Chapter 9. Interest Groups. Interest Groups. Also sometimes known as factions, pressure groups, or special interests Has an organized membership and the pursuit of certain policy goals stem from the members’ shared interest. Interest Groups.
Also sometimes known as factions, pressure groups, or special interests
Has an organized membership and the pursuit of certain policy goals stem from the members’ shared interest
Must want to influence policy to be called an interest group
Political parties tend to address a broader range of issues
According to OpenSecrets.org the top sectors and their total spending on influencing policy between 1998 and 2006 are:
Often people do not join for political reasons but so they may not support certain political figures
Members drawn together by purposive incentives or opportunities to promote a cause in which they believe.
Have a harder time acquiring resources than economic groups
2. Ideological groups: have a broader agenda that comes from a philosophy or moral position (example: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Christian Coalition)
A growing group of interest represent governments that are both local, state and foreign
States, cities, and other government units within the U.S. lobby (37 governors have offices in Washington, DC)
Often try to include their views in the budgetary process
The Secretary of the US Senate and the Clerk of the US House of Representatives oversee federal lobbying. According to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, those offices are charged with providing guidance on lobbying disclosure, ensuring the timeliness and accuracy of required reports, and making those reports available to the public.
Organizations that employ lobbyists in house must register with Congress if their lobbying expenditures exceed $24,500 during a six-month period. Lobbying firms must file a separate registration – at least 45 days after first contact – for each client whose lobbying billings exceed $6,000 for a six-month period.
According to a Center for Public Integrity report, nearly 300 individuals and entities lobbied without filing proper registration forms.
Acquiring access (set meetings, dinners, etc)
Developing relationships with congress and the executive branch (through meetings, dinners, phone calls, happy hours)
Providing information and legislation
(most legislation often written by interest groups; congressional staffers reliant on good information)
Activating membership through grassroots pressure (grassroots initiatives)
Donating Campaign funds (individual donations and Political Action Committees or PACs)
Policies derived from interest groups often benefit many interests and sometimes even the collective.
If interest groups dictate policy, problems can occur.
Provide a voice for like-minded people, especially in a two-party system.