Amicus curiae brief
"friend of the court" brief filed by an interest group to influence a Supreme Court decision.
contention that parties are less meaningful to voters, who have abandoned the parties in greater numbers to become independents.
government in which one party controls the presidency while another party controls the Congress.
theory that upper class elites exercise great influence over public policy.
term used by Madison to denote what we now call interest groups.
FCC rule (no longer in effect) that required broadcasters to air a variety of viewpoints on their programs.
Just as sharks engage in a feeding frenzy when they sense blood in the water, the media "attack" when they sense wrongdoing or scandal in government, and devote great amounts of coverage to such stories.
Free rider problem
the problem faced by interest groups when citizens can reap the benefits of interest group action without actually joining, participating in, or contributing money to such groups.
Horse race coverage
the tendency of the media to report on an election campaign as if it were a horse race, i.e., who is ahead, who is behind, who is gaining ground.
an informal association of federal agency, congressional committee, and interest group that is said to have heavy influence over policy making.
the act or process of carrying out a lawsuit.
attempting to influence policy makers
elections in which candidates are not identified by party membership on the ballot.
Office column ballot
ballot in which candidates are arranged by office rather than party. Encourages split ticket voting.
Party column ballot
ballot in which candidates are arranged by party rather than office. Encourages straight ticket voting.
a staged campaign event that attracts favorable visual media coverage, e.g., a candidate reading to a group of school children.
theory that policy making is the result of interest group competition.
Political Action Committee (PAC)
an interest group that raises funds and donates to election campaigns.
appointing loyal party members to government positions.
the cycle in which a person alternately works for the public sector and private sector, thus blurring the individual's sense of loyalty.
the practice of selectively choosing media sources which are in harmony with one's own beliefs.
the practice of perceiving media messages the way one wants to.
a short, pithy comment that is likely to attract media attention, e.g., Ronald Reagan saying, "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose your job, and recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his job."
placing a certain slant on a story to deflect negative public attention against a candidate or office holder.
an abandoned rule of the Democratic Party national convention in which the candidate with the most delegates from a state won all of that state's convention votes.