Interest Group • Organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals.
Why so many in the US? • Pluralism (Federalist #10) p.333 • Constitution allows it: a. 1st Amendment b. Federalism c. Bicameralism 3. Weak Political Parties
Why Join? • Solidary Incentive • Material Incentive • Purposive Incentive
How are interest groups important to a democracy? • Watchdog • Power to affect policy • Form of expression of views • Provide political tutelage – political elites for later • Provide info. for process – will be biased. • Voter mobilization • $ to keep the system running. • Political discussion – keep up the debate.
Types of Interest Groups • Economic • Business • Agricultural • Labor • Professional • Unions • Unorganized poor
2. Environmental 3. Public Interest 4. Other 5. Foreign Governments
What Makes it Powerful • Size and resources • Leadership • Cohesiveness
Strategies • Direct a. Lobbying b. Ratings game c. Alliances d. Campaign assistance (electioneering) * PACS e. Litigation 2. Indirect a. public pressure b. have constituents lobby c. other forms of pressure
Regulation of Lobbyists • 1946 Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act • 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act • 2017 Trump Executive Order
Want to control the govt. Put forth a candidate Concerned about all areas of policy Only interested in their area of policy Want to influence policy Support or try to hinder candidates Political Parties/Interest Groups