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Name: ______________________________!

Mod: ________
Date: _______________________________! U3.LP5.InterestGroups Homework

The most effective lobbying in the United States is done by large associations representing single
industries, trades, professions, or other interests. Typical national associations have federal, state,
and local units capable of operating at every level of government. Representative examples of such
associations are the Chamber of Commerce of the United States; the American Fur Industry, Inc.; the
American Medical Association; the National Association of Manufacturers; the National Association of
Realtors; the American Petroleum Institute; and the Western Cotton Growers Association.

Stop and Jot: What is lobbying?

Why do you think the most effective lobbying is done by large associations?

What do you think the American Medical Association would lobby Congress to do?

Lobbying is also done directly by corporations, labor groups, and citizens' groups. The citizens'
groups are the most recent to emerge, and they represent an effort on the part of a number of
organizations to influence legislation on behalf of segments of the general public. Most of the citizens'
groups deal with specific matters: the Wilderness Society, for instance, is concerned with
environmental issues; and the Citizen/Labor Energy Coalition tries to influence laws on price controls
for oil and gas. Two of the best known citizens' groups are Common Cause and Public Citizen, Inc.
Common Cause works for general political and social reform, with a goal of making government more
responsive to the people. Public Citizen, Inc., started by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, also
addresses a broad spectrum of issues, but it emphasizes consumer problems versus the power of the
corporations and other private interests.

Stop and Jot: What is a citizenʼs group?

What do you think that Wilderness Society would lobbying elected officials about? Give a specific
example.

What issues does Public Citizen, Inc. address?


Lobbying may be done in several ways. Interests may be represented openly before committees of a
legislature. Public officials may also have private meetings with lobbyists. Some lobbying
organizations organize grass roots campaigns through the media to build support for their causes.

An example of such a grass roots campaign occurred in 1983. Banks and savings and loan
associations campaigned to get people to write senators and congressmen in order to repeal a law
requiring these institutions to withhold tax on interest payments for the federal government.

Stop and Jot: What are two ways lobbying is done?

Describe grass roots campaigning.

Why is important to have several lobbying strategies?

Answer the following question in BCR format.

How do poltical parties differ from interest groups. Give at least three areas / ways that they differ.
Use specific examples of political parties and/or interest groups in your answer.

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