The Role of Interest Groups

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Transcript The Role of Interest Groups

27J: Recognize the importance
and influence of special interest
groups and lobbyists on the
legislative process,
understanding the purpose and
function of lobbyists and
interest groups, the way they
achieve their goals, and the
laws that govern them.
By: Lauren Kwak and Ashley Kennedy
The Role of Interest Groups
Seek to influence the
making and content of public
The first amendment
guarantees the right to
Interest groups are made
up of people who unite for
some political purpose.
Difference between political
parties and interest groups:
Interest groups do not
nominate candidates for
public office.
Interest groups are primarily
concerned with controlling or
influencing the policies of
government while political
parties are interested in
winning elections and
controlling the government.
Interest groups concentrate
on the issues that most
directly affect its members
while political parties
concentrate on a wide range
of public affairs.
Interest groups are private
organizations while political
parties are accountable to
the public.
The Valuable Functions of
Interest groups:
They help stimulate interest
in public affairs.
They represent their
members based on shared
attitudes rather than
They provide useful,
specialized, and detailed
information to the
They are means through
which like-minded citizens
can take action.
They keep track of the work
of various public agencies
and officials in order to make
sure they perform their tasks
in responsible and effective
Since the interest groups
compete with one another,
there is a limit on the lengths
to which some groups might
otherwise go to seek their
Criticisms of Interest Groups:
Interest groups are very
The size of the interest groups
is indirectly proportional with the
influence they have on society.
Some interest groups have
titles that falsely suggest that
they consist of a large
number of people.
Many groups do not
represent the views of the
people they claim to be
Often, these groups will use
tactics such as bribery or
threats of revenge to achieve
their goal.
Types of Interest Groups
Business Groups:
The two best known
business organizations are
the National Association of
Manufacturers, and the
Chamber of Commerce of
the United States.
NAM represents 14,000
firms. It speaks for “big
business” and public affairs.
The Chamber of Commerce
is a major voice for the
nation’s thousands of small
businesses and individuals.
McCain: That's It for Comments
on Female Lobbyist
Trade Associations
Within the business
community, there are
hundreds of trade
For example, American
Bankers Association,
National Restaurant
Association, etc.
Although Business Groups
have common interests, they
often disagree and quarrel
among themselves.
Labor Groups
A labor group is an
organization of workers who
share the same type of job or
work in the same industry.
16 Million Americans belong
to labor unions
The largest labor union is
the American Federation of
Labor-Congress of Industrial
Organizations (AFL-CIO)
There are 13 Million
Labor unions speak with
one voice on social welfare
and job related matters.
Agricultural Groups
Includes several broad
based farm groups
The American Farm Bureau
is the largest and most
effective farm group with
over 5 million members. It
favors the free market
economy and opposes
government regulations.
Professional Groups
Include occupations that
require extensive and
specialized training.
3 major groups: The American
Medical Association
(physicians), The American Bar
Association (lawyers), and the
National Education Association
Public Interest Groups
Seeks to institute certain
public policies to benefit
most people in the U.S
whether or not they support
the organization.
Focus on roles that all
Americans share
Influencing Public Opinion
Supply public with
information that an
organization thinks the
people should have.
To build a positive image for
the group.
To promote a particular
public policy.
An example of a lobbyist win
It is the technique of
persuasion aimed at
influencing individual or
group behaviors.
The more controversial or
less popular a group’s
position is, the more
necessary the group’s
propaganda campaign
Influencing Parties and
Interest groups try to
influence the behavior of
political parties by securing
the support of both parties
and/or urging their members
to become active in party
Example of lobbyist website
It is activities by which group
pressures are brought to
bear on legislators, the
legislative process, and all
aspects of the public-policymaking process.
Lobbyists try to persuade
legislators to share their
points of view.
Their effectiveness depends
on how well they know
governmental procedures
and how experienced they
are in being politely
Lobbyists try to maintain a
good image to keep their
credibility in good standing.