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Interest Group Organization. Chapter 18, Section I Page 503. Interest Groups. A group of people who share common goals and organize to influence government. Power of Interest Groups.

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Interest group organization

Interest Group Organization

Chapter 18, Section IPage 503

Interest groups
Interest Groups

  • A group of people who share common goals and organize to influence government

Power of interest groups
Power of Interest Groups

  • “In no country of the world has the principle of association been more successfully used, or applied to a greater multitude of objects, than in America….In the United States associations are established to promote the public safety, commerce, industry, morality, and religion” – Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

Power of interest groups1
Power of Interest Groups

  • Defining Interest Groups

    • Interest groups support candidates who favor their ideas

    • Interest groups are concerned with only a few issues or specific problems

      • They do not try to gain the support of members with different points of view

    • Organized on the basis of common values

      • Not geographical areas

Power of interest groups2
Power of Interest Groups

  • Purpose of Interest Groups

    • Bridging the gap between citizens and the government

    • Citizens communicate their “wants” or policy goals through interest groups

Power of interest groups3
Power of Interest Groups

  • Political Power

    • Strength in numbers

      • “Local Safety Association”

    • Interest Groups on the state and national level exert influence far beyond the power of individual members

Leadership and membership
Leadership and Membership

  • Leaders keep members informed of group activity through newsletters, mailings, and telephone calls

  • They act as speakers for the group

  • They plan strategy, raise money, and make financial decisions

Reasons for membership
Reasons for Membership

  • A group may help promote and individual’s economic self-interest

  • An individuals beliefs, values, or attitudes

  • Nonpolitical, perhaps social function

Who belongs
Who Belongs?

  • People with lower socioeconomic levels are lesslikely to join such groups

  • Membership tends to come from upper income levels

Business and labor groups
Business and Labor Groups

  • Most common and effective

  • Business-Related Interest Groups

    • Among oldest and largest in the nation

      • NAM works to lower individual and corporate tax

  • Labor-Related Interest Groups

    • AFL-CIO (largest)

      • UAW, UMW, Teamsters

Agricultural groups
Agricultural Groups

  • Represent almost 6 million farmers

    • Amer. Farm Bureau Federation

      • Large farms

    • National Farmers Union

      • Smaller farmers – favor price supports

    • Commodity Associations

      • Dairy, potato growers, etc.

Other interest groups
Other Interest Groups

  • Professional Associations

    • ABA, AMA

  • Environmental Interest

    • National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club

  • Public-Interest Groups

    • Work towards the interest of ALL Americans

  • Interest Groups in Government

    • National Governors Association