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Interest Group Organization

Interest Group Organization

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Interest Group Organization

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  1. Interest Group Organization Chapter 18, Section IPage 503

  2. Interest Groups • A group of people who share common goals and organize to influence government

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Reasons for Membership • A group may help promote and individual’s economic self-interest • An individuals beliefs, values, or attitudes • Nonpolitical, perhaps social function

  9. Who Belongs? • People with lower socioeconomic levels are lesslikely to join such groups • Membership tends to come from upper income levels

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. What are the characteristics of selected interest groups?