A signal, frequently provided by interest groups, that tells a politician what values are at stake in an issue and how that issue fits into his or her own set of political beliefs.
A mailing from an interest group focused at a specialized audience whose purpose is both to raise money and mobilize supporters.
Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946
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.
ideological interest group
An organization that attracts members by appealing to their interests on a coherent set of controversial principles.
Something of value offered by mass-membership organizations to get people to join; it is a benefit exclusive to members.
A group that attempts to influence legislation through direct contact with members of the legislative or executive branches.
Something tangible, such as money or services, which attracts people to join mass-membership organizations.
pluralistic political system
A description of the American political system, once used by scholars, contending that the policy-making process encompasses the effective competition of interest groups. This account is generally considered wrong, or at least incomplete.
political action committee
An organization which finances candidates and may lobby. Such organizations can contribute no more than $5,000 to a federal candidate in any election.
An incentive to join a mass-membership organization based on the appeal of the group's goal.
A type of cue supplied by some interest groups that ranks legislators on their degree of support for a particular cause, such as unions or the environment. These can be helpful sources of information, but are often biased.