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American Association of Retired People, the largest single interest group in the US with over 35 million members(2002)
American Federation of Labor (created 1886) national organization of labor unions, powerful interst group though not as strong as it once was
American Federation of Labor merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizer in 1955. worked together on a national level to protect concessions won from employers as well as other issues of members' concerns such as minimum wage, environment, civil rights, medical insurance, health care. Not as powerful as it once was
Business Roundtable
Created in 1972 to start a new more politically oriented organization to advance businesses political and finanical interests in Washington. Has representatives from about 150 major corporations and is described as a "fraternity of powerful and prestigious business leaders that tells business's side of the story" to legislators bureaucrats and White hourse personal. They have lots of lobbyists to try and influence the course of poloicy formation such as in 1998 when they went aganist the Kyoto agreement because they felt that enviromental regulations would hurt their business.
Chamber of Commerce
A major business organization that was started in 1912 with the assistance of the Secertary of Commerce and Labor
Christian Coalition
Formed by Pat Robertson of the 700 Club. Religious conservatives that had an important role in Republicans control of congress in 1994, endorses political canidates, lobbies a lot.
civic virtue
Tendency to form small scale associations for the public good
Clayton Act
Passed in 1914 because of extensive lobbying by AFL, allowed unions to organize free from prosecution and guaranteed their right to strike
collective good
Something of value that cannot be withheld from a non group member, for example, a tax write off or a better environment
Common Cause
Public interest group headed by Ralph Nader, challenged the aspects of the congressional seniority system, urged passage of campaign financing reforms
disturbance theory
Political scientist David B. Truman's theory that interest groups form in part to counteract the efforts of other groups. According to Truman, the government's role is to provide a forum in which the competing demands of groups and the majority of the U.S. population can be heard and balanced.
economic interest group
A group with the primary purpose of promoting the financial interests of its members.
election lobbying
Interest groups try to achieve their goals through conventional and unconventional forms of lobbying and protest activity. Lobbying is the most important activity for most interest groups. Successful lobbying requires spending large amounts of money. Interest groups also supplement their lobbying efforts with campaign contributions to congressional candidates.
Many interest groups claim to be nonpartisan, but some groups endorse candidates for public office by pledging money, supporting a candidate as a group, and providing campaign volunteers. EMILY's List, which is a women's group, endorses candidates and contributes heavily to races of pro-choice, Democratic women. In 1998, Planned Parenthood endorsed candidates for the first time. Once groups become overly political, their tax-exempt status is jeopardized. Federal law does not allow tax exempt organizations from taking partisan positions. Endorsements from some groups can be used by a candidate's opponent to attack a candidate.
free rider problem
Potential members fail to join a group because they can get the benefit, or collective good, sought by the group without contributing to the effort.
grassroots lobbying
A form of pressure-group activity that attempts to involve those people at the bottom level of the political system.
interest group
an organized group that tries to influence public policy
activities by a group to influence legislation and political leaders
lobbying techniques
most popular include testifying at legislative hearings for/against a bill, speaking to government officials, working on legislation and other important work, encouraging constituents to participate by contacting government members or working on campaigns, and talking to media
argues and lobbies Congress, executive branch, courts, and voters to hear and vote for chosen causes
Moral Majority
The first major new religious group, headed by Jerry Fallwell, that was widely credited with assisting Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential victory as well as the defeats of several liberal Democratic senators that same year through voter registration. The group was disbanded in 1989 after suffering from a series of financial and sexual scandals involving television evangelists.
Nader's Raiders
A political party that publicizes the environmental concerns Ralph Nader, 1996 and 2000 nominee of the Green Party, has been known to stand for.
The National Association of Manufacturers, founded in 1895 by manufacturers who had suffered business reverses in the economic panic of 1893, who also believed they were being affected adversely by the growth of organized labor. Because of their "insistent and abrasive" tactics and lavish expenditures of monies, President Wilson was forced to denounce it's lobbying tactics as an "unbearable situation" and Congress called for immedate investigation of the group's activities.
The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, an example of a single issue political action group.
Political Action Committee. Federally mandated, officially registered fund-raising committee that represents interest groups in the political process.
Persons who finance a group or individual activity.
protest lobbying
The activities of groups and organizations that seek to influence legislation and persuade political leaders to support a group's position.
public interest group
An organization that seeks a collective good that will not selectively and materially benefit the members of the group.
Ralph Nader
Formed the Public Citizen Interest Group.
Rock the Vote
Initiative to get more young people to vote, since the 18-25 age slot had the lowest proportion of voters.
single-issue groups
Interest groups that are lobbying for a single issue, for example, the NRA or anti and pro abortion groups. These groups often have more zeal in their efforts because their focus is so narrow.
social capital
The myriad relationships that individuals enjoy that facilitate the resolution of community problems through collective action.
trade association
a group that represents specific industries
WomenÂ’s Christian Temperance Union: anti-abortion

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