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AP Chapter 16
AP Government Summer Assignment
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AP Chapter 16
U.S. History Chapters 1, 2, 3
U.S. History Chapter 4
U.S. History Chapter 5
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U.S. History Chapter 7
U.S. History Chapter 8
U.S. History Chapter 9
U.S. History Chapter 10
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U.S. History Chapters 22,23
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U.S. History Chapters 28,29,30
U.S. History Chapter 31
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U.S. History Chapter 33
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US Government Chapter 3
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US Government Chapters 13,14
US Government Chapter 18
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The Civil Rights Movement
Economics Chapters 1,2,3
Eco Chapt 9
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Eco Chapter 15
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Chapter 16

Special Interest Groups


Interest Group- an organization that tries to influence public opinion


Social Capital

The “web of cooperative relationships between citizens that facilitates resolution of collective action problems”


*Democracy in America*

           Alexis de Tocqueville



Robert Putnam“small scale associations create a civic virtue  for the public good”  they are healthy for social and economic growth



David B. Truman’s

Disturbance theory on interest groups is that they form in part to counteract the efforts of other groups



Multi-issue v

Single-issue groups


NAACP – NOW or the Christian Coalition actually deal with many issues (related areas)


NRA – Army of God are single issue groups dealing with a specific area



Economic interest groups

Primarily promote the financial  interests of its members

Public interest groups

Have an agenda that does not financially benefit the members of the group.




Special Interest in America


Theodore Lowi Reading


Do you think that special interest groups can become institutionalized ?


Use the Lowi article  to support or refute


Do "pressure groups" really have an upper-class bias?



Read and use

The Semi-sovereign People

E.E. Schattschneider




Do Americans agree on anything?



Free rider problem

When the public benefits from the work of a few concerned citizens.



stop at the nation's borders


The logic of Democracy

*Do the needs of the many really outweigh the needs of the few?


Violence as a means of protest has been very much part of US


Presidential assassinations

(and attempts) are violent ways of undoing an election.





The Town Meeting

and special interest


*        Great on the local levels


National scene - a tough call!


(1992 Presidential Election)

Ross Perot very good at it


1996 Clinton v Dole


2000 Bush v Gore


2004 Bush v Kerry?





In Democracy


conflicting opinions can cause disorganization and confusion


(Romans- Counsel/Dictator)

                                      during war





The French Revolution

a perfect example of chaos




Weimar Government  -  Germany

(Reichstag during the 1920s-30s

an example of inefficiency)


*        Walter Lippmann -

Essays in the Public Philosophy

the people can elect the government, they can remove it...they can approve or disapprove of its performance. But they cannot administer the government.  They cannot themselves perform....

"A mass cannot govern"





Democracy is a fraud.....the only good and decisive government is a dictatorship.







On Governing America- 3 ideas


1.People--->                                       Elected Representatives


2.C. Wright Mills 

The Power Elite--->Establishment



3.       Robert A. Dahl 

Who Governs --------> the agenda

Interest Groups

Pressure Groups  



All Influence government



In 1996,

33% knew their Congressman

24% knew both names of Senators



In 1992 Presidential Election

189 mil Americans could vote

123 mil Americans  registered

104 mil Americans voted- 55%


2000 Election approximately 52%

*        Only about 1/2 of the US population votes


2004 Election – 58%






Power organizations can mount campaigns in Congress to promote or overturn legislation.




Campaign Contributions, and they are perfectly legal


George M. Steinbrenner



cases of

influence peddling

(Hiring a former White House Staff person  as a Lobbyist)




                                                    by association




Bronx Congressman Mario Biaggi


Lyn Nofsinger

White House Staff - Dept Defense


Wedtech - Naval Contracts Co.




Lobbyists seek to influence officials of the legislative and executive branches, regulatory agencies and even the courts.


They get to know the people responsible for making decisions




American Medical Association AMA

represents 297, 000 Doctors


AMAPAC - contributed 2.4 mil to congressional candidates in opposition of

a National Health Plan



The Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition can and will support candidates with money

Trade Associations

Are groups that represent specific industries


NAM,          FTC




Political Clout in the DC area


-        Powerful lawyers set up shop in the DC vicinity.


-        High priced advice and high power representation


-                     Clark Clifford

-                     Michael Carvin 74’





Public Interest Groups-Lobbyists

Ralph Nader

Unsafe at any Speed

*Public Citizen

Congress Watch, consumerism


*Critical Mass Energy



*Health Research Group

improved medical care


*Center for

 Study of Responsive Law

 reviewing Nader organizations


*Freedom of

 Information Clearinghouse

seeks info from govt


*Center for Auto Safety


*Public Interest Research Groups


student public interest groups



Organized opposition for suits







Single Interest Groups




Will support a candidate and can make a difference in an election


                                                   They care only

                                                about their agenda



Top Ten

               Lobbyists Organizations


               Corporate PACS

               Special Interest





*        National Conservative

Political Action Committee


Directed campaigns for and against elected officials


"Target 80" - the Reagan Sweep




In politics,   Money = Success


Buckley v Valeo (1976)

The Court ruled placing limits on support was unconstitutional


How is PAC money used in an election?


*        a $5,000 limit to candidate




*        no limit to the amount of PACS able to contribute a prospective candidate




*        unlimited pre-campaign money



PAC money is "interested money"

They give money to committee chairman with specific legislative outcomes in mind



-active in elections



*First National Bank of Boston

                                                 v Bellotti (1978)

The Court struck down a Mass Law

that prohibited corporations from funding a public referenda




Fred Werthheimer in 1979 wrote

Of Mountains: The PAC Movement in American Politics

PAC contributions follow an "investment pattern" aimed at long-term influence with members of Congress



How do you control it?



1946 -                   Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act

(not very effective)



1991 - General Accounting Office

(watchdog for Congress)



BCRA – McCain-Feingold

(Bipartisan Campaign

                             Reform Act 2002)





1995 -                   regulate lobbyists

-tightened rules


*        had to register if they spent much of their time lobbying




*        still allowed many activities


Interest Groups do have value


*        through collective bargaining


                    watchdog politics*

                         idea initiating




Theodore J. Lowi

competing interests may result in an impotent government



E. E. Schattschneider

90% of the people cannot get into the pressure system

(John McCain – 2000)