For the purpose of establishing a common understanding, an interest group is a linkage group that is a public or private organization, affiliation, or committee that has as its goal the dissemination of its membership's viewpoint.
persuading public policymakers to respond to the group's perspective will be the result.
Lobbyists and political action committees carry out the interests' goals.
They can take on an affiliation based on specialized memberships.
Political parties and interest groups are both characterized by group identification.
Interest groups don't nominate candidates for political office.
They are only responsible for a very narrow constituency because their function is to influence officeholders rather than elected officials.
Interest groups can make their own by-laws, which govern how they run their organizations.
The major function of these groups is the advocacy or opposition of specific public policies, which can attract members from a large geographic area.
The criterion for joining the group is that the person has the same interests and attitudes.
These groups give a lot of specialized information to legislators in order to persuade them to vote for them.
Group advocates claim to provide a check and balance to the legislative system.
Critics of the growth of specialized groups say they're partly to blame for the government's inability to work together.
Critics point to the way in which groups gain access to elected officials as a tradeoff for political contributions.
A specialized group has internal functions such as attracting and keeping members.
Groups accomplish this by making promises to their membership that they will be able to succeed in their political goals, which in the end will benefit the political, economic, or social needs of the members.
When federal law dictates a national minimum drinking age in return for federal aid to states for highway construction, people feel a political and social sense of accomplishment.
For these groups to succeed, they need an adequate financial base to establish effective lobbying efforts or create separate political action committees.
Dues can be charged or held.
The elected officers of the organization will be responsible for their membership.
Over 13,000 corporations are represented by the National Association of Manufacturers.
It was able to organize its members to fight for the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Special interest groups are encouraged by the group theory of modern government.
The importance of group theory will help explain the context in which special interest groups develop because the nature of group membership is not representative of the population as a whole.
Many groups have members with higher than average income and education levels and people who are white-collar workers.
There are many groups that represent the interests of union members and blue-collar workers.
You will have a better understanding of group dynamics when we look at the group theory again.
pluralist, majoritarian, and elite are possible types of group activity.
A centrist position results from a more balanced representation of the group.
Group behavior is defined as coming from an upper class.
We can argue that many interest groups are elitist because of their membership characteristics and that there are so many competing groups that can cause gridlock in government, but these groups often compete with each other in a way consistent with pluralism.
Let's describe the characteristics of each of the theories as they relate to special interest groups.
The resources of one group will affect governmental policy when competing groups have developed political strategies to achieve their goals.
Large groups will have the most influence when it comes to money talks.
Direct democracy that relies on majority rule defeats the idea of a representative form of government.
The model can result in a violation of minority rights.
A majority rule approach to government can only work on a limited basis.
James Madison was the author of the paper.
The suspicion of special interest groups goes back to the early days of the republic.
The development of factions was an inevitable feature of society according to Madison.
He didn't make the argument that they should be abolished because he was afraid of their potential.
He believed that the separation of powers of the three branches of government would give the government enough authority to protect and regulate these interests.
The formation of political parties gave rise to an additional balance to the formation of private interest groups, many of which were economically based during the early stages of our country's existence.
Shays' Rebellion was one of the first examples that Madison felt was potentially dangerous.
Daniel Shays organized a group of unhappy farmers.
They took up arms because they were frustrated with their attempts to get relief.
The revolt failed after Shays was arrested.
The First Amendment gave legitimacy to the formation of special interest groups after the Bill of Rights was added.
Their right of free assembly, free speech, and free press seemed to create a validity for group formation.
Taken together, groups felt they could associate with each other, free from government interference, and try to influence the course of public policy.
According to their function, interest groups are categorized.
They all want to make their viewpoints part of the political agenda.
As interest groups have grown, they have become specialized, representing various concerns.
The majority of these groups have headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Lobbyists make contact with senators and representatives as well as the executive branch.
Many political action committees have well-financed budgets.
The legislative process can be helped by all these groups and techniques.
They give elected officials a base of support and a viable strategy.
These groups have the ability to give elected officials a different perspective on a problem.
Special interest groups put their goals on the table before other people.
Lobbyists help interest groups advance their causes.
Lobbyists are used to foster a special interest group's goals.
The term comes from people who are waiting in the lobbies of legislative bodies for senators and representatives to come and go from the floor.
The best ways for a lobbyist to be successful are outlined in the books.
Lobbyists have attracted negative publicity, which has taken a toll on their image.
When they were in office, former government officials can take advantage of their contacts and become lobbyists.
An additional accusation has been made against government appointees who were lobbyists but still have a relationship with the special interest group they worked for before getting the position.
Lobbyist Jack Abramoff was found guilty of illegal lobbying practices.
Lobbyists play a positive role as specialists.
Lobbyists provided expertise to congressional committees when tax reform was being considered.
Lobby coalitions can be formed when important legislation is being considered.
Lobbyists can take legal action for the interest group.
They may be part of a class action suit.
Many third-party briefs were filed in cases such as Brown v Board of Education.
Lobbyists can give ratings to officials.
Americans for Democratic Action and the American Conservative Union give ratings based on political ideology.
Lobbyists and special interest groups use the media.
Lobbyists for Mobil ran ads that looked like columns to explain their point of view during the energy crisis.
Political action committees are formed when an interest group gets involved in the political process.
Contributions to political campaigns are made on behalf of the special interest by these PACs.
Over the last few elections, the amount of money contributed has been staggering.
The National Rifle Association, the American Bankers Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association, the Black Political Action Committees, and the Council for a Strong National Defense have made major contributions to political campaigns.
The next five largest contributors were the United Parcel Service, the Democratic Republican Independent Voter Education Committee, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League, and the Association of Trial Lawyers.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Committee on Political Education, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners, the United Auto Workers Voluntary Community Action Program, and the National Education Association PAC gave $1 million each.
The amount of money given to congressional campaigns by political action committees has gone up.
Contributions to candidates for the House and Senate increased from 1981 to 1982 as compared to 1999-2000.
Even when they were not facing opposition, senators and representatives received hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Charles Rangel was given more than $300,000 from political action committees for an election campaign in 1988 when nobody was running against him.
The FBI investigated an accusation that foreign money was involved in political donations.
China tried to influence elections.
Billions of dollars were raised by congressional candidates in the 2010 election.
Senate candidates raised $350 million dollars in 2006, up 15 percent from 2002, while House candidates raised $544 million, up 18 percent from 2002.
In 2010, congressional candidates raised over $2 billion.
Money and perks given to legislators and candidates for office lead to calls for campaign finance reform.
Common Cause and the Center for Independence in Politics have been calling for reform of interest groups, lobbyists, and political action committees.
They say that these groups are dominated by the rich and ignore the needs of the poor.
They accuse big business interests of dominating special interests and give examples of the excessive amounts of money donated and questionable trips and perks given to officials.
Special interest groups have a legitimate right to exist and do their business.
They have the right to pursue their interests if they don't break the law.
Most recognized groups don't cross the line and there are few documented cases of corruption.
Legislators must accept the bill of sale presented to them in order for an interest group to succeed.
The National Rifle Association's membership consists of a small percentage of the American public.
Because of its image, the public is aware of its stance, and polls show that many people support its position.
The success and failure of interest groups, lobbyists, and PACs depends on their public image and their ability to influence the outcome of public policy.
A good example of how a special interest group can influence public policy is the National Rifle Association.
The political influence of the NRA has been felt by both parties.
Democrats voted for the assault weapons ban in 1994.
The Republicans took control of Congress because of this.
The assault weapons ban was signed into law by President Clinton, but the law was not renewed in 2004.
The Supreme Court ruled that Washington, D.C. did not have the right to ban handguns.
If you look at their website, you will see their extensive outreach program.
There are a lot of attempts by special interests to control the policy agenda.
When the system works, compromise and bipartisanship happen.
Special interests are called to task when the system breaks down.
Madison's concern about groups is debatable.
They are part of the political process.
They rely on them more than elected officials.
If the Congress passes an assault weapons ban, the NRA may not be able to stop it.
There is a conflict of interest that arises.
Running a candidate would only attract a small segment of the electorate because a special interest group is usually interested in a specific issue.
Special interest groups can't give money to federal judges.
The correct answer is choice B.
Whether it is abortion, guns, or a general category of supporting labor or business interests, these groups still recruit membership from the sphere they are trying to influence.
To say that interest groups try to attract diverse memberships is not true.
Some students may be thrown out because of Supreme Court decisions.
The exception is that some interest groups are getting more donations from their members.
It doesn't follow that more interest groups would form if there is an increased demand for campaign reform.
Choice C is not seen by the public and interest groups do not run their own members for political office.
The best chance for success is if the elected official agrees with the position of the special interest group or has a constituency who is against the issue being discussed.
It's rare for money to be invested in candidates who will vote against the position the PAC is taking.
People who think that every woman has the right to have an abortion will look for pro-choice groups, while people who think that every woman has the right to have a gun will look for a group like the NRA.
The major function of Choices A and B is to endorse candidates.
Funding is not their primary function.
A special interest group can only attract narrowly based memberships, so choice E is incorrect.
Lobbyists are not allowed on the floor of Congress.
Some individuals have abused the system and been accused of ethical malfeasance.
Special interest groups, lobbyists, and political action committees play different roles in the political process.
You will have to record your responses on paper.
Lobbyists and political action committees are usually formed through a common interest.
These groups try to advance their goals through political means.
Lobbyists are used to enhance a special interest group's goals through government officials, while committees that become directly involved in the political process are referred to as PACs.
The three groups have different goals and duties.
The public views these groups in a negative way because of the variety of tactics they use.
Lobbyists and political action committees are the ones who carry out these interest groups' goals.
Special interest groups are formed by the members of a common interest.
They only concentrate on one issue and have a very focused constituency.
Special interest groups can attract a lot of people from large sections of the United States.
The social, economic, and political needs of their members are helped by internal functions such as promises of succession.
A federal law that created a national minimum drinking age is an example of a special interest group that has benefited socially and politically.
A more powerful group that can have a great impact on public policy can be created by special interest groups.
Lobbyists are the next step in forming a powerful group.
Legislators see lobbyists as the people who write letters to congressmen and voice support for or against a particular issue.
Lobbyists use a variety of techniques.
Knowing as much as they can about the political situation and the people involved, being honest with the people they deal with, and understanding the goals of the group are some of the techniques used.
The National Rifle Association threatened a Florida senator's seat when the Crime Bill came up for a vote.
Lobbyists rely on their public image and their ability to influence public policy to succeed.
Political action committees raise money and make contributions to political campaigns.
Corporations were not allowed to form political action committees until the Federal Campaign Act of 1971 was passed.
The lifting of the prohibition against using corporate money to set up political action committees paved the way for trade associations and corporations to play a bigger role in politics.
FECA brought about a dramatic change in the way political money is raised and fostered an enormous growth in the number of political action committees involved in active politics.
Over the last few elections, the amount of money raised has been excessive.
Over $5 million has been given to individual political campaigns.
Most of the money given to congressional candidates in 2000 was to incumbents.
For giving an example of a tactic used by special interest groups, lobbyists, and political action committees, one point is earned.