(4) Pressure groups influence


A level US Politics - 3C ((3) Pressure Groups ) Mind Map on (4) Pressure groups influence, created by Marcus Danvers on 12/15/2014.
Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers over 8 years ago

Resource summary

(4) Pressure groups influence
  1. Influence on legislature
    1. Lobbyists might have direct contact with:
      1. Members of Senate and House
        1. Committee members and staff
          1. Lobbies
          2. Could organise:
            1. Constituents to contact their representative in Congress
              1. Publicity surrounding policies and votes in Congress
                1. Fundraising and campaigning for or against members of Congress
                2. Lobbying
                  1. Revoling door syndrome - lobbying firm - usally represent variety of interest / PGs
                    1. Employ ex-politicans, ex-campaining team
                      1. "Casino Jack" Abramoff
                        1. Wine and dine - very much illegal
                        2. 34,789 lobbyists at work in politics at Fed level
                          1. Build relationships / putting in touch with congressmen - provision of info - Pro - Israeli groups providing info on middle east.
                      2. Influence on executive
                        1. Could influence executive departments
                          1. Critical point: Are the executive the ‘lap dogs’ or ‘watch dogs’ of their particular departments? Is the relationship too cosy?
                          2. Influence on Judiciary
                            1. Amicus briefs - gives edivence about how the decistion will it comunity
                              1. Could take cases to court
                                1. Could lobby when cases are heard in court
                                  1. Could influence the election of Supreme Court judges:
                                    1. E.g. John Roberts (2005)
                                      1. Approved by the NAACP
                                      2. E.g. Samuel Alito (2006)
                                        1. Approved by the NAACP
                                        2. E.g. Clarence Thomas (1991)
                                      3. Why are pressure groups significant?
                                        1. USA = diverse and heterogeneous society.
                                          1. Link to race and ethnicity topic
                                            1. ‘hyphenated nation’ (African-American, Polish-American, Cuban-American)
                                              1. Shift to urban and suburban societies away from rural communities.
                                                1. Many different viewpoints in close physical proximity
                                                  1. Might not be well represented by political party in power in the geographical location.
                                                2. American political system has many ‘access points’
                                                  1. Democracy and easy access to politics is seen as constitutionally important (Against distant monarchy pre-war of independence).
                                                    1. Decisions are not just made at a Federal level so may be that people can influence policy more (see: Elections: Direct democracy in the form of propositions and initiatives)
                                                    2. Political parties in decline (?!) or ‘big tent coalitions’
                                                      1. Parties are not centralised – 50 party nation theory?
                                                        1. Policies from Parties are too broad (catch-all policy making might end up not really representing the electorate).
                                                      2. Pressure groups promotes Democracy
                                                        1. American society is founded on economic individualism and laissex faire market practices - pressure groups are just emulating this. They offer choice and respond to political supply and demand
                                                          1. If a particular group in society is damaged by certain govt policies interest groups can movilise and create change in society
                                                            1. Govt has grown too large and too pervasive. Pressure groups are goods things as they keep the power in the hands of the individuals
                                                              1. American society had become so disparate that political parties no longer represent the interests nor will of the "real" people
                                                                1. Traditional class-based politics no longer truly represent the electorate's interests in the USA. Interest groups can help respond to cross-class cleavages like the war in Iraq.
                                                                  1. Increased activity from pressure groups increases political education. People today in the digital age are now far more aware of what's going on thanks to pressure groups
                                                                    1. The problem isn't the pressure groups it's the revolving door-syndrome where lobbyists rule Capitol Hill.
                                                                    2. Pressure groups demote democracy
                                                                      1. Interest groups are the key driving force in American politics - the government should exist just to mediate their interests and should just follow their lead
                                                                        1. The govt ends up offering too much to pressure groups which leads to massive overspending and economic deficits.
                                                                          1. Single issue and special issue pressure groups have fractured American politics to the extent that society cannot function.
                                                                            1. If the govt's power was scaled-back and power given to pressure groups then more people woul suffer as a result
                                                                              1. Special interest or single interest groups have too much power and can actually bring about inequality and elitism
                                                                                1. Businesses are in a stronger position than social issue pressure groups and so the distribution of power is not fair in American politics.
                                                                                  1. Businesses are over privileged because they have access to huge financial sums which "lubricate" the policy-making system.
                                                                                    1. The same groups and classes at the bottom of the heap 30 to 40 years ago are still there. Perhaps the new system of politics hasn't improved things much
                                                                                      1. Religion has too much influence in govt. The religious right in particular is muddying the political water.
                                                                                        1. Pressure groups actually hinder equality as much as they promote it.
                                                                                          1. Poor women, LGBT and AA are held in their lowly position in American due to Pressure groups
                                                                                            1. The work of pressure groups has meant that politics operates on a "boo-hurrah" rhetoric which is very unhelpful in today's extremely complex world.
                                                                                              1. The proliferation of political groups "particularly at the left and right wing fringes have meant that pressure groups actually have less power today.
                                                                                              2. Influence on individuals
                                                                                                1. Raising Public awareness (e.g. Healthcare smare campain Obama
                                                                                                  1. Benefits of joining PGs - NRA insurance, Banking
                                                                                                  2. Influence on Elections
                                                                                                    1. Negative
                                                                                                      1. Spending on Smear campaign, 2004 - Kerry vertain campaign, 2008 - most smear ever from Republican
                                                                                                      2. Endorsement
                                                                                                        1. Endorsement by Pressure groups - American Comservative Union (grade cards - most conservative)
                                                                                                          1. NRA endorse pro gun politican's
                                                                                                          2. Contrition to PACs - direct funding, Super PAC's mass indirect spending $45billion in 2012
                                                                                                            1. Automobile Workers Union (PAC) will indorse with money Republcian over Climate change myth approach
                                                                                                            2. Super PACs Romney vs. Obama 2012 - small pressure groups ran campaigns support Romney on Business
                                                                                                            3. Voter registration
                                                                                                              1. NAACP - used a lot would then support dems
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