What is a Faction?
A faction is a term used by the founders of this country to refer to political parties and special interest groups.
What were the problems that the founders faced regarding factions?
Our nation's founders had to deal with the problem of establishing a stable and orderly constitutional system that would also respect the liberty of free citizens and prevent the tyranny of the majority of a single dominant interest.
Interest groups are 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.
What is a Movement?
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.
What are the types of interest groups?
1. Economic, including both business and labor; 2. ideological or single-issue; 3. public interest; 4. foreign policy; and 5. government itself.
What are the purposes of Business Interest groups?
The most familiar institution is probably large corporation. these large companies exercise considerable political influence. Small businesses are also organized into groups. An example is the National Federation of Independent Business, which is involved in electing pro-business candidates and lobbying national government on behalf of this constituency.
Trade and other Associations Interest groups
Businesses with similar interests in government regulations and other issues join together as trade associations, which are as diverse as the products and services they provide.
Labor interest groups
Workers Associatios have a wide range of rights. Labor unions are one of the most important groups representing workerss. The oldest unions are the farm groups, and the largest farm group now is the American Farm Bureau Federation.
What are some types of other interest groups?
Americans are often emotionally and financially involved in a variety of groups. In recent years there has been a virtual explotion in the number of interests and associations. This is especially true for enviornmental groups.
How does size and resources affect the power of an interest group?
Size is important to political power; a group representing five million people will have a greater influence than a group representing five thousand people. However, political involvement and activity are almost more important than the size of a group.
How do associations move people to join them?
Associations motivate potential members by providing incentives, that are compelling enought to attract the potential free rider. Unions are not just organized for lobbying, but preform other important functions. They derive much of their strength from their negotiating position with corporations, which they use to obrain their wage increases or improve safety standards.
What is the spread of an interest group?
The extent to which membership is concentrated or dispersed. Automobile manufactoring is concentrated in Michigan and few other states. As a result, the auto industry's influence does not have the same spread as that of the American Medical Association.
What role does cohesiveness play?
Usually, a mass membership organization is made up of three types of members:
1. a relatively small amount of formal leaders who hold full-time positions or devore much time, effor, and money to the group's activities
2. people intensly involved in the group
3. people who are members in name only
What is organizational structure?
Some associations have strong formal organization; others are local organizations that have joined together in loose state or national federation in which they retain a measure of separate power and independence.
What is the role of Leadership in an interest group?
Closely related to cohesion is the nature of leadership. In a group that embraces many attitudes and interests, leades may either weld the various elemets together or sharpen their disunity. Leaders must cautiously tread between the many group divisions, as to not anger a certain sector.
What are some techniques used by interest groups?
Interest groups seeking to weld influence choose from a variety of political weapons and targets. Publicity and Mass Media Appeals: interest groups exploit the communications media - television radio, etc.- to influence voters during elections. Mass Mailing, Influence on rule making, litigation.
What are amicus curiae briefs?
Literally "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.
Techniques used: Election activities
interest groups try to work with both parties. Another regularity is that they want to be friendly with the winners, which often mean that they contribute to the incumbent. Labor groups usually favor Democrats, Business Groups favor Republicans, ideological groups target certain candidates to try to change their position.
Techniques used: Forming a political party
another interest group tactic is to form a political party. These parties are organized less with the intent to win elections than to publicize a cause.
Techniques used: Cooperative Lobbying
like-minded groups often join together as cooperative groups.
What is Lobbying?
engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, especially legislators, and the policies they enact.
Who are Lobbyists?
A person who is employed by and acts for an organized interest group or cooperation to try to influence policy designs and positions in the executive and legislative branches.
what is the revolving door?
Employment cycle in which individuals who work for governmental agencies regulating interests eventually end up working for interest groups or businesses with the same policy concern.
What is an Iron Triangle?
A mutually dependent relation ship among interest groups, congressional committees and subcommittees, and government agencies that share a common policy concern.
What do lobbyists do?
There are many lobbyists but few are truly influential. This is due to competition among competing interest groups. To members of congress the single most important thing lobbyists provide is money for their next election. Lobbyists are often referred to as the third house of congress.
What are PACs?
Political Action Committees. They are the political 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.
What is bundling?
A tactic of political action committees whereby they collect contributions from like-minded individuals and present them to a candidate or political party as a bundle, thus increasing their influence.
What are Independent Expenditures?
The Supreme Court has ruled that individuals, groups, and parties can spend unlimited amounts of money 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 expenditure.
What is hard money?
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 soft money.
What is Soft Money?
Money raised in unlimited amounts by political parties for party-bundling purposes. Now largely illegal except for limited contributions to state and local parties for voter registration and get out the vote efforts.
What is issue advocacy?
Unlimited and undisclosed spending by an individual or group on communications that do not use words like "vote for" or "vote against" although much of this activity is actually about electing or defeating candidates.
How do PACs invest their money?
They give their money to candidates who they believe will be able to accomplish their goals. Although the money they can give is limited, PACs have found creative ways such as fund-raising and bundling to increase the amount of money that they can give.
How is Soft Money used?
Soft Money is used to create campaign videos, and supply candidates with things that they need without directly providing them with funds.
What are 527 groups?
A political group organized under section 527 of the IRS code that may accept and spend unlimited amounts of money on election activities so long as they are not spent withing 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election where a clearly identified candidate is referred to and a relevant electorate is targeted.
How do PACs influence elections?
The tendency of PACs to give more money to incumbents has meant that challengers face real difficulties in getting their campaigns funded. Challengers have to rely more on individual contributors.
What are the main arguments against factions?
They do not represent everyone equally. Fewer interest groups represent young or low-income people than represent corporations. Further, some groups are better organized and financed. Another problem is that the existence of a multiplicity of interests often leads to incoherent policies, inefficiency, and delay as lawmakers try to appease conflicting interests.
What are possible damages caused by single-issue groups?
They may destroy the careers of fine politicians who may disagree with them on only one issue, paralyze the traditional process of governmental compromise, and ignore the common good in their selfish insistence on getting their own way.
What have been some limits placed on interest groups?
Congress passed the Federal and Corrupt Practices act which required disclosure reports of receipts and expenditures by Senate and House candidates and by political committees that sought to influence elections. Federal elections also introduced the Federal Action Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA). This established reporting or disclosure requirements for all candidates for the House, Senate, and presidency.
What is quid pro quo?
something given with the expectation of receiving something in return.