Interest Groups and Their Powers and the Humans Behind Them
Interest groups can hold enormous amounts of political sway, and whether or not these
groups are beneficial is a hotly debated topic within the United States of America. There are
arguments for these interest groups, that they are protecting certain vulnerable parties; there are
arguments against these interest groups, that they really prey on ignorance, and that they hold too
much institutional power, lobbying for negative or self-interested individuals. Interest groups, for
the most part, are backed by money, and “
where flows the power, there flows the money”
(Herrnson, Shaiko & Wilcox, 1998, p. 80).
Money is an often talked about topic when discussing interest groups, primarily because
if a lack of funding occurs, the group can flop, like anything else that requires financial support.
spend about $2 billion lobbying the federal government every year and about
$500 million every election cycle in campaign contributions” (Leech, Baumgartner, Berry,
Hojnaki & Kimball, 2007, p. 5). These numbers are quite large, and show that interest groups
can have considerable sway in the arena of politics. However, the reverse is also true: interest
groups, with their money and financial backing, can often have little to no effect (Leech,