Interest Groups Seek Influence Making Public Policy
Define an interest group, with examples
An interest group can be described as an association that is formally organized that is in pursuit of influencing public policy. The wider description, scholars using it increasingly, older contrasts with it, narrower ones, which are inclusive of private associations only that their formal organization is distinct like Italy's General Confederation of industry and human rights organization (Guatemala Mutual Support Group). One of the problems that come with such a narrow description is that many of the formally organized association are not private (Rushefsky & Patel, 2008). Lobbying is the process of influencing public officials to decide upon taking decisions and actions that are to the advantage of the given people in an organized group. Interest groups usually hire lobbyists as employees or hired hands for their services. The accessibility to public officials is at their presence: they may take forward their agenda, interests, and concerns of the interest group. Accessibility is the thin line that differentiates ordinary people and lobbyists.
Lobbyists build up their relationship with public officials over duration of years, often decades. Taking no action in this case is indeed an action effect. It is to maintain the status quo. All branches of the government undergo lobbying. Litigation is the lobbying that takes place on the judicial branch of the government (Hall & Jenkins, 2008). Electioneering is described, as the criteria for assisting a public official are re-elected. Funding a campaign using money is the best way interest groups can show gratitude to politicians who have cast their votes in support of the policy agenda of the interest group (Peters, 2011). Propagandizing is described as the effort put forward by interest groups to influence the public safeguarding the general interest in their policy agenda. If the image of a group is fair to their general eyes of the public, it might be very difficult to pass legislation that is not in favor of the subject group (Hall, & Jenkins, 2008). Interest groups comprise of the following:
I. Business / Trade Associations-interests groups that are formed by creditors, business owners, merchants and other business that are commerce related. Their main objective is to enhance business interests. Examples of interests groups that are business related include Chamber of Commerce of United States and National Association of Manufactures. The interest groups are a representation of both small and large business interest (Wittkopf, Jones & Kegley, 2008).
II. Agricultural Groups- the interest groups safeguard the interests of the agriculture policy by the government and farmers. They are inclusive of broad-based farm groups and many groups that stand for farmers who deal with particular commodities like dairy products. National farmers association, American Farm Bureau Federation and National Grange are the most prominent farm groups (Rushefsky, & Patel, 2008).
III. Professional Groups -- these professions are defined in a broad way as the careers whose training is very specialized and extensive, such as teaching, law, and medicine. These groups also sustain organizations to safeguard and support their interests (Peters, 2011).
IV. Labor Union Groups -- a labor union is an association of workers who have the same common work type or who are employees in the same industry. Labor unions always push for government policies that are favorable and an advantage to their members. AFL-CIO is the largest power both in political and size. Labor organization speak out from one perspective on matters of social welfare and those that are job related inclusive of programs for social security, unemployment, and minimum wages (Hall, & Jenkins, 2008).
V. Promote Causes -- a fair number of groups are in existence for promoting or conflicting a certain cause. Good examples of such can be National Rifle Association, Planned Parenthood, National Right to Life committee, The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, National Women's political Caucus, The League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and American Civil Liberties Union (Peters, 2011).
VI. Promote the Welfare some interest groups are for promotion of welfare for specific divisions of the population. Such groups include National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American Association for Retired Persons, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion. These groups are inclusive of the groups that also welfare of the minority in the population of America (In Quirk, & In Binder, 2007).
VII. Religious Groups -- these groups put their effort in influencing public policy in matters relating to religion. These groups include Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Congress, The National Catholic Welfare Council, Christian Coalition, and The National Council of Churches (Janoski, 2009).
VIII. Public Interest Groups -- these groups differ from others that have been described because their main intention is not just about requesting for benefits to their members only but to the public. These groups press for public policies that are for the benefit of the entire public whether they support the group (Peters, 2011).
2. Discuss the relationship between interest groups and political parties.
Interest groups maximize policies while political parties dwell a lot on maximizing the seats they win in a congress. The two competing objectives have their consequences for the relationship that exists between parties and interest groups. I come up with a test theory that is about the sequence of contributions of hard money from Political Action Committees to contestants for the American Congress. My argument is that interest groups have the will to prefer which party has control to the majority seats in the congress. This automatically leads them to direct electorally constructive money to the party (republicans preferred by corporate groups while labor groups prefer party). When interest groups donate money to the other party, the donations are modeled to have a minimal outcome as possible. Interest groups accomplish this by giving donations that are strategic to the party in ways that follow: donation of money to be incumbent (who are not in need of money for reelected) (Bardes, Shelley, & Schmidt, 2010).
Interest groups exist existence to foster demands to the government. The interest groups that dominate in United States are occupational or economic, but a wide range of other groups -- public interest, racial, religious, ethnic, and government itself, and foreign policy -- have memberships that appeal to vast economic groupings; and so their interest is stabilized and reduced. Movements that have many persons who are perturbed with policies of the government have always been among us in the United States. Economic underdogs, Native Americans, women, and Blacks, at many times pool themselves into movements. Aspects that are included in interest group power are, techniques, leadership, cohesiveness, resources, and size, more so the strength to contribute to contestants and political parties and the ability to finance lobbyists. The matter in which these aspects relate the governmental and political environment where operations of the interest groups takes place determines the actual power accrued to the interests groups (Peters, 2011).
For a period of years now, interest groups have been more linked with lobbying, but the efforts have come to be more important as the involvement of the groups roots deep in to the electoral process, more so, on the expansion of Political action committees (PACs). Interest groups also direct their message to the public directly through mass mailings, campaign advertisements, and cooperative lobbying. Lobbying is any activity that is involved in influencing public officials, particularly legislators, and those policies that they enact. Lobbying did not exist in United States until mid nineteenth century. The word refers to both the hallway outside the senate and House chambers and the hotel lobbies that are in Washington where agents and petitioners of influence gathered. A member of congress or a senate walking out of their chamber of the hotel is mat with a number of lobbyists who want to persuade their vote on a certain decision. In spite of their negative image, they carry out important functions for government, like giving information that is critical on decision-making, mobilizing public opinion and educating the public, and even giving testimony about legislation (Hall, & Jenkins, 2008).
3. Explain how interest groups try to influence the president and Congress as these two branches work together to make policy.
Interest group will work to influence senator and representatives in supporting bills that are in their favor and opposing those that are a burden to them. Efforts of lobbying are directed primarily at national level: legislation is considered by committees of congress, administrative agencies faced with the responsibility of enforcing and writing regulations, and executive departments. Lobbyists mostly rely on the affiliation they have with the executive branch and members of congress that is based on keeping regular contact. Many lobbyists have worked for the government themselves and in many cases have had contact with the people they need to convince (the ones they are lobbying with). This past experienced is quite an advantage because it gives them an insight of the culture of things in Washington (Janoski, 2009).