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Interest Groups in America


I became a lobbyist for the South African diamond industry in ... but banned soft money contributions to national ... American politics can best be ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Interest Groups in America

Interest Groups in America
Federalist Paper 10 James Madison
Patrick Henry and others the U. S. was too
large to be effectively governed by a strong
central governmenttyranny would ensue Madison
wrote Federalist 10 as a counter
Factions are political parties or interest
Interest Groups in America
Among the numerous advantages promised by a
well-constructed Union, none deserves to be
more accurately developed than its tendency to
break and control the violence of faction.
By faction, I understand a number of citizens,
whether amounting to a majority or minority of
the whole, who are united and actuated by some
common impulse of passion, or of interest,
adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to
the permanent and aggregate interests of the
Interest Groups in America
Federalist Paper 10
The latent causes of faction are thus sown in
the nature of man and we see them everywhere
brought into different degrees of activity,
according to the different circumstances of
civil society. . . . A zeal for different
opinions concerning religion, concerning
government . . . an attach- ment to different
leaders. . . have, in turn, divided mankind
into parties, inflamed them with mutual
animosity, and rendered them much more disposed
to vex and oppress each other, than to
cooperate for their common good.
Interest Groups in America
But the most common and durable source of
factions has been the various and unequal dis-
tribution of property. Those who hold, and
those who are without property, have ever formed
distinct interests in society. . . .
Cannot remove the causes of faction Embedded in
human nature Only way remove liberty . . .
relief is only to be sought in the means of
controlling its effects.
Interest Groups in America
If a faction consists of a majority?
Either the existence of the same passion or
interest in a majority, at the same time must be
prevented or the majority. . . must be rendered,
by their number and local situation, unable to
concert and carry into effect schemes of
oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity
be suffered to coincide, we well know, that
neither moral nor religious motives can be
relied on as an adequate control.
Interest Groups in America
Is a pure democracy the answer?
. . . a pure democracy . . . can admit of no
cure from the mischiefs of faction. A common
passion or interest will, in almost every case,
be felt by a majority of the whole a
communication and concert, results from the
form of government itself and there is nothing
to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker
party, or an obnoxious individual.
Interest Groups in America
Differences between a democracy and a republic
First the delegation of the government in a
republic, to a small number of citizens elected
by the rest secondly, the greater number of
citizens, and greater sphere of country, over
which the latter may be extended.
Interest Groups in America
Main advantage of a republic over a democracy
Representatives are a chosen body of citizens,
whose wisdom may best discern the true interest
in their country, and whose patriotism and love
of justice, will be least likely to sacrifice
it to temporary or partial considerations.
Interest Groups in America
What can deter that advantage?
On the other hand, the effect may be inverted.
Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices,
or of sinister designs, may by intrigue, by
corruption, or by other means, first obtain the
suffrages, then then betray the interests, of
the people.
Interest Groups in America
Federalist Paper 10
Today political parties dominate voting in
Congress as opposed to each individual
representative voting based on his/her
conscience or the good of all the people
A common complaint today among people is the
power of special interests and special interest
Sometimes, the Courts and their rulings
have tended to favor minority factions over the
will of the majority (as depicted in opinion
Interest Groups in America
Hey, who can tell me what an interest group is?
Interest groups are organized groups that are
typically a minority. They usually have intensely
held concerns about issues pertinent to their
Interest Groups in America
Oh, many, many things. They provide a way that
the views of certain groups can be represented in
political decision-making. Simoncini will tell
you some ways on the next slide.
So what do interest groups do?
Interest Groups in America
Here are some of those ways
They organize groups who share a concern or
several concerns
They provide a means of political participation
They supply information to the public and to
policy makers
Interest Groups in America
As your textbook indicates, pluralist political
scientists see interest groups not as a problem,
but as an additional tool of democratic
Pluralist American politics can best be
understood in terms of the interaction,
conflict, and bargaining of groups.
Interest Groups in America
What do pluralist political scientists say are
reasons that Interest groups are important
instruments in maintaining democracy and aiding
the public interest?
Free elections are not enough to adequately
communicate to political leaders the specific
wants and interests of the people on a
continuous basis. Interest groups can do that.
Interest Groups in America
Interest groups are easy to create Government
power in the U. S. is broadly dispersed,
leaving governmental institutions remarkably
porous and open to the entreaties of the many
and diverse groups that exist Interest groups
can allow all legitimate interests in society
to have their views taken into account by some
public official
Interest Groups in America
Now, our text tells us that there Are private and
public interests.
Private organizations and associations that try
to gain protections or material advantages from
government for members
Public advocates for a cause or ideology
Interest Groups in America
Here are some examples of general categories of
private interest groups.
Trade associations
Labor Unions
Interest Groups in America
Also professional groups such as the American
Bar Association
Not THIS type of bar, Norm, he means the
association of American lawyers.
A BAR association??? Hey! I want to join that!!!
Interest Groups in America
Hey, students. What is an advocacy group?
An advocacy group is an interest group
organized to support a cause or ideology.
Interest Groups in America
Advocacy groups like The American Legion
The Mexican-American Legal Defense and
Education Fund
National Organization For Women
Interest Groups in America
Also public advocacy groups such as
The Sierra Club
Center for Auto Safety and Public Citizen led by
Ralph Nader
Interest Groups in America
Also public advocacy groups such as
The National Rifle Association
Interest Groups in America
Public interest groups
Tax exempt groups
The Boy Scouts of America
The American Cancer Society
The American Heart Association
Interest Groups in America
Foreign Policy Interest Groups
Council on Foreign Relations
The American-Israel Political Action Committee
Interest Groups in America
Government Interest Groups
National Governors Association
National League of Cities
National Education Association
Interest Groups in America
Oh DO behave!!! Here are some groovy facts about
interest groups that might interest you.
In the United States
112,611,029 households 4,611 political action
committees (1 Jan 2012) 5,945,274
corporations 16,300,000 labor union members
Interest Groups in America
Here are some more GROOVY facts!!!
In the Washington, DC area there are 12,192
lobbyists, 35,000 people who try to affect
government policies, and about 260,000 people
who work in the lobbying sector. The majority
of lobbyists are lawyers or former legislators
or legislative staff members 2008 3.3
billion spent on lobbying the U. S. Congress
Interest Groups in America
Hey, how do interest groups work?
Well, the main thing that they do is to influence
government leaders to enact laws or appropriate
money to help the cause of their interest. One
thing they do is endorse candidates for office.
Interest Groups in America
So, who can tell me the definition of endorsement?
I can, David. After all, I did get a few during
the 2008 election campaign. An endorsement is a
public declaration of support for a candidate or
Interest Groups in America
OK, Senator. Ill buy that. Who can tell me why
the endorsement of an interest group is important?
Thank, Mr. Vice President, but who can give me a
definition of single-issue voting?
Because, David, many members of interest groups
practice single issue voting.
Interest Groups in America
Let me take that one, Joe. David, many people of
an interest group vote for or against a candidate
simply because of his or her views on one or more
issues of great concern to the group.
OK, Ms. Palin. But are endorsements and
single-issue voting the only things that interest
groups do?
Interest Groups in America
Ill answer that, Dave, and the answer is NO! In
fact, the most important thing interest groups do
on a continuing basis is lobbying, which is
trying to persuade government policy makers to
make particular decisions regarding legislation.
Interest Groups in America
Thanks, Michelle, but where the term lobbying
comes from?
Hey, Daveit goes back to the 1830s when people
waited in lobbies of government buildings to talk
to legislators.
Interest Groups in America
And, Dave, today, lobbyists work for interest
groups and political action committees in
Washington and all state capitals. They provide
information about issues, sometimes give gifts or
money to the re-election campaign funds of
political leaders, and do their best to show
elected leaders that it is in their best interest
to support the desired policies of that interest
Interest Groups in America
Mr. President, why are there so many
interest groups?
Well, Dave, the First Amendment guarantees
citizens freedom of speech, assembly and
petition. Also, because of our form of
government, officials are relatively accessible
to interest groups. Also, there is no dominant
center of decision-making.
Interest Groups in America
Senator, what is disturbance theory?
Dave, its a theory that says that interest
groups originate with changes in the economic,
social, or political environment that threaten
the well-being of some segment of the population.
Interest Groups in America
Senator, as you know, lobbyists are really
salespeople for interest groups, except most of
them are lawyers. Many are also former
legislators. They also tend to be very well
paid. In addition to providing information, they
often also actually write bills that Members of
Congress present for consideration by Congress.
Interest Groups in America
So, Mr. President, is that the reason why we
have so many earmarks?
First off, David, lets define an earmark. It is
setting aside money in annual appropriations
bills for pet projects for constituents and
private interests. And the answer to your
question is a definite yes!
Interest Groups in America
And, students, today, there are laws that limit
what lobbyists can do, particularly in
Washington. For example, former Members of
Congress cannot lobby in Washington for one year
after leaving office. Also, there are strict
limits on money and gifts that lobbyists can give
as well as entertainment they can provide.
Interest Groups in America
Good points, Mr. Vice President. Heres an
example of amounts of money some interest groups
Interest Groups in America
The Inside Game
Lobbyingpolitics of insiders and the old boy
One-on-one persuasion
Inside lobbyists are often former legislators
who try to get the decision maker to understand
and sympathize with the groups point of
viewbest in narrow and technical issues and
its done outside the public view
Interest Groups in America
The Inside Game
Career civil servants and political appointees
have great latitude because Congress often
legislates broad policies, leaving it to the
Executive branch to fill in specifics. Interest
groups can convey technical information,
present results of research, help public
officials deflect criticism, and show what the
group wants is compatible with good public
Interest Groups in America
The Inside Game
Regarding the courts, attorneys for lobbies can
file Amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs.
In those cases, lobbies are not parties to
suits, but file an argument in support of one
side or the other in the hope of swaying the
views of a judge, justice or a group of judges
or justices in hopes that rulings will help
their lobby in the future
Interest Groups in America
The Outside Game
Interest groups try to mobilize grass roots
support and public opinion and bring them to
bear on public officials
Pre-printed letters from Interest Groups
Interest Groups in America
Representational inequalities not all segments
of society are equally represented in the
interest group system especially tilted toward
big business
PAC political action committee Private
organization Raise and distribute funds to
Soft Money general public education voter
registration, voter mobilization
Interest Groups in America
Key terms
Iron Triangle an enduring alliance of common
interest among an interest group, a
congressional committee, and a bureaucratic
agencythe goal is to advance and protect
government programs that work to the mutual
benefit of its members
Interest Groups in America
Key terms
Issue networks are coalitions that form around
different policy areas that include a range of
public and private interest groups and policy
experts as well as business representatives, bure
aucrats and legislators. These are more fluid
than iron triangles
Interest Groups in America
Independent expenditures money spent on behalf
of candidates by interest groups individuals
who are not connected with the candidates
campaign organization. Example Gray Daviss
organization ran anti-Riordan ads in the 2002
Republican primary election The Swift Boat
Veterans For Truth ran anti-Kerry ads in 2004.
Interest Groups in America
Students, I am former Nevada Governor and
senator, Paul Laxalt. I was part of the
revolving door a former government official
who became a lobbyist. I became a lobbyist for
the South African diamond industry in
Washington. I had not dealt much with that
industry while a senator (the true definition of
a revolving door), but I still became a very
well-paid lobbyist.
Interest Groups in America
With regard to soft money, Senator Russ Feingold,
a Wisconsin Democrat and I, an Arizona
Republican, sponsored the Bipartisan Campaign
Reform Act of 2002, which was aimed at banning
soft money in federal elections.
Interest Groups in America
Thats right, John. Our law enhanced the
importance of 527 organizations groups that can
collect and spend money without legal limits to
advocate for and against issues. Unfortunately,
most have evolved as efforts to support or
attack candidates or parties.
Interest Groups in America
Our law placed no limits on how much money can
be contributed to 527 organizations, but banned
soft money contributions to national party
committees. So, large amounts of unregulated
money has flowed to 527s.
Interest Groups in America
Here is an example of the worst of the Inside
Gamea lobbyist gone bad.
Jack Abramoff