Lecture 8 - American Politics Spring 2006 Lecture 7...

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American Politics Spring 2006 Lecture 7: Political Parties and Interest Groups
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What Do Interest Groups Do? Lobby (persuasion) Provide information. Campaign contributions Goal: shape policy outcomes. Question: How much power? Elections about counting heads or weighing them?
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0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Pharmacuticals and Health Products Insurance Companies Electric Utilities Business Associations State, Local, and Tribal Government Oil and Gas Companies Computer Equipment and Services Securities and Investments Issues Groups Lobbiing Expenditures, 1998 - 6/2004 ($ millions) Massive business lobbying Significant gov’t lobbying Much less by issues groups
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Common Wisdom Interest drives organization. Organization more likely when benefits “big,” costs “small.” Success more likely when group large. Costs of organization spread out More members = political power, success more likely. Organizations responsive to members.
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Who Cooperates? Cooperation is not automatic. Some interests latent (unorganized). Smaller groups more likely to organize. Some organizations provide benefits unrelated to mission. Groups dominated by their leaders.
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February 2, 2006 Budget Measure Increases College Loans and Rates By JONATHAN D. GLATER With the narrow passage of the spending bill by Congress yesterday, students and their
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