GOV AP Test Book: Interest Groups(ch 11) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in GOV AP Test Book: Interest Groups(ch 11) Deck (15):

Interest groups

a linkage that is a public or private organization, affiliation, or committee that has as its goal the spreading of its memberships view points
-lobby different levels of gov, attempt to appeal to a broad spectrum of political interest, policy experts


Interest group goal

Persuading public policymakers respond to the groups perspective
-interest groups goals are carried out by special interest in the form of lobbyists and PACs


Difference between interest groups and political parties

-interest groups DON'T nominate candidates for political office.
-their function is to INFLUENCE officeholders rather that end up as elected officials
-can make up own by-laws which govern the manner in which they run their organizations
-cuz major function of these groups is the advocacy or opposition of specific pub.policies, they can attract members from a large geo. area


helpful aspect of interest groups

-provide a great deal of specialized info to legislators
-provide additional check and balance to the legislative system
critics claim they are partly responsible for gridlock in gov


when a specialized group is formed, it also has internal functions such as attracting and keeping a viable membership by...

-making promises to their membership that they will be able to succeed it their political goals which will benefit the political, economic, or social needs of the members

--for group to succeed, must have an adequate financial base to est. effective lobbying efforts or create separate PACs (dues or fundraisers)


upper-class bias in interest groups?

yes, higher-income people can afford more organizational memberships than lower-income ones
-well-off ppl are more likely than poor to join and be active
-interest groups representing business and the professions are much more numerous and better financed that organizations representing minorities, consumers, or the disadvantaged


Most interest groups have hired lobbyist who make contracts w/ senators, representatives, and the executive branch. Many have separate PACs w/ well-financed budgets. They place their views on the political agenda by:

providing officials w/ research info
hiring lobbyist
giving senators and reps feedback from their constituents (voters)
working on campaigns of candidates
testify at congressional hearings
endorse candidates for political office


For lobbyist to be successful:

-knowing as much as possible about the political situation and the ppl involved
-being TRUTHFUL in the way you deal with people
-keeping the ppl you are trying to convince in your corner by telling them of the support they will receive if they agree to the position of the group


Negative publicity of Lobbyist (a political conflict of interest)

former gov officials who become lobbyist have been criticized cuz they can take unfair advantage of contacts they developed when they were in office


positive role of lobbyist

-play a positive role as specialists (ex. provide an expertise to congressional committees considering bills)
-lobbyist may also take legal action on behalf of the interest group
-may provide ratings of officials (assessments of a rep's voting record on important issues to an interest group)
-give political cues (a signal telling a legislator what values are at stake in a vote, and how that issue fits into his/her own political views on party agenda)


When an interest group gets involved directly in the political process, it forms separate PACs. These PACs...

raise money from the social interest groups's constituents and make contributions to political campaigns on behalf of the special interest


special interest public interest groups have been calling for reform and regulation of interest groups, lobbyist, and PACs because...

they maintain that these groups are dominated by the rich and ignore the needs of the poor. they accuse big business interests of dominating special interest and give examples of excessive amounts of money donated and the questionable trips and other perks given to officials.


An interest group is most likely to have influence in Congress with which situation?

Because of the nature of special interests groups, a narrowly scoped issue w/ low visibility has the greatest chance of lobbying success (calling attention to new issue)


A major reason for the proliferation (increase) of a special interest and lobby groups...

The reactive nature of interest groups and lobbyist to new issues


A significant amount of PAC money goes to...

candidates who hold incumbent (current holder of office) status