Why would interest groups engage in "issue advocacy"?


The media frequently depict interest group lobbyists negatively in the news and also in entertainment. One specific episode of The Simpsons gives a severe instance. Lisa Simpchild writes an essay titled “The Roots of Democracy” that wins her a trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the ideal essay on patriotism award. She writes, “When America was born on that warm July day in 1776, the trees in Springarea Foremainder were tiny saplings…and also as they were nourished by Mother Earth, so also did our fledgling nation discover strength in the straightforward ideals of ehigh quality and also justice.”

In Senator Bob Arnold’s office a lobbyist proposes to raze the Springarea National Foremainder. Arnold responds, “Well, Jerry, you’re a whale of a lobbyist, and also I’d like to give you a logging permit, I would. But this isn’t like burying toxic waste. People are going to notification those trees are gone.” The lobbyist uses a bribe, which Arnold accepts.

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Lisa sees it happen and tears up her essay. She sits on the procedures of the Capitol and envisions political leaders as cats scratching each other’s backs and lobbyists as pigs feeding from a tstormy. Calresulted in the microphone at the “Patriots of Tomorrow” awards banquet, Lisa reads her revised essay, currently titled “Cesspool on the Potomac.” A whirlwind of reform-minded zeal adheres to. Congressguy Arnold is caught accepting a bribe to permit oil drilling on Mount Rusheven more and is arrested and also rerelocated from office. Lisa does not win the essay challenge.Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Sam Simon, and also George Meyer, “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington,” The Simpsons, Seachild 3, Episode 2, originally aired September 26, 1991. This episode is loosely based on the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Congressmale Arnold is corrupt, yet the cartoon’s unpuniburned instrument of corruption is the lobbyist.

9.1 The Interemainder Group System

Learning Objectives

After reading this area, you should have the ability to answer the following questions:

What are interest groups? What are the primary types of interemainder groups? What are the many crucial facets of interest groups? What incentives encourage interemainder group membership? How execute interemainder groups recruit members? How perform the media portray unions and also union activity? How execute interemainder groups influence elections?

Interest groupsOrganizations that, on behalf of an interest or appropriate, attempt to affect national politics and also public plans. are intermediaries linking civilization to government, and also lobbyists occupational for them. These teams make demands on federal government and also attempt to influence public policies in their favor. Their many important difference from political parties is that they perform not look for elective office. Interest groups deserve to be single entities, join associations, and have individual members. The College of Texas at Austin is an educational school. Its primary objectives are teaching and research study. Like various other educational establishments, it is an interemainder group when it tries to influence government policies. These plans encompass federal government funding for infrastructure and also student grants, loans, and work research. It might additionally attempt to affect laws and court decisions using to research study, adgoals, sex etop quality in intercollegiate sporting activities, and student documents. It may ask members of Congress to earnote funds for some of its tasks, thereby bypassing the normal competition through other colleges for funds based upon merit.James D. Savage, Funding Science in America: Congress, Universities, and also the Politics of the Academic Pork Barrel (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999); and Jeffrey Brainard and J. J. Hermes, “Colleges’ Earmarks Grow, Amid Criticism,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 28, 2008.

Figure 9.1 College of Texas Logo (“Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis,” analyzed as “The cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy”)


Devoted to education (and also sports), universities attempt to influence federal government plans that affect their interests.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ostraconlist/5261743505/.

Single entities frequently join forces in associations. Associations reexisting their interests and make requirements on federal government on their behalf. The University of Texas belongs to the Association of Amerideserve to Universities. General Electric (GE) belongs to over eighty profession associations, each representing a different market such as mining, aeroarea, and also residence appliances.Kay Lehguy Schlozguy and John T. Tierney, Organized Interests and Amerideserve to Democracy (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), 72–73.

Many kind of interest groups have actually individuals as members. People sign up with labor unions and skilled establishments (e.g., associations for lawyers or political scientists) that case to represent their interests.

Types of Interest Groups

Interest groups have the right to be divided right into five types: financial, societal, ideological, public interest, and governpsychological.

Economic Interest Groups

The significant economic interemainder groups represent businesses, labor unions, and professions. Company interemainder teams consist of sectors, corporations, and profession associations. Unions normally recurrent individual trades, such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Most unions belengthy to an association, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Economic interemainder groups reexisting eincredibly aspect of our economy, consisting of agriculture, the arts, automobiles, banking, beverperiods, construction, defense, education, energy, finance, food, health, real estate, insurance, legislation, media, medicine, pharmaceuticals, sporting activities, teleinteractions, transportation, take a trip, and also utilities. These groups cover from head (i.e., the Headwear Institute of America) to toe (i.e., the Amerideserve to Podiatric Medical Association) and from soup (i.e., the Campbell Soup Company) to nuts (i.e., the Peanut Butter and also Nut Processors Association).Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, The Lobbyists: How Influence Peddlers Work Their Way in Washington (New York: Times Books, 1993), 36.

Societal Interemainder Groups

Societal interest teams focus on interests based upon people’s characteristics, such as age, sex, race, and also ethnicity, and also faith and sex-related preference. The National Association for the Growth of Colored People (NAACP) is just one of the oldest societal interest groups in the United States.

Ideological Interest Groups

Ideological interest teams promote a reactionary, conservative, liberal, or radical political approach via research study and advocacy. Interest groups that take stands on such controversial issues as abortion and also gun control are thought about ideological, although some could argue that they are actually public interest groups.

Public Interest Groups

Public interemainder groupsOrganizations that job-related for the prevalent good as they specify it, such as, for consumers, the atmosphere, or the household or reform of federal government. job-related for extensively embraced concepts of the prevalent good, such as the family, huguy legal rights, and also consumers. Although their objectives are usually famous, some of their specific positions (e.g., environmental groups opposing offshore drilling for oil) may be controversial and challenged.

Government Interemainder Groups

Government interemainder teams consist of neighborhood, state, and also international governments. They seek to influence the appropriate policies and also expenditures of the federal government.

Life Stages of Interest Groups

Interest groups commonly suffer a life cycle of development (or birth), growth and also adjust (or evolution), and also periodically fatality.


As the United States has become even more facility with brand-new innovations, commodities, services, businesses, and professions, the US government has actually become more involved in the economic situation and also society. People through common interests organize to solicit assistance and also solutions to their troubles from federal government. Policies enacted in response to the efforts of these groups influence various other civilization, that then form teams to seek federal government treatment for themselves. These teams might provide increase to additional groups.This is recognized as disturbance concept. It was arisen by David B. Trumale in The Governpsychological Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion, second ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), chap. 4; and it was intensified by Robert H. Salisbury in “An Exchange Theory of Interemainder Groups,” Midwest Journal of Political Science 13 (1969): 1–32.

Some interemainder teams are created in reactivity to an occasion or a perceived grievance. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) was founded in 1973 in response to the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision previously that year legalizing abortion. However before, groups might develop long after the reasons for developing them are noticeable. The NAACP was not founded till 1909 even though segregation of and also discrimination versus black civilization had actually existed for many type of years.


Oral Arguments in Roe v. Wade

Listen to oral debates in the Roe v. Wade at http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_18/disagreements.

Interest group entrepreneursPeople who view the need for and also produce an interemainder team. normally are important in the production of teams. Often they are responding to events in their resides. After a drunk driver killed among her daughters, Candy Lightner established Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980. She thereby established latent interestsShared purposes that an interemainder team can organize world to go after.: people who could be grouped together and arranged to pursue what she made them realize was a common goal, punishing and acquiring drunk motorists off the road. She was assisted by widespcheck out media coverage that lugged public attention to her loss and also reason.

Evolution and Demise

Interemainder groups deserve to change over time. The National Rifle Association (NRA) began out as a sports organization in the late nineteenth century dedicated to improving its members’ marksmanship. It became an advocate for law and order in the 1960s, till its official assistance for the 1968 Gun Control Act carried dissension in its ranks. Because the election of brand-new leaders in 1977, the NRA has concentrated on the Second Amendment ideal to bear arms, opposing law restricting the sale or circulation of firearms and ammunition.Scott H. Ainsworth, Assessing Interest Groups: Group Influence on People and also Policies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002), 87–88.

Interemainder groups have the right to also die. They may run out of funds. Their concerns might lose popularity or come to be irpertinent. Slaextremely no longer exists in the USA and hence neither does the Amerideserve to Anti-Slaexceptionally Society.

How Interemainder Groups Are Organized

Interest groups have leaders and staff. They manage the team, decide its policy goals, and also recruit and recurrent members.

Leaders and also Staff

Leaders and top staff generally run the interemainder team. They carry out so because they command its resources and indevelopment flow and have actually the endure and specialization to address public policies that are frequently facility and also technological. Althe majority of a century earlier, Robert Michels established this regulate by an organization’s leaders and staff and referred to as it “the iron legislation of oligarchy.”Robert Michels, Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (New York: Dover Publications, 1959; initially published 1915 by Free Press).

This oligarchy, or dominion by the few, applies to single-entity interemainder teams and also to most associations. Their leaders are appointed or elected and also select the staff. Even in many kind of membership organizations, the world that belengthy perform not elect the leaders and also have actually little input once the leaders decide policy missions.Scott H. Ainsworth, Evaluating Interest Groups: Group Influence on People and also Policies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002), 114–15. Their participation is limited to sending in dues, expushing opinions and also, if membership is voluntary, leaving once dissatisfied.

Voluntary Membership

People sign up with membership interemainder groups voluntarily or because they have no option.

When membership is voluntary, interemainder groups must recruit and also attempt to retain members. Members help fund the group’s tasks, legitimize its objectives, and add credibility through the media.

Some human being may not realize or accept that they have shared interests via others on a details problem. For instance, many young adults downpack music from the Internet, but few of them have actually joined the Future of Music Coalition, which is arising methods to perform this legally. Others might be unwilling to court conflict by joining a team representing oppressed minorities or espoutilizing controversial or unrenowned views also when they agree through the group’s views.Scott Sigmund Gartner and Gary M. Segura, “Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Self Selection, Social Group Identification, and also Political Mobilization,” Rationality and Society 9 (1977): 132–33.

People do not have to sign up with an interemainder group voluntarily when they can advantage from its tasks without coming to be a member. This is the difficulty of collective goods. Laws successfully lobbied for by environmental institutions that bring about cleaner air and also water advantage members and nonmembers alike. However before, the last obtain a cost-free ride.See Mancur Olchild Jr., The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Cambridge, MA: Harvard College Press, 1965).

People may also sign up with teams to obtain product incentivesWhen civilization join a team for the goods and solutions it offers. easily accessible just to members. AARP, formerly the Amerihave the right to Association of Reworn down Persons, has approximately thirty-five million members. It obtains this huge number by charging a nominal annual membership fee and giving such product incentives as wellness insurance and also decreased prices for prescription drugs. The group’s magazine is sent to members and consists of tax advice, take a trip and also vacation indevelopment, and discounts.


One method interemainder teams recruit members is through media coverage. The appealingly named Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a customer company that focuses on food and also nutrition worries, produces high quality research study, and also has media savvy. It is a valuable source of expertise and indevelopment for journalists. The constant and also favorable news coverage it receives brings the team and also its tasks to the public’s attention and motivates human being to support and join it.

News coverage of an interemainder group does not constantly have to be favorable to attract members. Oftentimes, stories about the NRA in significant newsrecords are negative. Presenting this negative coverage as predisposition and also hostility versus and strikes on gun owners, the group’s leaders transform it right into purposive and solidary incentives. They usage e-mail “to power membership mobilization, money raising, single-concern voting and also the other actions-in-solidarity that add to success.”Brian Anse Patrick, The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage (New York: Peter Lang, 2002), 9.

Groups likewise make personalized appeals to recruit members and solicit financial contributions. Names of world that might be sympathetic to a team are acquired by purchasing mailing lists from magazines, various other groups, and political parties. Recruitment letters and e-mails frequently function scare statements, such as a claim that Social Security is in jeopardy.

Interest groups recruit members, publicize their tasks, and also seek their plan missions with the new media. The Save Our Environment Action Center consists of twenty national environmental teams pooling their databases of supporters and establishing a webwebsite. Thturbulent this network, world have the right to obtain informational newsletters by means of e-mail, authorize petitions, and also call their representatives.

Required Membership

Employment in many automobile plants requires that workers are members of the Internationwide Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agrisocial Implement Workers of America (UAW). Workers dealt with to develop unions to boost their wperiods, working problems, and project methods. One means of achieving these objectives was to call for all workers at a plant to be union members. But union membership has actually plummeted as the United States has relocated from a production to a organization economy and employers have actually effectively discouraged unionization. Many tasks execute not have unions for workers to sign up with whether they want to or not. Today just about 12 percent of employees belengthy to a union compared to a high of 35.5 percent in 1945. Only 7 percent of personal sector employees belong to a union. A majority of union members currently work-related for the federal government.

Media Depictions of Unions

One reason for the decrease of unions is their mostly negative portrayal in the information media.William J. Puette, Thunstable Jaundiced Eyes: How the Media View Organized Labor (Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 1992). Tbelow are hardly any type of labor-beat reporters in the news media, so union officials are intypically used as resources and also are subsequently unable to frame union news to their advantage.

Strikes are the union activity the majority of frequently presented in the news. These are typically framed not as legitimate collective techniques to enhance wperiods and also working conditions, but as hurting or inconveniencing consumers by disrupting services (e.g., suspending classes in elementary and also high schools) and leading to the cancellation of occasions (e.g., expert sporting games).For an exemption, see Deepa Kumar, Outside The Box: Corporate Media, Globalization, and the UPS Strike (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007).

Unions are rare in movies. Norma Rae (1979), Matewan (1987), and also the documentary Harlan County, USA (1977), favorably portray workers’ battles to organize and strike for much better functioning conditions, wages, and protection, versus exploiting employers. But in the classic union film, the Academy Award–winning On the Waterfront (1954), the union is corrupt, violent, and also linked to organized crime; the union leaders exploit members to enwealthy themselves.


Groups insurance claim to recurrent the interests of their members or constituents, however these interests may conflict. In a comprehensive examine, Dara Z. Strolovitch discovered that civil legal rights organizations prioritized the interests of their middle-class members over the interests of the poor and also functioning course. For instance, they puburned for affirmative activity rather than welfare and also antipoverty policies.Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and also Gender in Interest Group Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007).

A trouble for AARP is that, aside from being fifty or over, its members might have little in prevalent. In 1988, AARP sustained law establishing up a catastrophic health insurance arrangement in Medicare to carry out insurance for elderly human being challenged through huge clinical bills for significant illnesses. After the plan went into result, many kind of seniors objected to the increase in their Meditreatment premiums and also an annual surtaxation of as high as $800. Their complaints were widely extended in the media. Congress repealed the regime the following year.

Even as soon as members share a group’s basic objectives they might reject some of its plan proposals or methods. In 2009, Apple quit the US Chamber of Commerce bereason the chamber opposed global-warming regulation.

Interemainder Groups and also Elections

Interest teams come to be connected in elections to influence policymakers. They may contribute funds, make independent expenditures, advocate worries, and also mobilize voters. Wealthy groups assist pay for the presidential nominating conventions and the presidential inauguration. They offer funds to political parties because “by helping party leaders retain or regain manage of the House or Senate, policymaking rewards…follow.”Michael M. Franz, Choices and also Changes: Interest Groups in the Electdental Process (Philadelphia, PA: Temple College Press, 2008), 7.

Endorsing Candidates

Interest groups might endorse candidates for office and also, if they have the resources, mobilize members and also sympathizers to work-related and vote for them. President Bill Clinton blamed the NRA for Al Gore losing the 2000 presidential election because it influenced voters in several says, consisting of Arkansas, West Virginia, and also Gore’s house state of Tennesview. Had any kind of of these says gone for Gore, he would have actually won the election.

Interest groups can promote candidates through television and also radio advertisements. Throughout the 2004 presidential election, the NRA ran a thirty-minute infomercial in battleground states favoring President George W. Shrub and also calling his adversary “the the majority of anti-gun presidential nominee in USA history.” In 2008, the NRA issued ads endorsing Republideserve to presidential candidate John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin.

Endorsements execute lug threats. If the endorsed candiday loses, the unendorsed winner is most likely to be unsympathetic to the team. Thus reasonably few interest teams endorse presidential candidays and the majority of endorsements are based on ideological background.

Funding Candidates

Made feasible by the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), political activity committees (PACs)Organizations for increasing and contributing campaign funds. are a means for organizations, including interest teams, to raise funds and add to candidays in federal elections. Approximately one-3rd of the funds obtained by candidates for the House of Representatives and also one-fifth of funds for Senate candidates come from PACs. The details of election funding are disputed even more in Chapter 11 "Campaigns and Elections".

Some interest groups execute money candidays on the basis of ideological background and also policy choice. Ideological and public interemainder groups base assistance on candidates’ views even if their defeat is most likely. Pro-life establishments mainly assistance Republicans; pro-alternative organizations largely assistance Democrats.

The interest group–candidate relationship is a two-means street. Many candidays actively solicit assistance from interest groups on the basis of an existing or the promise of a future relationship. Candidays acquire some of the funds necessary for their campaigns from interemainder groups; the groups that provide them money gain the chance to make their situation to sympathetic legislators. A businessman defending his company’s PAC is quoted as saying, “Talking to politicians is fine, however via a little money they hear you better.”Mark Eco-friendly, “Political PAC-Man,” New Republic 187, no. 24 (December 13, 1982): 18.

Much better. The Center for Responsive Politics shows correlations between campaign contributions and also congressional voting. After the Housage of Representatives voted 220–215 in 2003 to pass the Medicare drug bill, the company reported that “lawmakers that voted to approve the law have raised an average of roughly twice as much given that 1999 from individuals and PACs linked with health insurers, HMOs and pharmaceutical manufacturers as those who voted versus the bill.”Center for Responsive Politics, “Money and also Medicare: Campaign Contributions Correlate through Vote,” OpenSecrets Blog, November 24, 2003, http://www.opensecrets.org/capital_eye/inside.php?ID=113.

Key Takeaways

Interest teams are varied in membership and also purpose. They are produced, may evolve in complace and purposes, and periodically die out. Interemainder team entrepreneurs may be integral to the production of interemainder teams. Different kinds of incentives encourage interemainder team membership, and also institutions use various methods to recruit new members. The media are especially instrumental of labor unions. Interemainder groups try to affect elections in order to advancement their policy goals.


Why carry out you think some interemainder groups have a poor reputation? What social objective perform interemainder teams serve? Do you support any kind of interest groups? What made you decide to assistance them? What are the different means interemainder teams deserve to affect policies? Do you think interest teams must be permitted to contribute as a lot as they desire to political campaigns?

Interest teams employ lobbyistsRepresentatives of interemainder groups that try to influence public officials. to protect and advance their interests. Lobbyists perform this through lobbyingActivities that lobbyists perdevelop, such as increating, persuading, and pressuring in order to influence policymachines to support a group’s interests.: informing, persuading, and also pressuring policymakers to support the group’s objectives.

The more policies the federal government proposes, the even more lobbyists end up being affiliated. In response to the best financial crisis given that the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Obama administration proposed to overhaul the regulation and also increase oversight of the financial system. This generated a bonanza of service for lobbyists. Lobbyists represented banks, mutual funds, hedge funds, and crmodify card companies and also carriers in production, retail, and also company that might be influenced by transforms in the regulations.

The Lobbyists

Tright here are as many as eighty thousand lobbyists in Washington, DC.John R. Wright, Interemainder Groups and Congress (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1996), 9–10. A few of them go through a revolving door in between federal government service and lobbying. Former presidential aides are significant and powerful among them. More than two hundred lobbyists are previous members of Congress. Others have worked for congressional committees or the agencies they now lobby. These previous public servants have actually field of expertise, access, and contacts among policymakers.

Lobbyists likewise take positions in the federal government. They bring field of expertise from their work and also commonly take a pay cut. They are familiar via and might be sympathetic to their industry’s policy agenda. Before he ended up being President George W. Bush’s chief of staff, Anattracted Card was General Motors’ chief lobbyist in Washington, DC.

See more: How Can One Enrich The Curriculum In Every School, (Pdf) Curriculum Enrichment In Higher Education

What Lobbyists Do

Lobbying is done by members of the group’s or association’s staff, a regulation or lobbying firm that specializes in representing clients prior to federal government, or both. In enhancement to lobbying, firms might offer such services as public connections, study, polling, direct-mail, and also grassroots projects.The Center for Responsive Politics has compiled an extensive database of lobbyist tasks. “Lobbying Database,” Center for Responsive Politics, accessed March 23, 2011, http://www.opentricks.org/lobbyists/index.php.

Gaining Access

Lobbyists require accessThe chance to meet through and also communicate with policydevices. to policymakers in order to make their cases. But public officials are not obliged to satisfy via lobbyists, take their telephone calls, or look at their e-mail messperiods. Access is granted once the policymaker has actually got campaign contributions from the group, is sympathetic to its interests, or the group’s policy objectives are necessary to constituents ago residence.

Ensuring accessibility frequently entails building relationships. Lobbyists attend chosen officials’ fund-raisers and receptions and hand also over project checks from their groups. They accomplish policydevices informally at dinners, golf games, sporting events, parties, and weddings. They enable lawmachines to fly on corporate jets at discounted rates and then join them for the ride. However, regulation has actually restricted some of these benefits.

Providing Information

After being granted access, lobbyists try to convince public officials to assistance or accept or, at least, not oppose the interemainder group’s plan positions. They carry out three forms of information. First, they carry out indevelopment around current or proposed regulations and regulations that are relevant to the group’s interests. 2nd, they supply political indevelopment around whether the policymakers’ constituents would be influenced by a brand-new plan and also whether public opinion would certainly support or oppose a plan adjust. Third, they sell technical indevelopment around the effects and feasible impacts of policy proposals.

Lobbying Congress

Some interemainder teams encourage their members and also others to contact their legislators on befifty percent of a policy place the group supporters. This is referred to as grassroots lobbyingA strategy sought by interest groups to influence elected officials by having actually their constituents contact them.. Hired firms usage information banks, telephone financial institutions, and direct mail to contact people likely to be responsive to the group. Messages are crafted with emphasis teams and also surveys. All this expenses money. So grassroots lobbying is greatly done by amply funded interemainder teams on major public plan worries choose the minimum wage.

Lobbyists might have considerable involvement via members of Congress and their staff in individual, committee, and also management workplaces. Some lobbyists intervene from the begin of the congressional policymaking procedure, encourage or discourage the advent of proposed legislation, and also attempt to influence its contents. They might draft a bill and job-related with congressional staff to sign up cosponsors. They might assist organize congressional hearings, decide on the timing of the hearings, identify people to testify, compose testimony for some of them, and also carry out questions for legislators to ask witnesses.Rogan Kersh, “Corpoprice Lobbyists as Political Actors: A View from the Field,” in Interemainder Group Politics, sixth ed., ed. Allan J. Cigler and also Burdett A. Loomis (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2002), 227.

Lobbyists may be associated with the subcommittee or committee markup of a bill. They might attempt to modify its language, add amendments, and also occupational to have actually the bill approved or defeated by subcommittee or committee vote. They try to sway members to vote for or versus the bill on the floor.

These tasks take location in both the Housage of Representatives and also the Senate, and also the House-Senate conference committee held to reconcile and also fix distinctions in between bills passed by each chamber, and also in the last Housage and Senate votes.

Lobbyists deserve to likewise attempt to influence the amount of money Congress appropriates for agencies and also programs. After the US Department of Justice carried an antitrust lawsuit versus Microsoft in October 1997, the company called upon lawmachines to give the lowest possible budacquire for the department. Its goals were to punish the Justice Department and minimize its enforcement funds.

Lobbying the President

Depending on individual choices, ideological inclicountries, and political demands, the president might be in contact through service, sector, labor, and also various other interemainder group leaders. Typically, however, interactions via interest groups are made on the president’s befifty percent by individual members of the White Housage staff and also by the White House Office of Public Engagement and, on occasion, Office of Management and also Spending Plan (OMB).

Pinhabitants have the right to cater to interemainder teams they favor or that have actually sustained them or whose support they seek by pushing plans the interemainder groups desire. Usually, these are policies the president favors anyway. For instance, President George W. Bush applied restrictions on stem cell research study, while President Barack Obama rerelocated these restrictions shortly after taking office.

Interest teams supporting a presidential proposal can attempt to convince members of Congress through whom they have actually affect to vote in its favor. The White House might solicit such support as the George W. Bush management did to acquire the endorsement of AARP (previously the American Association of Reexhausted Persons) and also an expensive advertising campaign in support of the bill adding drug coverage to Medicare. But interest teams may not be irreversible or even reputable allies. For instance, in 2005 AARP opposed President Bush’s proposal to “reform” Social Security.

Lobbying Governmental Agencies

Lobbying the Courts

Interemainder groups are impacted by court decisions. It matters to them who the judges are in regards to their legal philosophy, policy preferences, and partisan affiliation. Interest teams that have actually the attention of the White Housage seek to affect the president’s selection of federal judges by saying candidays and screening those on the brief list.

Groups for or versus nominees lobby senators to approve, delay, or reject confirmation. Media-oriented tactics encompass testifying at hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee, feeding negative or positive indevelopment around nominees to senators and also reporters, sponsoring radio and tv advertisements, and organizing grassroots projects.Lauren Cohen Bell, Warring Factions: Interemainder Groups, Money, and also the New Politics of Senate Confirmation (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2002).

Interest teams pursue their objectives in court.For the benefits and disadvantages of going to the courts, watch Julianna S. Gonen, Litigation as Lobbying (Columbus: Ohio State College Press, 2003). They may difficulty a policy, appeal adverse decisions by other branches of government, and file suits versus public officials to call for them to take or refrain from taking some activity. The US Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Litigation Center represents the interests of company before the courts.

Certain interemainder groups use the courts as the primary way to try to accomplish their goals. For instance, the Amerihave the right to Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) often brings instances prior to the courts to assert and also safeguard constitutional legal rights. Throughout the 1970s the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, headed by Ruth Bader Ginsburg (later on to be appointed to the Court by President Clinton), filed the majority of cases that tested discrimicountry versus women and were heard by the Supreme Court.

Interemainder teams might additionally go to court as soon as they lack affect in the legislative and executive branches. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) installed a litigation campaign against segregation laws, culminating in its remarkable victory in the Supreme Court’s 1954 unanimous school desegregation decision of Brown v. Board of Education.


Brown v. Board of Education

For even more information on Brvery own v. Board of Education, see http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1952/1952_1.

Regulation of Lobbying

As the opening anecdote from The Simpsons illustrates, interest teams in general and also lobbyists in specific get poor press. The media send out a drumbeat of criticism featuring stories of corruption and also scandals in the relationships of policyequipments and lobbyists.

The media’s negative depictions of lobbying and also the problem of members of Congress to refute accusations of being beholden to “unique interemainder groups” (a derogatory term) have actually developed proposals to regulate lobbyists and lobbying. These are designed to correct aboffers, placate the media, and also reascertain the public. They rise the amount of indevelopment about and also the visibility of lobbying, eliminate the appearance of corruption, and may reduce lobbyists’ influence over the policymaking process.

Comparing Coverage

Jack Abramoff

Jack Abramoff’s meteoric rise started in 1995, soon after the Republicans took over Congress and also interest groups and lobbying firms hired lobbyists associated to Republideserve to legislators and also conservative organizations. His lobbying successes started via keeping the government of the Northern Mariana Islands, an American area in the Pacific, exempt from Amerideserve to labor laws; the islands’ factories can pay their employees a pittance yet still label their commodities “Made in America.” Then he conserved a Native Amerideserve to people, the Mississippi Band also of Choctaws, numerous millions in feasible taxes by helping defeat a proposal to taxation casino earnings. Other Native Amerideserve to tribes hired him, as he operated to defeat regulation to topic them to state taxes.

Initial media coverage of Abramoff was favorable. On July 3, 2000, the Wall Street Journal publimelted a front-web page story describing his “money, methods and results” as “outstanding.”Jim VandeHei, “Rain Dance: Mississippi Choctaw Find an Unlikely Ally In a GOP Stalwart…,” Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2000. On April 2002 the New York Times publiburned a similar front-web page story, with quotes such as “‘I speak to Jack Abramoff, and also I get results’” and also, from the lobbyist himself, “‘All of my political work…is driven by thoughtful interests, not by a desire to obtain wealth.’”David E. Rosenbaum, “At $500 an Hour, Lobbyist’s Influence Rises through G.O.P.,” New York Times, April 3, 2002, accessed March 23, 2011, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullweb page.html?res=9A01E6DC103AF930A35757C0A9649C8B63. Both stories consisted of criticisms of the lobbyist yet portrayed the guy and his power and achievements positively in its entirety.

On February 22, 2004, a front-page story in the Washington Post exposed Abramoff in the initially of a series of investigative reports that would continue over three years.Susan Schmidt, “A Jackpot from Indian Gaming Tribes,” Washington Post, February 22, 2004, accessed March 23, 2011, http://www.washingtonarticle.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A60906-2004Feb21?language=printer. According to an article in Vanity Fair, “Abramoff believes the media’s negative coverage, resulting in his downfall, started through contending Republihave the right to lobbyists that coveted his clientele and also fed damaging indevelopment around him to the newspaper.”David Margolick,”Washington’s Invisible Man,” Vanity Fair, April 2006, 247.

The stories revealed that Abramoff had exploited the Native Amerihave the right to people. Casino-affluent tribes had passist him and a public relationships firm more than $45 million over 3 years. Abramoff had provided some of the money to bribe members of Congress, make project contributions, organize fundelevating events, and also administer lavish trips, seats in sports boxes, and dinners for members of Congress and work for their loved ones.

Adding to Abramoff’s woes, Republideserve to Senator John McCain organized several days of media-spanned hearings in 2004 and also 2005 exposing his activities. According to Abramoff, McCain’s aides heightened the negative media coverage by doling out embarrassing e-mails to the press in which the lobbyist ridiculed his Native American clients as “morons” and also “monkeys” and intimidated to crush rival lobbyists favor bugs.David Margolick,”Washington’s Invisible Man,” Vanity Fair, April 2006, 200.

On January 3, 2006, Abramoff pled guilty to fraud, taxes evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials.

The initially comprehensive lobbying regulation was enacted in 1946. The Legislative Recompany Act compelled lobbyists to register their affiliation and also document their finances.US Government Printing Office, “Legislative Reorganization Acts: Provisions of the Legislative Reorganization Acts of 1946 and 1970 Applicable to Both Hosupplies,” accessed April 4, 2011, http://www.gpo.gov/congress/house/hd106-320/pdf/hrm85.pdf. Later, the 1995 Lobbying Disclocertain Act forced lobbying firms and also lobbyists to register through Congress and file reports twice per year listing their compensation, clients, lobbying prices, and also problems they are complying with for each of their clients.US House of Representatives, Office of the Law Revision Counsel, “2 USC Chapter 26: Disclocertain of Lobbying Activities,” accessed April 4, 2011, http://uscode.home.gov/download/pls/02C26.txt. Only trivial gifts from lobbyists to legislators are permitted.Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-65, 109 Stat. 691–706 (December 19, 1995).

In 2006, a series of corruption scandals added to the Republicans losing manage of Congress. During the election Democrats pledged to reform the culture of Washington, DC. In 2007, the Democrat-regulated Congress passed and also President George W. Shrub signed a law establishing brand-new values and also lobbying rules for Congress. Its main provisions bar members from accepting gifts, meals, or trips from lobbyists or the establishments that employ them, calls for the filing of lobbying reports on the Net, and boosts the civil and also criminal penalties for failing to comply through lobbying laws.

When Barack Obama ended up being president in 2009, he issued an executive order forbidding appointees in every executive agency from accepting presents, participating for two years on any issue they had worked on in prior employment, lobbying Congress for two years after leaving the administration, and also ever before lobbying the Obama administration.“Executive Order—Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel,” January 21, 2009, http://www.whitehome.gov/the_press_office/Executive Order-Ethics Commitments. However before, the manipulation of legal loopholes and a lack of stringent enforcement have the right to undermine the performance of any type of lobbying regulations.

Key Takeaways

Interests teams use lobbyists to influence public officials. Lobbyists look for access to public officials in all government branches. Lobbyists attempt to influence government officials by offering indevelopment concerning their group’s interests and through grassroots lobbying. Many type of lobbyists are previous public officials. The media are frequently instrumental of lobbying, and miscellaneous attempts have actually been made to regulate lobbyists and also lobbying. The manipulation of legal loopholes and also the lack of stringent enforcement periodically undermine lobbying regulations.


Do you think it matters that so many government servants end up being lobbyists and also vice versa? What are the benefits and also disadvantages of having actually a “revolving door” between lobbying and also federal government service? What makes lobbyists handy to their clients? What have the right to lobbyists carry out for teams seeking to affect politics? How are lobbyists regulated? What have the right to lobbyists still legally execute under lobbying regulations?

In the book The Israel Lobby and also U.S. Foreign Policy, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt argue that the tasks of interemainder groups, notably the Amerideserve to Israel Public Affairs Committee, are one reason why, given that World War II, the USA has gave more direct economic and also military assistance to Israel than any type of various other ally and also pursues a policy of keeping and also improving Israel’s protection.John J. Mearsheimer and also Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and also UNITED STATE Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007). See also the critique by Robert C. Lieberguy, “The ‘Israel Lobby’ and also Amerideserve to Politics,” Perspectives on Politics 7, no. 2 (June 2009): 235–57; the rebuttal by John J. Mearsheimer and also Stephen M. Walt, “The Blind and also the Elephant in the Room: Robert Lieberguy and the Israel Lobby,” Perspectives on Politics 7, no. 2 (June 2009): 259–73; and the rejoinder by Robert Liebermale, “Rejoinder to Mearsheimer and Walt,” Perspectives on Politics 7, no. 2 (June 2009): 275–81. This raises the question of why interest teams succeed or fail to achieve their plan missions.

Why Interemainder Groups Are (or Are Not) Successful

The primary determinants determining an interemainder group’s effectiveness are its assets, objectives, alliances, the visibility of its involvement in plan decisions, and its responses to political change and also crises, plus, of course, the media’s depiction of it.


Successful interemainder teams have prestige, respected leadership, political skills, and ample finances. The Firm Roundtable, written of the chief executives of the 2 hundred leading corporations, has them all and thus has actually access to and affect on policyequipments. Monetary assets allow groups to contribute to political projects through their political action committees (PACs).


The ease or obstacle of achieving a group’s objectives have the right to identify its success. Preventing law from being enacted is generally much easier than passing it. In a considerable examine of interest team activities during the last two years of the Clinton management and also the initially two years of the George W. Bush administration, researchers uncovered that although some supporters succeed ultimately in changing policy, “he huge bulk of lobbying in Washington has to execute not with the creation of brand-new programs, yet fairly through the adjustment of existing programs or through the maintenance of programs just as they are.”Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry, Marje Hojnacki, David C. Kimball, and Beth L. Leech, Lobbying and also Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why (Chicago: University of Chicback Press, 2009), 240. See additionally R. Kenneth Godwin and Barry J. Seldon, “What Corporations Really Want from Government: The Public Provision of Private Goods,” in Interest Group Politics, sixth ed., ed. Allan J. Cigler and also Burdett A. Loomis (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2002), 205–224.

Furthermore, law enacted over the opplace of effective interest groups, tends to be watered down. Or the political costs of its passage are so heavy that its supporters in the presidential administration and also Congress are discouraged from challenging the groups aget.


Interemainder teams occasionally cooperate via various other groups to help them accomplish a plan objective they might not attain alone. A coalition broadens resources, expands field of expertise, and adds to the credibility of the plan missions. Alliances are regularly of herbal allies such as the National Restaurant Association, the Amerideserve to Nursery and Landscape Association, and also the National Council of Agricultural Employers, who unified to oppose restrictions on immigration and also penalties on businesses that employ illegal immigrants. But they deserve to be made up of stvariety bedfellows, as as soon as the Amerideserve to Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) allied to oppose the US Department of Justice putting raw, unsubstantiated data into a nationwide computer system netjob-related. For the ACLU, it was a violation of people’s best to privacy; for the NRA, it was a relocate toward denying people the best to bear arms.Jeffrey M. Berry, and Clyde Wilcox, The Interemainder Group Society, 3rd. ed. (New York: Longmale, 2008), 188–190.

Visibility of Policy Involvement

In what are called iron trianglesCongressional committees or subcommittees, bureaucratic agencies, and interest teams that together overcome policymaking in a policy location oftentimes with bit visibility., or subgovernments, plan on a topic is regularly made by a fairly few people from Congress, the bureaucracy, and also interemainder teams. A classic iron triangle has been veterans’ affairs policy. Members of Congress chairing the appropriate committees and also subcommittees and also their aides, crucial agency administrators from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and also representatives from interemainder groups such as the Amerihave the right to Legion and the Veterans of Fopower Wars (VFW) have connected and conquered policymaking.J. Leiper Freeman, The Political Process: Bureau-Legislative Committee Relations, rev. ed. (New York: Random Housage, 1965). This policymaking has taken place through low visibility and incredibly little bit opposition to the benefits gave for veterans. In general, the news media pay little bit attention to iron triangles in the lack of conflict and also conflict, and interemainder teams are most likely to accomplish many of their missions.

Political Change and Crises

Whether interest teams safeguard what they have actually or go on the offense to acquire new benefits frequently counts on that is in regulate of the government. Some interest groups’ purposes are sustained or opposed far even more by one political party than an additional. A new president or a adjust in party manage of Congress usually benefits some teams while placing others at a disadvantage. The Republihave the right to takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election put a brake on brand-new regulation of business by Congress, lessened funds for regulators to hire staff and also enpressure regulation, and limited investigations of sector practices.

Relations between Interest Groups and Policymakers

When regarded in its entirety, tbelow is a hierarchy in the affect of relationships between interemainder teams and also policymachines.These categories come from Samuel J. Eldersveld, “American Interest Groups,” in Interemainder Groups on Four Continents, ed. Henry W. Ehrmann (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1958), 187.

At the height, the interemainder team makes plan. This is unprevalent. More prevalent, the group maintains cshed political connections via policyequipments. The team has an unchallengeable veto condition over some governpsychological decisions, for example, over a presidential appointment. The group receives some attention from policymachines but mainly has a pressure relationship with them. The team has actually just a potential reprisal partnership through policymakers; it deserve to threaten to oppose a member of Congress at the next election. At the bottom of the ladder, rejected by policymakers, the team is left to agitate and also resist; its public demonstrations normally signify its incapacity to achieve its objectives by much less visible suggests.

The relationships in between interemainder groups and also policymachines differ depending upon the management in power. Energy companies had actually a close political support and referral connection through the George W. Bush management however mostly a pressure partnership through the Obama administration. Relationships additionally differ by subject. For instance, a Democratic president’s alternative to head the US Department of Labor may need to be acceptable to the American Federation of Labor and also Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), but the union organization has bit influence over other cabinet appointments.

Who Benefits from Interemainder Groups?

In Federalist No. 10, James Madikid cautions of the threats of factions: “ variety of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the totality, that are unified and actuated by some widespread impulse of passion, or of interemainder, adverse to the civil liberties of other citizens, or to the long-term and also accumulation interests of the community.”James Madichild, “Federalist #10,” in Clinton Rossiter, ed., The Federalist Papers (New York: New American Library, 1961), 78; view also Library of Congress, THOMAS, “Federalist No. 10,” accessed April 4, 2011, http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_10.html. Madikid thought that factions were inevitable, because their reasons were “sown in the nature of male.”James Madikid, “Federalist #10,” in The Federalist Papers, ed. Clinton Rossiter (New York: New Amerihave the right to Library, 1961), 79.

Madison’s factions are not specifically today’s interemainder groups. Certainly, interemainder groups, by representing varied segments of society, balance out among Madison’s concerns—the supremacy of the majority. Nonetheless, his warning raises crucial questions around the impacts of interest groups.

Pluralism: Competition among Groups

Briefly stated, pluralismThe theory that interest groups’ competition leads to policy balance through damage and negotiation. is the theory that competition among interest teams produces deteriorate and also balance among contending policy preferences. For pluralists, the abundance of interest teams, the competition between them, and their depiction of interests in culture are natural in Amerihave the right to democracy. Baracquiring between groups and ever-changing team partnerships attain a preferable dispersion of power or at leastern an acceptable balancing of the miscellaneous interests in culture.See Robert A. Dahl, A Prechallenge to Democratic Theory (Chicago: College of Chicearlier Press, 1956); likewise Arthur F. Bentley, The Process of Government: A Study of Social Pressures (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1908); and William P. Browne, Groups, Interests, and also U.S. Public Policy (Washington, DC: Georgetvery own College Press, 1998).

Pluralists acexpertise that some groups can conquer locations where their interests are paramount. But they think two determinants rectify this case. In overlapping membershipThe concept that once civilization belong to a number of interest teams, they encourage negotiation and weaken and also thereby limit any one team from conquering locations in which its interests are paramount., world belonging to a number of interemainder teams encourage negotiation and weaken. And underrepresented civilization will certainly in time develop groups to assert their interests.

The Advantage of Business

An discussion versus pluralism is that business has actually an advantage over various other segments of society, especially the bad and the functioning course. These Americans lack the disposable income and also political skills to organize. The problems that worry them are often lacking from the policy agenda.Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry, Marje Hojnacki, David C. Kimround, and Beth L. Leech, Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and also Why (Chicago: University of Chicearlier Press, 2009), 254–55. Business sponsors political advertisements, gives campaign contributions with PACs, donates to political parties, hires legislation and also public relationships firms, and also funds study advocacy teams cultivating free-market economics. A corporation can deploy multiple lobbyists and also attain accessibility to assorted policyequipments by joining several trade teams, belonging to organization associations such as the US Chamber of Commerce, and utilizing its CEO and various other personnel from headquarters to lobby.Jeffrey M. Berry, and also Clyde Wilcox, The Interest Group Society, 3rd. ed. (New York: Longguy, 2008), 221.

Firm and also profession associations comprise about 70 percent of the institutions with representation in Washington, DC.Kay Lehguy Schlozguy and John T. Tierney, Organized Interests and also American Democracy (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), 67. Add interest groups representing professionals, and they account for approximately 85 percent of full spfinishing on lobbying.Frank R. Baumgartner and Beth L. Leech, “Interemainder Niches and also Policy Bandwagons: Patterns of Interest Group Involvement in National Politics,” Journal of Politics 63, no. 4 (November 2001): 1197. The figure is for 1996.

Business is not monolithic. Interests problem between and among sectors, individual corporations, and also institutions representing specialists. Large businesses have the right to have actually various objectives than tiny businesses. The interests of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have the right to clash. In addition, even as soon as company is united, its needs are not necessarily gratified instantly and absolutely, particularly when the concern is visible and also the demands provoke opposition.

Negative Depictions of Business

The media regularly depict organization interest groups negatively, which deserve to limit the groups’ affect. Witness, for instance, stories about the dubious dealings and also bankruptcy of corporations such as Enron, the trials of corpoprice leaders who have pillaged their providers, and the huge salaries and bonprovides passist in financial and also related company sectors.

These stories could framework business interemainder teams more positively. They might allude out that service lobbyists favor essential and also deserving missions, present indevelopment and also valid disagreements to policymachines, and also make their proposals in a political arena (i.e., Congress) in competition with other groups. However before, the negative check out of business is incarnated in the enin the time of picture of the chairmale of the seven leading tobacco companies testifying prior to Congress (Note 9.27 "Enduring Image").

Enin the time of Image

Big Tobacco Testifies Before Congress

On April 14, 1994, the chief executives of the leading tobacco service providers stood up, raised their appropriate hands, and also swore before members of the subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the Housage of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce that nicotine was not addictive. The photograph of this minute, prominently featured in the US and also international media, has actually end up being an enin the time of image of business executives that location the interests and revenues of their corporations above the public interemainder even if it needs them to connect in self-deception, defy prevalent feeling about the dangers of their assets, and also offer deceptive testimony under oath.


The chairmen of the salso leading tobacco service providers swear that nicotine is not addictive.

Why does this photo of venal, virtually criminal, tobacco executives endure? Ssuggest put, television news’ proceeding coverage of the litigation by state attorneys general versus the tobacco providers forced vivid video to show and also dramatize an otherwise bland also story. What much better choice than the footage of the seven tobacco executives? Hence the picture circulated over and also over aobtain on the nightly news and also is commonly easily accessible on the Web years later on.

Key Takeaways

Several determinants identify the success or failure of interest teams in achieving their policy objectives. These include their assets, objectives, partnerships, visibility of their involvement in plan decisions, responses to political adjust and also situations, and also depictions in the media. Relatedly, tbelow is a power structure of interemainder groups’ relationships via policymakers. Pluralists regard interemainder teams as crucial to Amerideserve to democracy; doubters, however, think that organization interest teams are as well leading. Firm interest teams have actually several benefits allowing them to accomplish their plan missions but additionally a number of disbenefits, including negative media depictions.

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What provides an interest team effective? What perform you think are the a lot of effective interemainder teams in the United States? Why could interest teams be more effective as soon as their tasks are not commonly known? Why could publicity make lobbying much less effective? What advantages perform organization interemainder groups have actually in affecting politics? What components limit the efficiency of service interemainder lobbying?

Public Relations

Other interest teams have actually the need or the sources to strive for a favorable image and also promote themselves and also their plan preferences. One method is via declaring. They location advertisements on the tv networks’ evening news mirrors in policymakers’ constituencies, such as Washington, DC, and also New York, where opinion leaders will certainly view them and also in prominent newsrecords, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and also Wall Street Journal. Even media outallows via tiny audiences may be suitable for advertisements. The Lockheed Martin Corporation has actually advertised in the policy-oriented National Journal in order to reach Washington insiders and also policydevices.

Public relations is not confined to Amerihave the right to interest groups. Approximately 160 foreign federal governments have US public relationships consultants or lobbyists representing them in interacting via the US media, policydevices, and also the public. The firms instruct their clients on how to attend to the media, arselection meetings for them via journalists, put up editorial briefings, pitch stories to reporters and editors, and try to produce newsworthy occasions. These tactics generally succeed in raising and boosting the countries’ news coverage and also imperiods.Jarol B. Manheim, Strategic Public Diplomacy and also Amerideserve to Foreign Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994); likewise Jarol B. Manheim and also Robert B. Albritton, “Changing National Images: International Public Relations and also Media Agenda Setting,” Amerideserve to Political Science Review 78, no. 3 (September 1984): 641–57; and also Pat Choate, Agent