a term used by the founders of this country to refer to political parties and special interests or interest groups
a collection of people who share some common interest or attitude and seek to influence government for specific ends; interest groups usually work within the framework of government and employ tactics such as lobbying to achieve their goals.
a large body of people interested in a common issue, idea, or concern that is of continuing significance and who are willing to take action; movements seek to change attitudes or institutions, not just policies.
a company with a labor agreement under which union membership cannot be required as a condition of employment.
a company with a labor agreement under which union membership can be a condition of employment.
an individual who does not join a group representing his or her interests yet receives the benefit of the influence the group achieves.
official document, published every weekday, that lists the new and proposed regulations of executive departments and regulatory agencies.
amicus curiae brief
literally, a "friend of the court" brief, filed by an individual or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case.
engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, especially legislators, and the policies they enact.
a person who is employed by and acts for an organized interest group or corporation to try to influence policy decisions and positions in the executive and legislative branches.
employment cycle in which individuals who work for government agencies regulating interests eventually end up working for interest groups or businesses with the same policy concern.
a mutually dependent relationship among interest groups, congressional committees and subcommittees, and government agencies that share a common policy concern.
political action committee (PAC)
the poltical arm of an interest group that is legally entitled to raise funds on a voluntary basis from members, stockholders, or employees in order to contribute funds to favored candidates or political parties.
a tactic of political action committees whereby they collect contributions from like-minded individuals (each limited to $2000) and present them to a candidate or political party as a "bundle," thus increasing their influence.
the Supreme Court has ruled that individuals, groups, and parties can spend unlimited amounts in campaigns for or against candidates as long as they operate independently from the candidates; when an individual, group, or party does so, they are making an independent expenditure.
political contributions given to a party, candidate, or interest group that are limited in amount and fully disclosed; raising such limited funds is harder than raising unlimited funds, hence the term "hard money."
money raised in unlimited amounts by political parties for party-building purposes; now largely illegal except for limited contributions to state and local parties for voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts.
unlimited and undisclosed spending by an individual or group on communications that do not use works like "vote for" or "vote against," although much of this activity is actually about electing or defeating candidates.
a political group organized under section 527 of the IRS Code that may accept and spend unlimited amounts of money on election activity so long as they are not spent on broadcast ads run in the last 30 days beforea primary or 60 days before a general election where a clearly identified candidate is referred to and a relevant electorate is targeted; 527 groups were important to the 2000 and 2004 elections.
quid pro quo
something given with the expectation of receiving something in return.