CH 9 Public Interest

CH 9 Public Interest
pp. 236-254
• Individuals band together to form special
interest groups.
• They use their presence and resources to
attempt to get the government to do or stop
doing what they see fit.
Public policy
• 236 all the goals that a government pursues in
human affairs
Seat belts
Speed limits
Flood control
Old-age pensions
Military intervention
Economic interests
• Trade association
• 244 Businesses, often in the same type of
– American Trucking Association
– National Restaurant Association
– American Bankers Association
Labor union
• 244 Workers in the same industry or type of
– Retail Clerks International Union
– International Association of Machinists
– Aerospace Workers
– American Federation of State, County, and
Municipal Workers
Public-interest group
• 247 interested in issues that affect most of all
of the people in the nation.
– Public Citizen, Inc.
– League of Women Voters
Single-interest group
• 251 PACs that concentrate their efforts on one
– Abortion
– Gun control
– Health care
• 251 activities by which groups put pressure on
members of the government.
• US
• Jack Abramoff, lobbyist convicted of criminal practices,
speaks to Colbert about his activities…..
• Lobbying is legal, but what did Abramoff do to end up in
• Fraud and conspiracy
• Why does Abramoff believe lobbying in general is bad?
• They use money and perks, even write the bills for
politicians to push through Congress.
• What kind of lobbying tool does Abramoff cite as the
most dangerous?
• Campaign contributions (favors and money)
Grass roots
• 253 interest groups starting with ordinary
people, on small scale, but grow as their
number of supporters increases
• Tea Party Movement
Multimedia Magnet Project:
You will profile an Interest group of your choice.
Submit a list on Monday, _______________.
Five Interest Groups you would prefer to cover.
One will be selected from your list by next
– Try to pick at least one that no other student might
• The instructions for the project will be distributed
next week.
• Handout: Interest group project: PPT/portfolio
• Give me an interest list of 5 interest groups you know of. Put them in
order of importance for a project. First, most want to report on, etc.
• What “community” is this group trying to effect?
• What does this group offer to the community?
• What participation does this group offer to individuals in it?
• What groups might oppose this group?
• What media methods does this group use?
• What contact methods does this group use?
• How successful will this group be? Explain.
• Due: one week before final….. TBA: ___________________
Hwk Concepts, Class Work, to Know
List and describe the three main areas in which
political parties and interest groups differ
236 Political parties (3)
236 Interest groups (3)
• Nominate candidates
• Control government
• All public affairs concern
• Contribute to candidates
• Influence government
• Concerned with a narrow
EC: How do interest groups stimulate interest in public
affairs? (2)
• 236 Publicizing their policies
• Drawing attention to their policies
EC Name some functions of interest groups (5)
• 236 stimulate interest in public affairs
– Represent shared values of members
– Provide specialized information to government
– Encourage political participation
– Check and balance the political process
EC What is the main criticism of interest
groups? (3)
• 236 they do not represent the interests of the
entire country.
– They may have too much influence
– They use unethical tactics
EC: At what point does an organization
become an interest group? (2)
• 242 when it tries to influence the actions of
– Promotes its own political goals and interests in
EC What are the four major types of
interest groups?
• 242
– Business
– Labor
– Agriculture
– Professional
EC: Give an example for each group
• 242 business:
– United States Brewer’s Association
• Labor:
– the AFL-CIO
• Agriculture:
– The National Grange
• Professional:
– the American Medical Association
EC: How does a trade union differ
from a labor union? (2) 242
Trade union
Labor union
• Represents a business
• Workers in same/similar
type of job/work in the same
EC: For what reasons, other than economic,
are interest groups created? (3)
• 242 to promote causes
• welfare of certain groups,
• religion
EC: How does a public interest group differ
from other interest groups?
• 242 they focus on the roles that will benefit
all Americans, not specific ones.
EC: For what three reasons do interest
groups reach out to the public? (3)
• 249 supply people with what they think is
necessary information
• Build a positive image for the group
• Promote particular public policies
EC: Why do some interest groups use
249 to influence public attitudes toward their
EC: What are some propaganda
techniques? (5)
Name calling
Well-known symbols (positive and negative)
Band-wagon approach
Plain-folks approach
EC: Why do interest groups try to influence
political parties?
• 249 ensure that their ideas will have a chance
to influence government policymaking
EC: How is lobbying used to influence
public policy? (4)
249 disseminate information
Testifying before congressional panels
Organizing grass-roots support
Publishing ratings of politicians
• 237, question
• They are all trying to raise public awareness of
issues important to them
• 238, question
• Individuals have a chance to participate, be
involved in the political process
• Bring people together who share interests
• 240, question,
• That Congress does what the interest groups
• + name a successful interest group you might
be aware of
• 243, question,
• In order to spread their influence over a
variety of areas that might affect the business.
244, questions
1945, 1955
High unemployment rate after WW II made
workers feel they needed protection. Many
joined unions.
• 250, question
• Interest groups influence their members
• They get many votes
251, questions,
Number and variety of PACs stayed stable
Raise campaign funds
Increase in number of PACs shows the effect of
strict “hard money” regulations.
– PACs are not regulated nor reported.
• + what does the cartoonist suggest about PACs?
• Student response should be supported by the
• 253, question,
• It is readily available
• Information can be continually and quickly
• + how far can the Internet reach for these
• Student response should be supported by the
• 257, question,
• 28
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
• 29
• Without affiliation (identification, cooperation) with special interest
groups, members of Congress cannot serve the people.
• why aren’t the “people” as powerful as some interest groups?
• Ordinary people are not organized enough to
– Have the money to make large contributions to politicians and issues.
– Reach a large part of the American population
How could an interest group's policies not be in the
best interests of other Americans?
• There are few limits on what an interest group
might want to see as a public policy change.
• For example, one interest group might
support the building of an inland ocean to
protect endangered sea animals.
• That plan might cause citizens to lose their
homes and lands, and farmers to lose their
How does our government's system of checks and
balances affect the work of interest groups?
• It allows interest groups to function at different
levels of government and to work to influence one or
all of the branches.
• For example, if an interest group cannot effect a
change locally, it can mount a national campaign.
• If Congress does not respond to an interest group's
needs, the group can try to influence the Courts'
rulings or the executive branch's decisions in its
How did the development of mass media relate to the
expanded use of propaganda?
• Without mass media, propaganda could not
be effectively used to influence many people.
• The fact that mass media reaches many
people almost instantly allows the message to
reach and affect many people in a timely way.
How did the development of mass media relate
to the expanded use of propaganda?
• Jon Stewart points out the practices of FOX
NEWS’ talk shows using the recent comments
made by President Obama about their attacks on
him…… Stewart calling them a “spite-driven
anger machine.”
• What examples does Stewart point out?
• FOX accusing Obama of distracting public from
one issue FOX is obsessed with using to put
Obama down with by dealing with other issues.
• What does Obama think FOX’ real goal is?
• Distract public from Obama successes.
What does the use of propaganda show about
propagandists' attitudes and beliefs about people?
• Propagandists might assume that people's
viewpoints can be influenced and their behavior can
be changed.
• Some of the techniques used suggest that
propagandists do not believe that people carefully
examine the information that reaches them via the
mass media.
• Some propagandists seem to believe that people can
be fooled by biased information.
Brief response:

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