Interest groups in texas
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Interest Groups in Texas. GOVT 2306.

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Interest Groups in Texas

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Interest groups in texas

Interest Groups in Texas

GOVT 2306


Interest groups in texas

Along with political parties, interest groups are private organizations that attempt to influence public policies. But they do so without seeking public office, so they do not have to deal with the electoral rules that condition the nature of political parties.


Interest groups in texas

Rather than only having two major political parties, there are thousands of groups in the state that focus on the needs of discreet, isolated groups within the state. In addition, there are national interest groups within the state that tie the interests of state residents with those of the nation as a whole.


Useful external reading texas politics interest groups

Useful External Reading: Texas Politics: Interest Groups


Also from the texas tribune topics interest groups

Also, From the Texas Tribune TopicsInterest Groups


What are interest groups there are many definitions here s one from the encyclopedia britannica

What are interest groups?There are many definitions, here’s one from the Encyclopedia Britannica.


Interest groups in texas

“interest group, also called special interest group or pressure group,  any association of individuals or organizations, usually formally organized, that, on the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to influence public policy in its favor.”


Interest groups in texas

James Madison noted the tendency of people to form groups, as well as the fact that in a free society these groups must exist, and will be clustered around the various interests that exist in society at any moment in time. He called them factions. Here is his definition of factions:


Interest groups in texas

“By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a 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 community.”


Interest groups in texas

This is a critical point: Interest groups exist because the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees both the right of people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Interest groups in texas

One quick point however: Madison doesn’t say anything about what these factions would actually look like. Todays interest groups are organized groups with staffs and funding sources, not ad-hoc groups.


Interest groups in texas

There are a large number of interest groups in Texas. Generally we assume that the number of interest groups that exist in the state corresponds to the number of interests that exist in the state.


This reflects the concept of pluralism

This reflects the concept of pluralism.


Interest groups in texas

Interest groups are a consequence of individual freedom.But they can pose a major problem for democracies.


Interest groups in texas

Madison warned against the evolution of majority factions since they could turn democracies into tyrannies. He suggested that large number of interests would divide these majority groups into smaller segments and make majority tyranny less likely to occur.


But this comes at a price

But this comes at a price


Interest groups in texas

The more interest groups that exist, the less dynamic government can become. A minority group “may clog the administration” and “convulse the society.” Either option is better than tyranny, but it does have consequences.


1 it can lead to gridlock 2 it can lead to unresponsive government

1 - It can lead to gridlock2 – It can lead to unresponsive government


Interest groups in texas

The principle problem is that connected groups may be able to establish politics that benefit them and make it difficult for those policies to be changed. This can make it difficult for changes to be made since those changes might jeopardize the benefits already received by groups.


Interest groups in texas

Mancur Olson, in a book entitled the Rise and Decline of Nations, argued that as societies develop, strong special interest lobbies evolve that make them less efficient and dynamic.


Interest groups in texas

“The thesis of this brilliant book is that the longer a society enjoys political stability, the more likely it is to develop powerful special-interest lobbies that in turn make it less efficient economically.”


Interest groups in texas

Jonathan Rauch builds on this idea and calls it Demosclerosis.He argues that the rise of interest groups has led to a type of paralysis in government. Demosclerosis is democratic government's progressive loss of the ability to adapt.


Interest groups in texas

Once programs are established, groups that benefit from them coalesce around the programs and do what they can to keep it in place as is. Any change can jeopardize their interests.


Interest groups in texas

As we will see below, interest groups (the good ones) are able to cobble relationships with the principle actors involved in a program that benefits them, and this is the mechanism that enhances and maintains their interests.


Next topic

Next Topic


What kinds of interest groups exist

What Kinds of Interest Groups Exist?


Interest groups in texas

There are many ways to categorize interest groups – no one is necessarily better than any other. Its not like our ability to categorize governing institutions into those that are legislative, executive, or judicial in function.


For lists you might want to look at these tannahill cliff s notes x roads pearson

For lists you might want to look at these: - Tannahill- Cliff’s Notes- X-Roads- Pearson


Interest groups in texas

They types of interest groups that exist mirrors they types of interests that exist in the state – and by extension the nation.


Interest groups in texas

Tannahill’s list is typical, he cites the following: Business Groups and Trade AssociationsProfessional AssociationsOrganized LaborAgricultural GroupsRacial and Ethnic Minority GroupsReligious Groups


A simpler way to approach this question is to divide groups into these two types public and private

A simpler way to approach this question is to divide groups into these two types: public and private.


Interest groups in texas

The simple difference between the two is that public groups address issues that are common to everyone (like clean air and education) while private groups address issues that benefit their members (like business and professional organizations and labor unions).With that in mind: all groups like to argue that the benefits they receive will at least indirectly benefit the public welfare.


An example of a texas public interest group environment texas

An example of a Texas public interest group: Environment Texas


Interest groups in texas

An example of a Texas private interest group:Texas Business AllianceWhich some argue may be the most powerful interest group in the state.


Sometimes drawing a precise distinction between public and private groups is difficult

Sometimes drawing a precise distinction between public and private groups is difficult.


Interest groups in texas

Texans for Lawsuit Reform can be considered to be both a public interest group and a private group. Limits on lawsuits are argued to enhance business opportunities and the jobs that come with it, which benefits the overall economy, but it provides specific benefits for businesses that engage in enterprises that make them subject to lawsuits.


Interest groups in texas

Why does this distinction matter? Because it tells us something about the dynamics of group formation, even though we are a majoritarian democracy, the larger groups may be less powerful than the smaller groups.


What do interest groups do here are four things

What do interest groups do?Here are four things:


Interest groups in texas

1 - Organize individuals with similar interests 2 - Organize electoral competition 3 - Organize government 4 - Link the state and local political system to the national political system.


Let s look at each in turn

Let’s look at each in turn:


1 organize individuals with similar interests

1 - Organize individuals with similar interests


Interest groups in texas

While people may have a shared interest in some matter, that is seldom enough. Interest do not speak for themselves. There has to be an organized method in place to represent those interests. But this can be difficult to do.


Interest groups in texas

Problem: Not all interests are easily converted into groups.Not every group can easily overcome the free rider problem.


Interest groups in texas

Here’s the basic question presented by the Free Rider Problem:Why work for collectively for a groups’ goals if you will benefit from it even if you don’t do any work? If the benefit can’t be separated between those who contribute and those who do not.


If you ve ever tried to organize a group of people you know this

If you’ve ever tried to organize a group of people you know this.


Interest groups in texas

There is little need to join a group, if you will benefit from the group’s efforts even if you do not contribute. But if everyone thinks this way, the group will not form, and its objectives will not be reached.


For a more thorough definitions of the free rider problem stanford

For a more thorough definitions of the Free Rider Problem: Stanford


Interest groups in texas

In order for a group to be formed, there has to be a driving force making it happen. A political entrepreneur has to develop incentives for people to join the group. They have to convince members to avoid the temptation to free rider.


Political entrepreneur

Political Entrepreneur


Notable policy entrepreneurs richard mellon scaife james leininger

Notable Policy Entrepreneurs:Richard Mellon ScaifeJames Leininger


Interest groups in texas

This person has to figure out how best to overcome the free rider problem that prevents individuals that have a common interest from working together to achieve that interest.


Interest groups in texas

Olson pointed out that these individuals provide selective benefits to individuals that they would not be able to get if they were not members of the group and did not participate to further the group’s objectives. A selective benefit is a reward or punishment that fosters cooperation among a group of people who might otherwise free ride.


There are four basic types of selective incentives material purposive solidary informational

There are four basic types of Selective IncentivesMaterialPurposiveSolidaryInformational


Interest groups in texas

MaterialMembers are encouraged to join because they will receive material benefits if they do so. Jobs or business opportunities for example.


Interest groups in texas

PurposiveJoining the group helps one advance a grand “purpose” such as cleaner air, greater public morality, or some other intangible reward.


Interest groups in texas

SolidaryJoining the group puts one in touch with other, similarly minded people. Social options increse


Informational the group makes its members privy to information they cannot get elsewhere

InformationalThe group makes its members privy to information they cannot get elsewhere.


Interest groups in texas

Material interests tend to be the most effective for organizing people. This makes sense if you think about it. People are more likely to be motivated by something that profits them than by other concerns.


2 organize electoral competition

2 - Organize electoral competition


Interest groups in texas

Interest groups become heavily involved in election campaigns in order to gain access to officeholders after the election.


Interest groups in texas

Members of groups want to be seen as being central supports of members of Congress and the executive branch because that makes it more likely that they will invited to help craft the legislation and rules that will affect them.


Interest groups in texas

If the group is not especially wealthy, they can rally supporters to assist the election. The term used for this is “electioneering.”


It allows entry for an interest groups lobbyists

It allows entry for an interest groups’ lobbyists.


3 organize government

3 - Organize government


Interest groups in texas

A key goal of interest groups is to establish connections with people in each of the branches of government.Ideally they forge relationships with the various institutions that have some authority around a defined policy area.


Sub governments iron triangles the texas star

Sub-GovernmentsIron TrianglesThe Texas Star


Since the judiciary is elected judges can become part of sub governments in the state

Since the judiciary is elected, judges can become part of sub-governments in the state.


4 link the state and local political system to the national political system

4 - Link the state and local political system to the national political system.


Interest groups in texas

Since Texas is in a federal system, relationships sometimes also have to be established with the national government.


Interest groups in texas

How influential are interest groups in Texas?According to this table, there are five options.Texas is dominant / complimentary


Interest groups in texas

According to the table contained here, there are five levels of strength that interest groups have in the states. Interest groups in Texas are dominant complimentary.


The free rider problem

The Free Rider Problem


Interest groups in texas

Because of the free rider problem, it is easier for interest groups to form around private goods than public goods.


Interest groups in texas

Not all groups are equally capable of being organized successfully.Private groups that can provide material incentives to potential members are more likely to form effective groups.


Examples business groups professional associations labor unions

Examples:Business GroupsProfessional AssociationsLabor Unions


Interest groups in texas

Ironically – given that we live in a majoritarian democracy – larger groups can be less effective. They are more difficult to organize and are more likely to suffer from free ridership.


This includes the poor students children consumers etc

This includes the poor, students, children, consumers, etc….


In addition not all groups are likely to be politically engaged

In addition, not all groups are likely to be politically engaged.


What do interest groups do to promote their interests

What do interest groups do to promote their interests?


Getting involved in elections voter guides issue advertisements campaign contributions

Getting involved in electionsVoter GuidesIssue AdvertisementsCampaign Contributions


Here s a list of voter guides from interest groups in texas complied by project vote smart

Here’s a list of voter guides from interest groups in Texas complied by Project Vote Smart.


Interest groups in texas

This helps establish relationships with elected officials and makes it more likely that the group will receive favorable treatment from each branch.


Interest groups in texas

In Texas, the Governor is responsible for appointing the members of approximately 125 multimember boards and commissions. These boards and commissions, some with broad policy mandates, make public policy on the often narrowly defined issues around which organized interests are likely to form. Consequently, organized interests, including businesses, associations, lobbying groups, and law firms, seek policy making appointments for their representatives in these government agencies. – source.


Lobbying

Lobbying


Lobbying refers to

Lobbying refers to …..


Types of lobbyists contract in house

Types of lobbyists contractin-house


The typical lobbyist makes more money than a typical member of the texas legislature

The typical lobbyist makes more money than a typical member of the Texas Legislature.


Ex members of the legislature and other top government officials can become successful lobbyists

Ex-members of the legislature, and other top government officials can become successful lobbyists.


Petition drives

Petition Drives


Public demonstrations

Public Demonstrations


Media campaigns

Media Campaigns


Attending public meetings

Attending Public Meetings


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