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for you NNHS kiddos

cue (political)

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.

direct mail

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.

institutional interests

Individuals or organizations representing other organizations.

interest group

An organization that seeks to influence public policy.


A group that attempts to influence legislation through direct contact with members of the legislative or executive branches.


A person attempting to influence government policy on behalf of a lobby.

material incentive

Something tangible, such as money or services, which attracts people to join mass-membership organizations.

membership interests

A type of interest group that represents the interest of its members.

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.

public-interest lobby

An interest group whose principal purpose is to benefit nonmembers.

purposive incentive

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.

social movement

A widely shared demand for change in some aspect of the social or political order.

solidary incentive

An inducement to join a mass-membership organization based on the sense of pleasure, status, or companionship derived from membership.

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