Unit 3: Parties, Interest Groups, the Media • (Wilson 11-13, L & G 7-10)
Do Now: • What are to good things parties do? • The Bad • What would Washington Say? • Madison?
Parties: “What do ya wanna do tonight Brain” “Same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!” A political party tries to take over the government. This is the distinguishing feature. In other words Parties: seek to control the entire government by electing members to office - controlling government personnel. Interest groups: seek to influence government policy though parties.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTIES • Parties are “coalitions of individual with shared/overlapping interests who, as a rule, support one another’s programs/initiatives. Even though there may be areas of disagreements within each party, a common party label is itself a reason to cooperate” examples?___ • Parties are built in coalitions - thus reduce the time/energy/effort needed to advance legislation.
PARTY ORGANIZATION: • Parties are the ultimate example of a grass roots organization
PARTY ORGANIZATION:Committees: members of committees are elected by caucuses (meetings of party members) • National Convention: 1 every 4 years. Meeting to nominate president (although due to the growth of the primary system the convention is now more formality and media event) • Establishes platform (issues/stances pols will run on). The planks in the platform can be viewed as the different factions conditions for supporting the party. • Should be considered more internal. Because it often has a high level of detail that the majority of the country is unconcerned about (remember character over policy) • Rules: 1972 (D) adopted new rules requiring increased minority participation.
National Committee: Raise funds, coordinate campaigns, head of factional disputes, “spin” the media • National Chair appointed by President • If other party is Pres. Committee selects • Congressional Campaign Committees: Raise Money for Candidates in their house (C. Schumer is head of Senate Dem’s - well not anymore). • House & Senate Committee’s usually at odds. WHY? Both trying for money from same sources • The new trend is for the parties to coordinate the activities of all elections committees (or at least to try).
State & Local Parties: Pretty much any election district will have a committee: State/state senate/assembly judicial district, city/ward; Congressional District • “Precincts” legally defined subdivisions, but not districts represented by an office-holder. • In the 19th century heads of precincts “captains or bosses” could hand out gov’t jobs in return for votes. With Cleveland’s Civil Service reform; much of this went away. Today Captains: recruit candidates, conduct voter reg. drives, fund candidates, facilitate get out the vote efforts. • Funding of Candidates: Nat’l parties have spending limits that do not apply to state parties. Each year the national committees transfer millions of dollars to state parties. The state party than support local and national candidates from this money. For this reason state & local parties are still important even though the patronage power is greatly diminished. • (Story p. 456 L & G).
THE AMERICAN 2 PARTY SYSTEM Parties are as old as the republic. Washington’s cabinet saw the founders of the Federalists (Hamilton - Sec of Treasury) and Democratic-Republicans (Jefferson -Sec. of State) sitting across the table from each other. While Washington tried to stay out of fractious, he tended to side more with Hamilton. • Internal Mobilization: political conflicts break out and government official and competing factions seek to mobilize popular support • External Mobilization: politicians outside the established gov’t framework develops and organizes popular support to win gov’t power. • BE SURE TO READ THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN YOUR TEXT! Formation of parties:
AMERICAN 3RD PARTIES • 3rd Parties: represent social/economic protest that have not been given voice by the (D) or (R) • ex. Working Families (economic issues of working class), Marijuana Reform (single issue) • Don’t “waste” your vote • single member districts (instead of multiple member districts) means several individuals can be elected to rep. the district - greater possibility one will be from 3rd party. • Given Plurality instead of proportional system, if there are only 2 candidates a pol. must win 50% +1 of the votes cast.
ELECTORAL ALIGNMENTS AND REALIGNMENTS Electoral Realignment: The party in power is supplanted by a new party There have been 5 • Jefferson Dems. take control from Federalists - 1800 • Democrats dominate (Age of Jackson) - 1828 • Balance btwn Reps and Dems - 1860 • Rep. Dominate * 1896 • New Deal Dems sweep in (1932) • 6? Since 1968 Divided Government - usually Republican Pres or Conservative Dem and Dem. Congress. • 7? New Unification? 2001-2009 Republicans Dominate; 2009 - Dems in control
1828 1796 1856 1896 1932 1968 Reps (gain in South) vs Dems _________ Frequent Divided gov’t, increased ideological divisions between parties Reps identify with conservative position of Civil Rights (’50-‘60s) Dems champion women, minorities, gay rights 70s 80s Dems (working class, Catholics, South, expand nat’l gov’t vs Rep. (business, NE & Plains) Rep (nationalism/business) vs Dems (South) Crash of ’29 Dems and New Deal Rep (North & West States, nationalism) vs Dems (South, States rights/slavery Depression 1890 endangers People’s Party (that had supported Dems) strengthens Rep. Party Dems (populism & States’ rights) vs Whigs (elitism & nationalism) Kansas-Nebraska Act - Republican Party formed Federalists vs Dem-Rep (Staes’ Rights) Election 1824 - Age of Jackson
Why do Realignments occur? New issues combined with economic or political crisis persuade large #’s of voters to re-examine their traditional partisan loyalties and permanently shift their support from 1 party to another. What 2008 a realignment? 2010?
FUNCTIONS OF PARTIES- Parties: Provide candidates, get out the vote, facilitate mass electoral choice, influence government. • Recruit Candidates: Can be hard to do in an era of mudslinging, intense personal scrutiny (less of that today?). Hard if I know I’ll be will (what’s the name of the woman who ran against K. Gilibrant?) • Nominations: (“there can be only 1”) process of selecting single candidate to run. If there is competition inside the party, there needs to be processes for resolving conflict • Nomination by Convention: Caucus w/formal rules. Before 1830s main nominating process • Nom. by Primary Election: Election for candidates for the party. • Closed: only party members can participate (who wins/who losses? • Open: can vote in either primary regardless of your party. • Which is NYS? Why?
Self-declaration or support by “independent” party Petition filed, with min. # of signatures, as provided by law. Formal designation Position filled, with min, # of signatures as provided by law Primary election. Enrolled voters choose by secret ballot among 1 or more designated candidates. Results reported to county Board of Elections and sec. of State. Ballots printed and elections administered at gov’t expense. Declaration for party’s support. Informal designation, the result of a following among commit-tee members and delegates Convention/Caucus Delegates vote for candidates/party TYPES OF NOMINATING PROCESSES Which Route is most difficult; why (NYS rules p. 471 L & G) TRADITIONAL ROUTE PRIMARY ROUTE INDEPENDENT ROUTE
Who controls the nominating process: • Well, the party can create it’s own rules, and the state parties can also direct the process (note Iowa still uses caucus). Can a state party set it’s own exclusionary rules. Could a state party exclude african-americans? • Until a 1944 SCOTUS ruling they COULD! (which party did this? Which party of the country?)
FACILITATING MASS ELECTORAL CHOICE • Party Identification: The creation of “us” & “them” (remember our video of diff. btwn liberals & conser.) enables voters to see choices and enable coalitions to easy policy changes. Despite what Washington wanted, if parties didn’t exist; we’d need to create them. • Parties that are out of power tend to have greater cohesion (discipline) - because they have to! When facing an opponent with superior institutional/economic power, you must stick together. • Also it’s easier to say what your against that what you are for. Health Care: Republicans are agains ACA. But what are they for? The answers is VERY diverse. (and no repeal does not answer the question).
Party Leaders don’t follow polls. They often develop policy that will increase the size of their party’s coalition. (Bush on Immigration; Obama on “Net neutrality” or [Health Care?].)
Congress: Congress uses the party system to organize itself (more on this later) Majority Party The party in control of Congress has the following power: • Elect Speaker of House (#? in the Presidential line of succession). Elect Senate Majority Leader (# What) • Control Committees: Legislation goes to a committee for shaping. The party that controls the committee has a lot of power in determining the bills that come out of committee. • Each party is assigned a quota for # of committee members - this is part of how I keep control of party members • Members vote on who will be chair of each committee (it is not automatic by seniority); another method of party control.
President: Is the party leader (appoints Chair of Nat’l Committee), Sets agenda - tries to expand the coalition (IE Reagan & the military, FDR & Social Security)
WEAKENING OF THE PARTY SYSTEM: What do the Progressive Movement & Watergate have in common? • Australian Ballot; How? • Civil Service Reform; How? • Direct Election of Senators; How? • Reducing power of committees & chairmen; How? • Changing media; How? • Eroding confidence in gov’t (1960s on - slight increase recently); How?
Technology also weakens Parties (Strengthens Candidates) see what the people think - not just the elites • Polling - • Broadcast - • Phone/eMail Bank - • Direct Mail - • Prof. Public Relations - • Internet - Go to the people directly and change their mind “personally” tailored message to people/voters; Raise FUNDS Communicate, “inform” Raise FUNDS Use “hired guns” instead of party volunteers/staff to run campaign Combine 2-4; to some degree #5 can be “crowd-sourced”
“Ground War” (face-to-face) vs “Air War” (broadcasts) • If I have $; I use broadcasting to gain momentum • If I have supporters I use them to build momentum (“talk to your neighbors”; “write a letter to the editor”; “canvass for me”, etc.
Parties in Politics Today • Strong parties can both encourage involvement & convert participation into policy • Candidate centered politics is often driven by low turnout (less legitimacy), high levels of special interest involvement, • What are the Effects?
“Liberty is to faction what air is to fire.” - Madison, Federalist 10.Interest Group: individuals/orgs. that share a common goal, joined together to persuade the gov’t to to adopt certain policies. What does that mean?
How can we deal with Bad interest groups: the KKK, criminal gangs, etc.? • “Take in a greater variety of parties and interest and you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. [hence the advantage] enjoyed by a large over a small republic.” - Madison Fed #10. • What’s Madison saying?
IF THERE ARE MANY FACTIONS - NONE WILL GAIN TYRANNICAL POWER.(Remember Pluralism from unit I?) - competition among many factions causes moderation as groups need to compromise and form coalitions in order to advance policy. • Does this model fit the current (D) & (R) parties? Are they Pluralistic? • What are some interest groups that work with (D) • With (R)
WHAT INTEREST ARE REPRESENTED? CHARACTERISTICS OF INTEREST GROUPS: For any group that is there is probably a group lobbying on it’s behalf: • Business (Chamber of Commerce, American Farm Bureau, Disney); • Labor (AFL-CIO, Teamsters), • Professional (Amer. Med. Assoc., Amer. Bar Assoc.); • “Public”/”Goo- Goos” (Nat’l Resources Defense League, Common Cause); • Public (Nat’l Assoc. of Governors, Nat’l League of Cities); • Research (Harvard, Brookings Inst. Amer. Enterprise Inst.) [Think tanks] • Lobbying can be perceived as so important - Harvard recently increased lobbyist while cutting faculty positions and increasing tuition.
ORGANIZATIONAL COMPONENTS: • Keep and attract members (1st job of any org is to perpetuate that org!) • Funding - usually dues + voluntary contributions for sympathizers • Leadership - how are decisions made? • Agency - how will decisions be acted upon? • effective example NRA (p. 198 L & G). - overthrow in 70s
CHARACTERISTICS OF MEMBERS: • People with higher incomes, managers/professionals are more likely to be members of an interest group. • As a result there tends to be a upper class bias to interest groups.
PROLIFERATION OF GROUPS: Over the last 40 years there has been an explosion of I.G.-WHY? • Expansion of role of gov’t (you’re involved w/me I’ll get involved with YOU!); EPA, Education funding, etc • new “public interest” groups (“New Politics”: environment, nuke disarm, women’s rights); sometimes we see private interests taking a “public interest” guise for better PR • revival of grassroots conservatism - the “Great Society” programs of LBJ, and Roe v Wade ignited a set of groups in favor of “family values” and “taxpayer rights”
STRATEGIES: QUEST FOR POLITICAL POWER Lobbying, establishing access to decision makers, using the courts, positive media coverage, electoral politics
Lobbying: • Establishing access to key decision makers.Lobbyists must register with Congress and disclose who they represent, and how much they are paid. But like anything else the Lobbying laws have loopholes, and not all “Lobbyists” Register. • Lobbyists might be loyal members of the organization or “hired guns” (L &G p. 507) [T. Dashale vs MADD mom] • Lobbies may also lobby each other to change their support/opposition to policy. (Cross Lobbying) • Reverse Lobbying: Policy makers might try to influence an organization to change its position.
The Iron Triangle in Defense “The emergence of an Iron Triangle was apparent very early in the relations of defense contractors and the federal gov’t. Defense contractors are powerful actions in shaping defense policy, acting in concert with defense subcommittees in Congress and executive agencies concerned with defense” - Pres. Eisenhower Congress House Nat’l Security and Senate Armed Services Comm., and Defense Appropriations Subcommittees; Joint Comm. on Defense Production; Joint Economic Comm.; Gov’t Operations Comm. House and Senate members from districts with interests in defense industry. Defense Contractors Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Nortrop-Grmman, McDonnell Douglas, Hercules, Electronic Boat Executive Agencies Dept. Defense, NASA, Dept. of Energy
Parties of War and Peace? the Defense Iron Triangle tends to favor (R); the Welfare/Regulatory Issue Networks (stakeholders groups instead of monolithic Lobby) tend to favor (D).
Influence Peddling: (note neg. slant) Those with access (former members of Congress Militrary Officals, Congressional Staff, etc.) move from government to private industry or to Law/Lobbying firms where they use their expertise and access to influence policy. Former Members of Congress retain some of their former privilege (access to dinning area for example). - • Every notice how defeated members of Congress/Senate stay in DC? • This is also how members raise $. Wanna Sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom (or get a signed 9/11 picture) it will cost you. Something from Obama anyone?
Litigation: • Bring suit directly • Finance someone else’s lawsuit • Amicus Curiae (“Friend of the Court”) Brief
Going: Before the 1930’s lobbies focused on Congress. After we see Lobbies addressing the public at large to reach Congress. • Advertising • Organizing Boycotts/rallies/sit-ins • Grassroots Campaign: Org. individuals to pressure their officials (much less expensive). • These organized “grassroots campaigns” aka Astroturf Lobbying (L & G 520-521)
Electoral Politics: • Help Candidates by: Raising $ (though PAC’s); campaign activism (‘going public”) • Political Action Committees - Allows groups or interests contribute to candidates - the limits for PACs are hire than those for individuals. - Which is it: • I give $ to those who agree with my position • You agree with my position because I give you money. • As with any chicken and egg - it can be hard to answer which came 1st. • Campaign Activism: Faction of the party need to be motivated Lobby/Interest Group leaders can provide the motivation needed to mobilize “the troops/base”
“In a democracy, to whom are the media accountable?”_____________What would Madison’s answer be? What’s yours? Is there “1 media” or “many mediums”?