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Know what interest groups are. Are they factions?
- a private organization or voluntary association that seeks to influence public policy as a way to protect or advance its interests
- yes, they are factions
Understand the pluralist argument.
according to many political scientists, interest groups do not hurt democracy and the public interest but are an important instrument in attaining both
Know what private and public interest groups are.
private - seeks to protect or advance the material interests of its members
public - works to gain protection or benefits for society at large
What are advocacy groups?
interest groups organized to support a cause or ideology
Know what it means for lobbyists to play the inside game.
- politics of one-on-one persuasion where a lobbyist tries to get a decision maker to understand and sympathize with what the interest group wants
- politics of insiders and the good ole boy network
Who is Jack Abramoff and what did he do?
- pled guilty in 2006 to 3 felony counts for fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials
- sentenced 10 years in prison
- funneled millions on behalf of his clients to reps and senators for campaign war chests and elaborate gifts
According to your textbook, who becomes a successful lobbyist?
- someone with access
- recruited from the ranks of retired members of the House and Senate, congressional staff, and high levels of the bureaucracy.
What is the key to lobbying the Executive branch?
- personal contact
- cooperative long-term relationships that a civil servant, dept or bureau leader, or a regulator finds useful
How would an interest group make use of an amicus curiae brief?
by filing an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief they are filing an argument in support of one side or the other in the hope of swaying the views of the judge
What does it mean for interest groups to play the outside game?
- when an interest group tries to mobilize local constituencies and shape public opinion to support the group's goals and to bring that pressure to bear on elected officials
- grassroots lobbying
Know what PACs are.
- political action committees
- entities created by an interest group whose purpose is to collect money and make contributions to candidates in federal elections
Describe iron triangles and issue networks.
iron triangles or sub-governments customarily include a private interest group, an agency in the executive branch, and a committee in Congress which act together to advance and protect certain govt programs that work to the mutual benefit of their members
issue networks are understood to be more open and inclusive than iron triangles, they are coalitions that form around different policy areas that include a range of public and private interest groups and policy experts, bureaucrats, and legislators
What does the Lobby Disclosure Act of 1995 insist upon?
requires a wider range of political actors to register as lobbyists and makes them report ever 6 months on which policies they are trying to influence and how much they are spending to do it
Know what it means to go through the revolving door.
common practice in which former govt officials become lobbyists for interests with whom they formerly dealt in their official capacity