Chapter 9: Interest Groups & Lobbyists

Monday, January 28, 2008 1:30 PM

Those concerned with a particular issue.

Those hired by an interest group to try to get members of Congress to vote in a way that would benefit the interest group.

Eg: ○ Tobacco Industry ○ Gun Lobby ○ Oil Industry ○ AMA (American Medical Association)  Malpractice insurance ○ AIPAC

1) 7,000 organizations in Washington D.C. have interest groups with lobbyists. ○ 51% - corporations, especially oil. ○ 33% - professors & trade associations. A) Broad economic developments create new issues Before 1960 Since 1960: Increase in 1. Outsourcing jobs B) Gov't policy creates interest group Corporations "Public interest" lobbies 2) Unions 1. Civil rights group C) Social movements Trade Associations Environmentalists 1. Professional Associations Consumer protection groups 3) There are many interest groups because: a) Many cleavages in society. b) Wish to deal with individuals rather than with political parties. c) Local, state, federal gov'ts all need to be lobbied. 4) Kinds of Organizations A) Institutional Interests  Ex: American Cotton Manufacturers' Institute US Chamber of Commerce B) Membership Interests  Ex: Civic Duty & Political Efficacy C) Those offering incentives - mass membership organizations  NAACP  American Legion/Veterans of Foreign Wars (solidary incentives) D) Material Incentives  AARP E) Purposive Incentives (ideological groups)  Think tanks are public interest orgs that do research on policy questions and share their findings in books and articles and often times testify in front of Congress. □ They have special expertise so that they are not just giving their opinions but rather are backing them up with some kind of data. □ They provide information (technical, mathematical, or otherwise) that give people a way of saying - "I didn't know that." □ May work on a particular problem.  Eg: $2 surcharge on the price of gasoline. Effect on American economy? ◊ By forcing Americans into taking another look into: are we wasting oil?  Eg: Decriminalize marijuana. ◊ Money out of the hands of people who shouldn't be making this money. Conservatives - Criminal justice legal foundation Liberal - Public citizen (consumer production) From where do interest groups get their money? 1) Foundation grants 2) Gov't grants 3) Direct-mail solicitation • As the _______________ increase, the likelihood of them joining an interest group ________. • Interest groups supply political information. • Lobbyists cannot afford to mislead a legislature.

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Lobbyists cannot afford to mislead a legislature. The value of the information of the lobbyists is greatest when the issue is fairly narrow. The power of the lobbyists is least effective when the information is broad. A politician wants from a lobbyist: a) What values are at stake? b) Who's for and against this proposal? c) How does this issue fit into my set of political beliefs? Interest groups who have great influence with Democrats: ○ Unions ○ Civil Rights groups ○ Consumer Watch-Dog Groups Interest groups who have great influence with Republicans: ○ Christian Coalition ○ American Medical Association ○ Chamber of Commerce In the past, an insider strategy has been used - where they lobbyists work closely with a few key, influential members of Congress. Today, they send out faxes, contact people over the internet, they have toll-free #'s. Most members of Congress prefer to work with interest groups with whom they agree. Most lobbyists prefer to work with members of Congress with whom they agree. Lobbyists; key target =the undecided or wavering legislature.

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A Problem for the Public Interest
Monday, February 04, 2008 1:32 PM

The Revolving Door: A) Each year, people leave jobs in federal gov't, and take jobs in private industry - sometimes as lobbyists. B) If federal gov't official does something for a corporation or industry, in hopes of landing a job once he leaves office. The public interest suffers. Gov't official Al D'Amato - Senator from NY before Schumer defeated him. ○ When defeated, he stayed in NY as a lobbyist.  He knows how the system works.  He knows people. Corp.

[See Iron Triangle]


Old Law Regulatory Interest Groups Background: 1. Interest group activity protected by 1st amendment. 2. All lobbyists must register with House & Senate and fill out financial repents (1946). New Law: 1995 ○ Defines a lobbyist: Those who spend at least 20% of their time lobbying those who are paid at least $5k in any 6-month period to lobby Corps or other groups who spend more than $20K in 6month period on lobbying staff. ○ Lobbyists must report: (twice a year) 1. Names of clients 2. Incomes & expenditures 3. Issues on which they worked Legal Constraints ○ If a non-profit organization does lobbying, it will lose its tax-exempt states, will have to pay income tax, and financial contributions to it cannot be dedicated on donors' income tax return.

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Chapter 10: The Media
Wednesday, February 06, 2008 1:32 PM

I. The Media a. All elected officials have a love-hate relationship with the media: i. Depend on Media - for advancement of careers and policies ii. Fear Media - for criticism which can expose/destroy careers b. Politicians try to woo media - express disarray and rage when spurned. c. Freedom of media greater in USA than any other nation. i. Law of Libel- loose enough to permit intense and sometimes inaccurate criticism. 1) Must Prove 2 Things:  Media knowingly repeat incorrect information.  Reputation of official was harmed. d. Freedom of Information Act- Guarantees that very little can be kept secret. e. US Government does not have the power to censor or dictate content of stories sometimes power to license has been used to harass station owners/reporters who fall out of favor with the White House. f. Almost all American stations are privately owned and require government license to operate. i. Radio- 7 year term ii. TV- 5 year term g. Mass Media are businesses which must earn a profit.

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Structure of the Media
Friday, February 08, 2008 11:25 AM

II. Structure of the Media 1) ↓ of daily newspapers, ↓ circulation - # newspapers sold. 2) ↓ number of cities with competing daily newspapers. 3) People today get most of their information from TV. 4) People under 30 have turned away from political news: Age 50+ 30-49 Sharp increase Slight decrease

Under age 30 Consistently low 5) Increased competition between radio & TV: a) 5 major TV networks (FOX, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC) but over 1,000 stations, most with their own news programs. b) Local stations affiliated with networks are face to accept or reject network programs. c) 11,000 cable TV systems - about same # of radio stations. d) U.S. media - mostly locally owned and managed enterprises. e) American newspapers geared to a local, not national audience. f) Chance since 1995 - before: no one could own more than: □ 1 TV station □ 1 AM radio station in same market □ 1 FM radio station □ 1 newspaper

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Marathon: National Press
Sunday, February 10, 2008 10:52 AM

I. Importance of the National Press
1) Politicians read and worry about editorials.  They care what these publications say about them and their policies. 2) Reporters from national press: a) Are better paid than others. b) Have graduated from the most prestigious colleges. c) Have more liberal positions. d) Seek to right stories that are not accounts of a particular event, but are "background," "investigative" or "interpretive" stories about people, issues, or policies.

II. Roles of the National Press
A) Gatekeeper  It can influence what subjects become national, political issues, and for how long. □ Ex: Vietnam War, prescription drugs, water pollution. B) Scorekeeper 1) Keep track of and help make political reputations. 2) Note who is being "mentioned" as presidential candidates. 3) Help decide who is winning and losing. 4) Decide who is subject of stories. C) Watchdog  H.L. Mencken: "The role of the press is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." □ The press tends to be tolerant of underdogs but tough on frontrunners. • Equal Time Rule • Right to Reply Rule • Federal Editorial Rule ○ If a broadcast endorses a candidate, the opposing candidate has a right to reply.

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Monday, February 11, 2008 1:36 PM

a) M.C. → Thurs. Feb. 21 b) Essay → Fri Feb.22 Lessons 9 & 10

1) ________________________________________ 2) Free TV - would cost the networks money. 3) If we cut down on all of the money that is being spent on all the advertising, maybe that would work. ○ That would violate the Constitution. Effects of Media on Politics A) Selective Attention  Citizen sees and hears only what he/she wants and tunes out what is not in accord with his/her existing beliefs. • Local newspapers generally endorse Republican candidates for President.

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How to Read a Newspaper
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:35 PM

1) Three Keys: i. What is covered? ii. Who are the sources? iii. How is language used? A) Coverage: Newspapers pick and choose among lesser stories. B) Sources: Anonymous source: Why does the source want me to know this? C) Trial Balloon: Source may support a policy or appointment and wants to test public reaction. Source may oppose policy and hope that by leaking it, the idea will be killed. Source may want to take credit for something good and shift blame it if turns out badly. D) Language: Loaded language: Use of words to persuade people of something without actually making a clear argument for it. □ Ex: word=respected | meaning=liked. word=controversial | meaning=disliked. E) Miscellaneous 1) Watching TV news affects importance people attach to various issues, but only if they are not directly involved. 2) Newspaper readers see greater difference in candidates than those who just got news from TV. 3) Television news stories affect the popularity of Presidents. 4) Television news commentary have a great effect, at least in the short term.

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Government and the Media
Thursday, February 14, 2008 1:30 PM

1) Presidential Press Secretary ○ Deals with white house press corps. 2) C-span gives senators and members of house more exposure. 3) But, broadcast TV not typically used by local or state candidates because the broadcast reaches too broad a market for a congressional candidate. 4) Problems: ○ there has been a sharp increase in the public’s perception that news stories are inaccurate (1985 33%, 1998 59%) (biggest gainer: CNN[j1]),(biggest loser Dan Rather). 5) Problem explain: ○ Editors and reporters allow their personal political beliefs to influence the stories they chose to run, and to color the way in which they report them. 6) Kinds of Stories: a. Routine Stories: □ Public events regularly covered by reporters involving easily described acts. b. Feature Stories: □ Public events knowable to reporters who care to inquire, but involve act not routinely covered by reporters. c. Insider Stories: □ Information not usually made available to the public becomes public because someone with inside knowledge tells a reporter. [j1]Most accurate news outlet According to most people Not the Jews because Israel

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Political Speak
Thursday, February 14, 2008 1:30 PM

1) On the record ○ Official can be quoted by name. 2) Off the record ○ What the official said cannot be repeated. 3) On background ○ What the official says can be printed, but it may not be attributed to the source. 4) On deep background ○ What the official says can be printed, but it cannot be attributed to anybody; the reporter must say: "In my opinion…"

Negative Campaign Advertising
a) An effective negative ad will change the preference of some voters.  i.e.: Criticism of a policy (Iraq, tax rebate). b) Ineffective negative ads will reduce voter turnout and turn people against the election. c) Adversarial Press: "If you want a friend in Washington D.C., buy a dog." d) Reporters are prevented from allowing personal bias to enter their reporting by the need to have access to key officials - if you like access, you have nothing to report.  The great increase in Congressional staff members has increased # of sources. e) In Battle of Political Official VS. Press: Press always wins.

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