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17 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Definition of interest groups
A collection of individuals deliberately organized for the purpose of trying to influence government policies, programs, and specific actions.
"Producer interest groups"
Business and industry- groups representing, more specifically, interests of industries such as finance, insurance, real estate, and makers of very specific goods, or providers of specific services.

Agriculture-represent larger farming enterprises

Organized Labor-labor unions (and a great many of their members) will react as though their interests are closely tied to those of their employers!
"Consumer interest groups"
organized to promote and protect consumer interests in the market place and to foster improved consumer
Ralph Nader
The individual clearly most responsible for sparking both aspects of consumer-group activity
Common characteristics of interest groups
A relatively limited number of policy objectives at any one time

An active, dues-paying membership

A total number of members representing only a small fraction of the total adult population.

Exception: Labor Unions, NRA

Considerable intensity of feelings among groups members, about at least
one issue -- and usually more than one -- that is part of the group’s official concerns.

At least some degree of effective organization, internally -- the better organized a group is, the more likely it is to succeed (though that is not a guarantee!)
Features directly related to interest-group success
money and good judgement how to spend it, Political “savvy” knowing when, where, and by whom the truly important decision(s) are reached, credebility having reliable information
“Traditional” methods of interest-group operation
Direct face-to-face persuasion, Attempting to elect candidates, Information campaign/public relations efforts, Court litigation,
“Non-traditional” methods of interest-group operation
Violent direct action, Non-violent direct action,
Types of groups that use “non-traditional” methods
Less affluent groups
Politically weaker groups
Less well - organized groups Newer, less well-established groups, civil rights groups
Amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs
refers to a person who is not directly referred to in a court case
Example A v. B

Interest groups have used this increasing to influence the courts and get their position out there
Main perceptions and roles of Congress, as viewed by the authors of the Constitution
Designed to be the most powerful branch of government
Meant to be the main road block to the power of the chief executive
Personal and demographic characteristics of members of Congress
Most members have been native born us citizens
Historically most members of congress have been white, male, and some variety of protestant
Generalizations about congressional committees
All committees include both Republicans and Democrats
proportion of Republicans and Democrats on each committee must be roughly the same as the proportion of each party’s members in that chamber of Congress; for example, if the Senate has a Republican majority of 55-45
Sources of influence within Congress (specialization and seniority)
Senate adopted seniority in the late 1800s, and the House (after a major revolt against a particularly dictatorial Speaker) dropped the appointment system in favor of seniority in 1911.
Background and dynamics of the seniority system
to elect powerful committee chairmen (and chairmen were very powerful people) would have meant intense and lasting conflicts; using seniority instead means that there will be much less conflict at the start of each session of Congress.
How members of Congress decide to vote on legislation
Party membership and partisan influences (in Congress)
The nature of the constituency, and influences from the “folks back home”
Political philosophy or ideology
senate, in order to kill a bill, as long as they
cloture vote 60 senators vote to kill it