Chapter 11: Interest Groups

Interest group (lobby)
an organization of people sharing a common interest or goal that seeks to influence that making of public policy
Institutional interest group
individuals/organizations representing other organizations Ex: General Motors Interest Group
Membership interest group
run by people whose individual donations support a cause
representative of an interest group who contacts lawmakers or other government officials directly to influence their policy making
something of value one cannot get without joining an organization
Solidary incentive
the social rewards (sense of pleasure, status, or companionship) that lead people to join political organizations
Material incentive
money or things valued in monetary terms
Purposive incentive
a benefit that comes from serving a cause or principle
Ideological interest groups
political organizations that attract members by appealing to their political convictions or principles
Public-interest groups
political organization whose goals will principally benefit nonmembers
Social movement
a widely shared demand for change in some aspect of the social or political order
Political cue
a signal telling a legislator what values are at stake in a vote, and how that issue fits into his or her own political views on party agenda
assessments of a representative's voting record on issues important to an interest group
"revolving door"
Employment cycle in which individuals who work for government agencies that regulate interests eventually end up working for interest groups or businesses with the same policy concern.
Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act
A law which required groups and individuals seeking to influence legislation to register with the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives. Quarterly financial reports on expenses were also to be filed. Note new reform legislation (1995) was more stringent.