Understanding Interest Groups and Business Organizations
This article explains the different types of organizations, including interest groups and business groups, that advance and protect their members' interests and influence public policy.
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2. Organizations composed of individuals who share one or more interests in common and who have formed an association for their purpose of advancing or protecting their interests
3. Parties Similar views on most issues Broad coalition of members Affect policy by getting people elected to office Interest Groups Similar views on one or a handful of issues Narrow focus Affect policy through access and lobbying
4. Business groups- largest and most powerful of interest groups that represent large business corporations, chambers of commerce, small business National Association of Manufacturers American Petroleum Institute-represents 400 oil and gas corp. US Chamber of Commerce: 3 million businesses, 2,800 state chambers,
5. Campaign for workers issues like minimum wage, workplace safety, industry protection from overseas competition AFL-CIO-88 unions and trade groups United Auto Workers Union National Education Association Teamsters Union
6. Farm groups that lobby for farm subsidies, environmental issues, genetic engineering American Farm Bureau Association In 2005, over $25 billion paid out
7. Groups that represent occupations that require some special training (question: what do they lobby for?) AMA-American Medical Association ABA-large and well- funded group representing lawyers
8. Elderly Foreign governments AARP-powerful lobby for people over 55 with a lot of clout on issues like Social Security and prescription drugs. Seniors vote in large numbers
9. Consumer Groups: Naders Raiders Womens Groups: NOW Religious Groups Environmental Groups: Audubon Society, Sierra Club
10. National Rifle Association: very rich and powerful Abortion: Operation Rescue, Planned Parenthood Civil Rights: NAACP, LULAC (a group rising in importance as the Hispanic population grows) PETA
12. Interest groups try to influence the making of public policy by using tactics that are effective for them such as donating campaign funds, filing lawsuits, electioneering. Lobbying provides access for interest groups and forces Congress to take action on their issue. Sometimes no action is a successful strategy because nothing changes, for the interest group.
13. Personal Contact: meeting with policymakers and doing what they can to persuade them to support their cause Providing Expertise: using their specialized body of knowledge about a certain topic to aid in writing legislation Testifying at hearings: provide information for Congressional hearings to get their message out and get free publicity (see iron triangle)
14. Giving money: Interest groups endorse candidates who support their interest and then help finance that candidates campaign by using PACs. PACs give billions of dollars primarily to congressional campaigns and to incumbents. PACs are limited by law to give $5,000 for each campaign (hard money), but there are no limits on donations to parties (soft money). PACs can also create issue ads without specifically endorsing a particular candidate.
15. October 2, 2002 Fortune Magazine periodically produces a list of the most influential interest groups in Washington, D.C. This is called the Fortune Power 25 Survey. The top 25 interest groups on its Survey for 2001 is listed below . You can find that WEB page at: http://www.fortune.com/lists/power25/i ndex.html 1. National Rifle Association 2. American Association of Retired People (AARP) 3. National Federation of Independent Business 4. American Israel Foreign Affairs Committee 5. Association of Trial Lawyers of America 6. AFL-CIO 7. Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America 8. National Beer Wholesalers of America 9. National Association of Realtors 10. National Association of Manufacturers 11. National Association of Homebuilders of the United States 12. American Medical Association 13. American Hospital Association 14. National Education Association of the United States 15. American Farm Bureau Federation 16. Motion Picture Association of America 17. National Association of Broadcasters 18. National Right to Life Committee 19. Health Insurance Association of America 20. National Restaurant Association 21. National Governors' Association 22. Recording Industry Association of America 23. American Bankers Association 24. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America 25. International Brotherhood of Teamsters
16. Mobilizing grassroots: Letter campaigns, phone campaigns-getting members to act on their own Molding public opinion: ads, rallies, rating political leaders; cultivating a positive image of their group in the eyes of the public Coalition building: ex. Daylight Savings Time Coalition was made up of lobbyists representing 7/11, Kingsford charcoal, amusement parks, lawn and garden centers, meat producers, and travel companies