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October 5 Lecture Notes

by: Kendall Notetaker

October 5 Lecture Notes 206

Marketplace > Texas A&M University > Political Science > 206 > October 5 Lecture Notes
Kendall Notetaker
Texas A&M

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These are the notes from the October 5 lecture
American National Government
John Bond
Class Notes
Interest Groups
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kendall Notetaker on Wednesday October 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 206 at Texas A&M University taught by John Bond in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Texas A&M University.


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Date Created: 10/05/16
October 5, 2016 Notes A. Other Theories 1. Pluralist Theory a. Latent (unorganized) interests “spontaneously” organize 1) To take advantage of an opportunity 2) In response to threat b. Can’t explain how latent groups overcome the free rider problem 2. Exchange Theory a. Similar to Mancur Olsen’s theory but emphasizes leadership b. Groups form as a result of a deal—an exchange—between 1) a group entrepreneur & an unorganized interest 2) Individuals w/ common interest join in exchange for selective benefits 3. Niche Theory a. Applies biological concepts to interest groups 1) Population ecology—study of how animals interact w/ environment 2) Carrying capacity—ability to support various species that compete resources 3) Partitioning envir. into various niches increases carrying capacity 4) Various species occupy a small niche to minimize competition from similar species b. Explains the explosive growth of interest groups— partitioning into small segments representing narrower & narrower interests III. Interest Group Activities A. Lobbying  Activities to influence public policy to promote or protect group interest  Direct Lobbying i. Direct contact with policy maker ii. One-on-one meeting, testify at committee hearing, letters & email  Indirect lobbying i. Work through intermediaries ii. Constituents; influential people in the district iii. Barcardi’s Rum’s Triple Bank Shot B. Targets of Interest Group Lobbying  Their own membership- united front i. More effective if their membership is all saying the same thing  Other groups October 5, 2016 Notes i. Coalitions based on common, overlapping interest ii. Logrolling 1. Coalitions of uncommon interest 2. “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”  Political Parties i. Participate in primaries and try to get the candidate most sympathetic to their view elected  Public opinion  Congress  President and executive branch  Courts i. Test Cases ii. Amicus curiae briefs (Friend of the Court) IV. Power & Influence of Interest Groups in American Politics A. Mostly a conservative force  Seldom powerful enough to push through big changes  Often powerful enough to block change and preserve status quo i. Multiple decision points ii. Big policy change requires winning at each point iii. Blocking change requires winning at only one point B. 2-Way flow of communication between citizens and government  Aggregate and communicate demands from citizens and government  Watch what government does and report back to members Table 6.2: Interest Group Ratings of Some Members of Congress   ADA ACLU AFS LCV NTU COC ACU Democrats               Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA­8), Minority Leader 95 100 100 100 11 40 8 Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD­5), Minority Whip 90 88 100 100 5 14 0 Rep. James Clyburn (SC­6), Assist. Minority  95 80 100 100 2 13 0 Leader Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX­28) 75 69 88 70 14 63 13 Sen. Harry Reid (NV), Minority Leader 75 100 92 100 8 18 0 Sen. Richard Durbin (IL), Minority Whip 95 93 98 100 6 18 0 Sen. Bararck Obama (IL) 95 83 100 100 16 39 8 Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) 95 83 100 71 17 67 8 October 5, 2016 Notes Sen. Mark Pryor (AR) 65 60 91 14 22 60 29 Republicans               Rep. Paul Ryan (WI­1), Speaker of the House  0 0 14 6 77 94 84 Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA­23), Majority Whip 0 0 0 9 72 100 86 0 0 14 9 63 93 60 Rep. Peter King (NY­2) 0 0 0 6 79 100 96 Rep. Kevin Brady (TX­8) 0 7 8 0 97 100 96 Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY), Majority Leader Sen. John Cornyn (TX), Assist. Majority Leader 0 7 2 0 99 100 100 Sen. John McCain (AZ) 5 17 0 0 88 100 63 Sen. Susan Collins (ME) 40 47 36 64 72 82 64 ADA Americans for Democratic Action (liberal) ACLU American Civil Liberties Union (pro­individual liberties) AFS American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (liberal labor) LCV League of Conservation Voters (environmental) NTU National Taxpayers Union (pro­taxpayer rights) COC Chamber of Commerce of the United States (pro­business) ACU American Conservative Union (conservative) C. Groups regulate each other through countervailing power  Scrutinize opponents and report negative information  Effective only if interest are organized on both sides i. Some interest are not organized ii. Most effective in getting small, narrow, benefits w/ no public attention October 5, 2016 Notes


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