, political
    reformers, and patriotic and civil groups
  • Mixed advocates of social equality,
    anti-discrimination groups

Factors of Interest Group Power
  • Party Competition strong party competition
    usually means weak interest groups, since parties
    have to appeal to the majority of population to
    be successful. The parties have to tackle major
    goals and issues for success, which reduces the
    need for interest groups to bring light to these
  • Decentralization of Executive Branch Power
    Executive power fragmented between political
    offices and commissions, increasing the
    vulnerability of these officials and commissions
    to the power of interest groups. May result in
    little regard for public interest.

  • Law Laws regulate the relationship between
    officials and interest groups
  • The Media broadcasts the actions of elected
    officials and transfers mood of general public
    back to those officials. The media promotes open
    meetings and records to destroy corruption
  • Constituent Influence Representatives always
    have to answer to those who elect them, so they
    must follow their needs and opinions. The
    struggle for influence comes when the region has
    no general consensus.

  • Interest Groups Checking Interest Groups On
    major issues, many interest groups cancel out the
    influence of others. On smaller issues, the
    competition is less, or nonexistent, balancing
    the scheme of influence.
  • Campaign Contributions corporations and
    political action committees influence nominated
    candidates to gain their favor should they win
    office. The reason is reciprocation once the
    official is elected.

Lobbying and Regulation
  • Registration and Report of Lobbying Costs This
    is required if the donors are reimbursed for
    their expenses by another lobbyist, including
    organizations who donate more than a certain
    amount to a candidate. Individual volunteers are
    not registered unless they spend over a quota.
  • What a Lobbyist Must Report to whom he/she
    lobbies for, information about clients and
    employers, the policy area concerned,
    compensation and reimbursement categories, and
    name and information of anyone who assisted
    through direct contact with public officials.
  • These reports are available to the public.

The Craft of Lobbying
  • To the Legislature lobbyists must learn who is
    taking what sides and who is undecided, memorize
    the faces and information of these members, and
    know the legislative issues at hand. Then, they
    must build a friendship among these people, and
    grant them recognition.
  • To Administrative Agencies Lobbyists read the
    Texas Register to hear about upcoming
    announcements, then mobilize. Those in charge of
    administration use their clientele, who can
    influence the agency.
  • To the Courts Groups can influence judicial
    decisions through campaign contributions as state
    judges run for election. This weakens a judges

Power Within Interests
  • The large interest groups are the most noted by
    those in politics.
  • Interest power is determined by how much public
    officials need the group.
  • 2/3 of registered groups represent business.
  • Umbrella organizations, massive junctions of
    corporations of similar views, help lobbyists
    with influence.
  • Medias viewpoint sways population, which sways
    the elected representatives.
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