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Interest Groups A Necessary Evil? Interest Groups A Necessary Evil?

Opener • Jon Stewart Interviews Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, a Opener • Jon Stewart Interviews Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, a taxpayer advocacy/interest group Those Who Have Taken the Pledge • 238 Representatives • 41 Senators • Only 1 Democrat Daily Show: Grover Norquist 60 Minutes: Grover Norquist

60 Minutes Discussion Prompts • What is the Norquist Pledge? • When did members 60 Minutes Discussion Prompts • What is the Norquist Pledge? • When did members of Congress begin signing it? • How has Norquist convinced so many Republicans to sign and keep the pledge? Why are they most concerned about primary elections? • Why doesn’t Americans for Tax Reform have to report their donors names? • How might “The Pledge” explain some of the gridlock in Congress? What specific policy debates are influenced by the pledge? • How has Citizens United increased the power of Norquist? • Is the Norquist pledge ethical? Does it distort democracy?

U. S. Income Tax Rates U. S. Income Tax Rates

Tax Rate & National Debt • Is there causation/correlation between shifts in tax rate Tax Rate & National Debt • Is there causation/correlation between shifts in tax rate and national debt? • What additional factors may have contributed to the rapid growth of our national debt since the 1980 s? • How do interest groups contribute to the deficit and debt?

Interest Group • Definition: Organization dedicated to a certain unified cause with the primary Interest Group • Definition: Organization dedicated to a certain unified cause with the primary goal of influencing public policy to their benefit – Present at every level of government • How do political parties and interest groups differ? – Parties: nominate candidates, contest elections, and seek to gain control of government v. IG: seek to support public officials & influence public policies – Parties: Policy generalists v. IG: Policy specialists – Parties: Responsible to voters v. IG: resp. to members Daily Show--Interest Groups Colbert--Democrats, Republicans, and Lobbyists Colbert--Better Know A Lobby (Meat Industry-start video at 1: 45)

Over 22, 000 I. G…. Why Are There So Many? • • Variety of Over 22, 000 I. G…. Why Are There So Many? • • Variety of Divisive Issues= Many interests Federalism=Many Access Points Dealignment/Weakening Political Parties Campaign Finance Reform Act? – Made It Legal to Form PACs (FECA of 1974) • 1 st Amendment? • Expanded Role of Govt – Billions in federal $ available

Basic Functions • Represent Specific Interests – Educate; Raise Awareness • Linkage Institution • Basic Functions • Represent Specific Interests – Educate; Raise Awareness • Linkage Institution • Agenda Setting • Influence Actions of Government – What bills/laws are written; how they are written; if they’re passed – Enforcement of Laws…How?

What Determines the Effectiveness of Interest Groups? • Common Characteristics: – Financial Resources • What Determines the Effectiveness of Interest Groups? • Common Characteristics: – Financial Resources • Hire lobbyists, support PACs, write amicus curiae briefs – Organizational Skills – Intensity • Often single issue groups w/ narrow focus able to mobilize intensely committed members; smaller demands – Size of the group? • A large group may have a lot of sway, but more subject to the Free-Rider problem • Small groups are easier to organize/rally • Business I. G. – Many financial resources; Contribute heavily to campaigns – Many been around long so connections w/ Congress – Push for narrow, minute tax laws most don’t notice

Categories/Types of I. G. • Business/Labor/Agricultural Groups (Economic): – Form to promote/protect economic interests Categories/Types of I. G. • Business/Labor/Agricultural Groups (Economic): – Form to promote/protect economic interests – Well funded/either rep. large constituencies or employs one • Professional Associations – ABA; AMA • Environmental groups – Sierra Club • Public Interest & Single Issue – Org. around well defined set of policy issues – Some Single Issue: Powerful b/c intensity of supporters – P. I. Groups: Usually concerned w/ environment, consumer protection, civil rights • Government Interest Groups: – States/cities now employ lobbyists…why? • What role might mandates play in this?

Most Powerful Interest Groups • National Rifle Association – An active membership and hefty Most Powerful Interest Groups • National Rifle Association – An active membership and hefty bank account make the NRA the envy of other special interest groups. The NRA claims 5 million members, and according to Business. Insider. com, in 2010 it boasted revenues of almost $228 million and assets of $163 million. The NRA’s membership and financial health give it enormous clout both in influencing the public and politicians. Think back to the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. While polls showed public support for more restrictive gun-control legislation, and President Barack Obama pushed extensively for changes, the NRA’s lobbying — and the omnipresent threat it posed to Democrats in conservative districts and states — defeated the effort to impose new gun controls. In fact, the NRA cited recent federal efforts to enact new gun-control measures with bringing in hundreds of thousands of new members. NRA Stands Its Ground v. Surgeon General Nominee

Most Powerful Interest Groups • Chamber of Commerce – The U. S. Chamber of Most Powerful Interest Groups • Chamber of Commerce – The U. S. Chamber of Commerce is the biggest organizational spender in American politics, according to the Center for Responsive Politics Open. Secrets. org site. Between 1998 and 2014, this organization representing more than 3 million members spent a whopping $1 billion — equivalent to the GDP of countries like Mongolia and Belize. This figure dwarfs the second-biggest spender on the list, the American Medical Association, at a comparatively paltry $306 million. Not surprisingly, the Chamber has overwhelmingly supported GOP candidates — so much so that donations to the group have been deemed “controversial” for some companies with a broad, global customer base; in 2009, for instance, Apple and Nike were among the corporations that “quit” the member-organization, due to its opposition of policies to proactively address climate change.

Most Powerful Interest Groups • American Medical Association – A frequent supporter of Republican Most Powerful Interest Groups • American Medical Association – A frequent supporter of Republican candidates, the AMA spent around $306 million in lobbying from 1998 to 2014, second only to the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, it ranked eighth out of more than 4, 100 organizations surveyed in terms of lobbying, spending $18. 25 million. Again, money isn’t everything in the world of politics. When the AMA announced its support of the Affordable Care Act legislation in 2010, health-care supporters widely trumpeted the news; when a group with more than 200, 000 members in a highly respected occupation — physician — supports your cause, that type of influence is almost priceless. Not surprisingly, Medicare and Medicaid represent the top issues lobbied by the AMA in 2013.

Most Powerful Interest Groups • American Assoc. for Retired People-AARP – The AARP, which Most Powerful Interest Groups • American Assoc. for Retired People-AARP – The AARP, which began as the American Association of Retired Persons, claims 37 million members and represents the interests of Americans aged 50 -plus. When the AARP expresses interest in an issue, politicians, the media and the public take note. Look no further than the AARP’s endorsement of the Affordable Care Act (aka health care reform). In addition to offering its endorsement of the law, the AARP championed provisions such as annual wellness and preventive screenings and measures to close the infamous Medicare Part D donut hole. Of course, the AARP also has additional influence through its role selling millions of supplemental health insurance policies to seniors. – While The Association of Mature American Citizens and other groups have emerged as “conservative” alternatives, the AARP contends it supports private options (a bone of contention among right-wingers) as long as Medicare remains a viable option. With 10, 000 boomers turning 65 every day, the AARP shows no signs of becoming a fossil as more seniors of all backgrounds and political leanings are staying active and living longer.

Most Powerful Interest Groups • Americans for Prosperity-Koch Brothers – Mass funding and staff Most Powerful Interest Groups • Americans for Prosperity-Koch Brothers – Mass funding and staff • Moveon. org-Liberal Group – Small donations, but many donors (avg. $20) • • American Israel Public Affairs Comm. (AIPAC) AFL-CIO NAACP National Right to Life Committee

History • Madison: – Why did Madison argue the Constitution would protect against the History • Madison: – Why did Madison argue the Constitution would protect against the effects of factions/special interests? • Federalism/Republic/Separation of Powers – Theory: Power decentralized/balanced – Practice: creates divisions and access points • Federalists & Anti-Federalists • Growth of Interest Groups – 1830 s: Most, single issue…Abolitionists – 1890 -1920 s: Progressive Era…groups for reform – 1950 -1970 s: Groups form in support of minorities, the poor, elderly, & consumers (Nader)

Fundamental Goals of Interest Groups 1. Gain access to policymakers 2. Influence public policy Fundamental Goals of Interest Groups 1. Gain access to policymakers 2. Influence public policy 3. Support sympathetic policymakers

Interest Groups: Lobbyists • Lobbying: Process by which interest groups attempt to influence the Interest Groups: Lobbyists • Lobbying: Process by which interest groups attempt to influence the decisions of policymakers – Carried out by “Lobbyists” – Approx. 30, 000 lobbyists; spend $2 billion/yr. lobbying Congress…alone – Lobby Congress, Executive, Bureaucracy, Amicus Curiae • Target govt. officials, esp. legislators/ bureaucrats – Key Target: Undecided leg. or bureaucrat…Why? – Target: Regulatory Agencies • Goal: pursue their legislative agenda; influence appointments to bureaucracy/courts

Lobbying the 3 Branches • Key Target: Congress – See examples listed under Interest Lobbying the 3 Branches • Key Target: Congress – See examples listed under Interest Group strategies – Also, many interest groups actually write the legislation posed by Congress • i. e. ALEC; Health Insurance lobbyists had huge role writing Obamacare/Healthcare Reform. • Executive: – Most presidents have a staffer to act as a gateway between interest groups and the administration. – Interest groups pay close attention to gaining access to regulatory agencies of the exec. Branch • Attempt to get bureaucratic regulations weakened/strengthened in enforcement; influence rules made by bureaucracy – Attempt to influence President’s Judicial and Bureaucratic appointments • Courts: – Judicial branch designed to be free from public opinion, but… • Submit amicus curiae briefs • Use of litigation to achieve goals (NAACP) • Prominent role influencing nominees to Supreme and Federal Courts

Lobbying the Bureaucracy • Interest Groups also target: – Cabinet Departments (i. e. Dept. Lobbying the Bureaucracy • Interest Groups also target: – Cabinet Departments (i. e. Dept. of Defense, Energy, etc. ) – Regulatory Agencies (i. e. EPA, SEC, FDA, etc. ) • Interest Group influence on Bureaucracy – Attempt to influence appointment/confirmation of heads of dept. /agency favorable to their interest – Lobby Exec. /Congress for more or less funding for bureaucratic agencies that impact them. – Target key bureaucrats to influence their enforcement/ implementation of legislation/executive directives • Revolving Door: Promise jobs in private sector in the future, for cooperation with the interest group while individual is in government – Bureaucracy often consults impacted interest groups when writing rules and regulations that impact that policy area.

I. G. Strategies • “My boss demands a speech • Testify before Congressional and I. G. Strategies • “My boss demands a speech • Testify before Congressional and a statement for the Committees & executive Congressional Record for agencies = experts every bill we introduce or co • Provide members of -sponsor—and we have a Congress with information lot of bills. I just can’t do it – Must appear all myself. The better reliable/trustworthy; provide lobbyists, when they have a accurate credible info…but proposal they are pushing, biased bring it to me along with a – Help craft/write legislation couple of speeches, a • Bring influential Record insert, and a fact constituents to D. C. to meet sheet. ”—Congressional Aide w/ reps.

I. G. Strategies • Contributing $ to Candidates – Financial support to candidates & I. G. Strategies • Contributing $ to Candidates – Financial support to candidates & parties that support their cause/interest – Political Action Committees (PAC) • Formed by business, labor, or I. G. to raise money and make contributions to the campaign of political candidates whom they support. • Goal: Influence elections to gain better access to politicians – Make large contributions to incumbent members of the House – Contribute to House members who serve on committees/subcommittees that consider legislation affecting the I. G. – Limited to $5, 000 direct contributions…but Citizens United Wall Street Interests Use Money to Influence VP (Begin at 4: 19) Open Secrets: NRA Summary Washington Post-NRA Donations

I. G. Strategies • Amicus Curiae Briefs – Influence court decisions • “Social Functions” I. G. Strategies • Amicus Curiae Briefs – Influence court decisions • “Social Functions” – “Fine Dining Experiences” • Endorsement – Publicly announce support for candidate/nominee …(or can openly oppose candidate) – NRA Anti-Obama Ad • Rally membership/grassroots – Get public involved & organized

I. G. Strategies • Shaping Public Opinion – Use expensive P. R. campaigns to I. G. Strategies • Shaping Public Opinion – Use expensive P. R. campaigns to bring issues to public’s attention • MADD Ad – Use ads to promote their image • NRA Charlie Daniels Ad • NRA Ad-"Moms Like Me“ – May use grass roots strategies • i. e. visible protests (civil rights orgs) • REVOLVING DOOR! – Promise to govt. officials of big contracts and jobs in the private sector when they leave govt. Daily Show: ATF-There Goes the Boom

ATF-Impact of Lobbying Discussion Questions • List as many connections you can between what ATF-Impact of Lobbying Discussion Questions • List as many connections you can between what we’ve discussed regarding Interest Group influence and the video clip. • What specific strategies did the NRA utilize to influence members of Congress?

NRA Influence Open Secrets: NRA Summary Washington Post-NRA Donations NRA Influence Open Secrets: NRA Summary Washington Post-NRA Donations

The Revolving Door The Revolving Door

Accessing Lawmakers: The Revolving Door • Revolving Door – The movement of individuals back Accessing Lawmakers: The Revolving Door • Revolving Door – The movement of individuals back and forth between roles as members of Congress/congressional staffers/ bureaucratic regulators and the industries affected by the legislation and regulation – Shuffles former federal employees into jobs as lobbyists, consultants and strategists just as the door pulls former hired guns into government careers. – Over 5, 800 congressional staffers and former lawmakers have left Capitol Hill to become federal lobbyists for interest groups in the past 10 years • Why are so many people on Capitol Hill recruited as lobbyists? • What is the impact of the revolving door? How does this influence legislation?

Revolving Door at Work… 60 Minutes: Under the Influence Revolving Door at Work… 60 Minutes: Under the Influence

Medicare Reform Discussion Prompts • How did the Medicare Reform bill benefit the drug Medicare Reform Discussion Prompts • How did the Medicare Reform bill benefit the drug companies? • How does the cost of drugs under Medicare differ from Veterans Affairs (the VA)? • What were many representatives and their staffers who were instrumental in passing the Medicare Reform bill offered by the Drug Lobbying Industry? • How is this an example of the revolving door? • How many members of Congress and their staffers left to go work for the Drug industry after passing the bill? • Does the revolving door, “open the door” for corruption in our government?

Revolving Door at Work • “As Bush Sr. 's Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney Revolving Door at Work • “As Bush Sr. 's Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney steered millions of dollars in government business to a private military contractor [Brown and Root Services] -- whose parent company [Halliburton] just happened to give him a multi-million dollar job after he left the government. ”

Revolving Door at Work • Former Congressman Glenn English (D-OK) made $9, 294, 207 Revolving Door at Work • Former Congressman Glenn English (D-OK) made $9, 294, 207 between 2004 and 2010 as the head of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. English, who represents many coal-dependent electric cooperatives, played a significant role in weakening climate reform legislation in 2009. Although English became head of the NREOA after 1994, Republic Report only had access to disclosures for a six year period. Comparing his congressional salary in 1994 and his last reported lobbying salary in 2009, English’s pay went up 1504%. • Former Congressman Richard Baker (R-LA) made $3, 219, 255 between 2008 and 2009 as head of a hedge fund lobbying association. Republic Report reviewed disclosures from the Managed Funds Association, a group that represents hedge funds including Caxton Associations, Magnetar Capital, and Third Point LLC. In Congress, as a member of the influential House Financial Services Committee, Baker oversaw efforts to relax regulations governing Wall Street. Baker’s salary went up 956% after he left office.

An Inside Look into the Revolving Door “If retiring from the Senate meant the An Inside Look into the Revolving Door “If retiring from the Senate meant the same thing it meant in the real world – moving to Florida, buying a condo and playing golf – Coats could be excused for wanting to return to his more exciting old life. But senators rarely leave the esteemed body because they want to sit by the pool and work on crossword puzzles. No, senators retire for three possible reasons. First, they’re frustrated with the Senate: the travel, the long days and, often, though not in Coats’s case, the difficulty of passing legislation from the minority party. Second, they think they’re going to lose, and they don’t want to face a lengthy and difficult reelection bid. Third, they wish to parlay their power and influence into financial gain. ” Brian Sumers

Attempted Limits on Lobbying • Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act – Require lobbyists register Attempted Limits on Lobbying • Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act – Require lobbyists register & disclose salaries, their employers, expenses, nature of activities (bills/issues lobby on behalf) – Defined who was considered a lobbyist • Ethics in Government Act 1978 – created the U. S. Office of Independent Counsel • investigate government officials – Increased length of time an individual must wait between leaving government position/office and lobbying privately the govt. agency he or she worked for to 2 years – Currently ONLY 1 YEAR…How might this open door for corruption? • Loopholes? : “Consultant” • Lobbyists Disclosure Act of 1995 – Extends def. of lobbyist to include part-timers

Monetary “Limits” • FECA of 1974 – Limited direct contributions to candidates • Mc. Monetary “Limits” • FECA of 1974 – Limited direct contributions to candidates • Mc. Cain Feingold/Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act – Banned Soft Money in federal elections • But…Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has changed the game…How?

Membership/Negatives • Typical Members Are: – Above average income and education – Generally white Membership/Negatives • Typical Members Are: – Above average income and education – Generally white collar • But represent a lot of blue collar interests? – Free rider: get benefits without the effort • Negatives to Membership – “Selfish…”—Promote self-interests of the group – Expensive—costs to lobby & promote interests – Legalized Bribery?

Who Has Power and Influence in the U. S. ? • Elitist Theory – Who Has Power and Influence in the U. S. ? • Elitist Theory – Small # of super rich individuals, powerful corporate interest groups, and large financial instit. dominate key policy areas – PACs encourage close connection b/n money and politics (Business PACs undue influence over policymakers) “Citizens with lower or moderate incomes speak with a whisper that is lost on the ears of inattentive government officials, while the advantaged roar with a clarity and consistency that policymakers readily hear and routinely follow” –American Political Science Association

Who Has Power and Influence in the U. S. • Pluralist Theory – Many Who Has Power and Influence in the U. S. • Pluralist Theory – Many interest groups compete for power in large number of policy areas; thus, public policy emerges from bargaining and compromise – Argue 1 group can’t dominate system b/c system of federalism and sep. of powers provides many points of access and influence – Argue I. G. that lacks financial resources can turn to courts • Hyperpluralist Theory – Too many interest groups trying to influence policy – Efforts to appease competing I. G. leads to confusing and contradictory policies or officials avoiding hard choices

Discussion Questions • Do interest groups promote the public interest? In your response discuss Discussion Questions • Do interest groups promote the public interest? In your response discuss elitism, pluralism, or hyperpluralism. • Do interest groups lead to gridlock or do they serve as an unofficial part of checks and balances? • The essence of democracy is civic participation and I. G. embody such participation. If a few such groups dominated, there would be a problem, but Madison in Federalist 10 says the U. S. and federal system are too big for that to happen. Agree or Disagree?

Exit Slips • Do interest groups promote the public interest? In your response discuss Exit Slips • Do interest groups promote the public interest? In your response discuss elitism, pluralism, or hyperpluralism. • Define and describe the revolving door. Explain, how does the revolving door impact policy?