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14 Cards in this Set

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Define Interest Groups
Group of people who organize to pursue a common interest and try to shape public policy by applying pressure on the political process
What are the three functions of Interest Groups? Explain the functions.
1.Symbolic - aren't looking for material benefits, but seeking recognition
i.Example: NORML - National Organization for Reformation of Marijuana Laws
2.Economic - seeking tangible benefits for their members
i.Example: AARP – seeks benefits for seniors
3.Ideological - focus on a single issue
i.Example: NRA - National Rifle Association - single issue focused on is protecting our right to bear arms
ii.Example: ACLU - Association for Civil Liberties Union - single issue focus (but has many different issues, primarily focuses on one issue at a time
What theory says interest groups and democracy are compatible?
Pluralist Theory
What is the Pluralist Theory? What are the reasons that support this theory?
The Pluralist Theory explains why Interest groups are good for Democracy.
i.They serve the public interest
ii.Because Elections don’t convey what people want in political policies – therefore policy objectives are communicated through Interest Groups
iii.People are free to join or implement interest groups
iv.They are easy to form – anyone can join
v.Our system is open to lobbying
1.Federalism
2.Separation of Powers
vi.All interest can be taken into account
What is Lobbying?
Lobbying is when individuals and Interest Groups pressure government to act in their favor
What are the two forms of Lobbying? Explain each.
1.Direct Lobbying – direct interaction with government officials
i.Example: Talking to a Senator about an issue
ii.Example: Amicus Briefs
2.Indirect Lobbying – Trying to get public support for your Interest Group
i.Example: Interest Groups putting out commercials and trying to influence people to enlist your support
ii.Example: Grass Roots Campaigns, Protests
What are the problems with the Iron Triangle?
1. Problems with the Iron Triangle
i. Assumptions?
ii. What roles are in the Triangle?
iii. The policy can never be changed because they have the money
iv. Self-serving and it only benefits a small group of people
v. Allows Interest Groups and not elected officials to make policy decisions
vi. Have to have money to make the policies in the Interest Groups
Why are Interest Groups successful?
1. Money
i. Money for Advertising
ii. Money for Campaign Support
iii. Money for Letter Campaigns
2. Clout
i. Name Recognition
ii. Historical Recognition
iii. Former success
3. Legitimacy
i. Example: Green Peace are portrayed as Radicals, therefore they have low legitimacy
4. Organization
i. How the IG is organized
ii. Is there a concise structure of Power
iii. How machine runs?
iv. Lots of bosses or …?
Explain the Federal Regulations of Lobbying Act
1946 Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act
i. Guidelines
1. Individuals or Organizations who receive money for lobbying must register as lobbyist
2. Lobbyists must reveal their personal financial information relating to lobbying
3. Lobbyists must make Quarterly Public Reports about their lobbying activity
• Must also disclose how much money they make
4. Non-compliance is punishable by a maximum of 5 years sentence
What case concerned the Federal Regulations of Lobbying Act? What was the outcome?
The Federal Regulations of Lobbying Act was challenged: US vs. Harris (1954)
1. Claimed that the Act violated our 1st & 14th Amendment Rights
2. Supreme Court found no violation, so the Act remained
Explain the Federal Election Campaign Act
Federal Election Campaign Act (1974) – FECA
i. Was aimed at restructuring the amount of money Interest Groups could donate to candidates running for President of Congress
ii. Guidelines
1. Must form Political Action Committees (PAC) if they intend on donating money to a political campaign
2. In order to qualify for a PAC, it must be comprised of a minimum of 50 volunteers (Unpaid, Volunteers!)
3. They must contribute Money to a minimum of 5 candidates per Election Cycle (in Primary Elections only)
iii. Changes made to FECA in 1995
1. Defined a Lobbyist as a person who spends 20% of their time to lobbying members of Congress
2. Lobbyists who earn a minimum of $5000 must register with in 45 days of making contact with a member of Congress
3. Must report Bi-Annually the nature of the Lobbying business
• Their Goal
• Their Purpose
• What they do
4. Tax exempt organizations, such as Religious Organizations or Not-For-Profit Organizations, are exempt from these requirements, but may only dedicate 5% of their budget or time to Lobbying efforts
Explain the 1995 Overhaul by Congress
Changes made to FECA in 1995
1. Defined a Lobbyist as a person who spends 20% of their time to lobbying members of Congress
2. Lobbyists who earn a minimum of $5000 must register with in 45 days of making contact with a member of Congress
3. Must report Bi-Annually the nature of the Lobbying business
• Their Goal
• Their Purpose
• What they do
4. Tax exempt organizations, such as Religious Organizations or Not-For-Profit Organizations, are exempt from these requirements, but may only dedicate 5% of their budget or time to Lobbying efforts
Define Political Parties
A broadly based coalition that attempts to gain control of government by winning elections
Trace the history of our political parties
History of Political Parties
a. Federalist Party
i. First Political Party
ii. They supported a strong National Government
iii. As the party grew stronger, oppositions arose by a new party (was NOT a split of Federalist Party)
b. Democratic-Republican Party
i. Formed in 1792
ii. Founded under Thomas Jefferson
c. Then Federalist … Don’t win Elections?
d. Anti-Federalist Party
i. They supported a strong State Government
ii. They died out
e. Democratic Party
i. Split into 2 parties
Democrats Whigs
• Common party for People
• Led by Andrew Jackson
• Oldest surviving Political Party in the World • Supported by wealthier group in society (bankers, farmers, merchants)
ii. The Whig party dies out
iii. In 1854, the Democratic Party splits over the Slavery issue – The split forms the following parties:
Democratic Party Republican Party
• Comprised of:
o Old Democrat members who support slavery • Comprised of:
o Old Democrat members who were against slavery
o Former members of the Whig Party
o Other small political parties
• Main goal was to abolish slavery
iv. 1860 Election
1. Slavery becomes the main issue of this election
2. Democrats had 2 candidates
3. Republicans had 1 candidate – Abraham Lincoln
4. Lincoln (R) won the election
a. Won by Electoral Vote but not by Popular Vote
b. Was the President during the Civil War