Representation - Interest groups are concerned with...

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Representation The representation function stems from the reason interest groups are created in the  first place: Collective action is the most effective way of influencing policymaking and  bringing issues to a large audience. Interest groups also serve as a watchdog,  monitoring the actions of Congress, the courts, and the administration in the interest of  their constituents. This work can include keeping track of the voting record of members  of Congress and rating them on how well or how poorly they do on a particular issue.  Membership itself is important to success. More than 2.5 million people belong to the  NRA, and 550,000 belong to the Sierra Club. Such numbers give the organizations  immediate political clout as well as the resources to maintain a large staff, hire lobbyists,  and conduct extensive public relations efforts. 
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Unformatted text preview: Interest groups are concerned with maintaining and expanding their membership. Beyond political victories, they offer special member services that may include group health and life insurance, discounts on travel, and other similar programs. Direct mail, which is targeted to people likely to support the interest group based on level of income and education and their other affiliations, is a way of soliciting funds and building membership rolls. Such direct-mail campaigns can also put an issue before the public and help shape the political agenda of the country. All organizations appreciate, however, that some people benefit directly from what the organization does but will never become active participants or contribute money. This is known as the free-rider problem....
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  • Spring '08
  • aRNOLD
  • special member services, immediate political clout, extensive public relations, programs.  Direct mail

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