Interest groups play an important role in elections

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Interest groups play an important role in elections and the legislative process in Texas
An Interest group is an organization established to influence government policies and programs Interest groups assume a variety of forms and can be setup to serve small or large numbers Reforming school policy; school vouchers Interest in common such as in workers’ unions Resources and Strategies of Interest Groups Member - numbers matter Money - access to deep pockets Information - first drafts of legislation often come from interest groups Credibility - the information provided must be good information These resources are the foundation upon which strategies are developed to promote an interest group’s concerns Interest Groups and Democratic Politics The right to associate is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution Collective action lies at the heart of interest-groups politics The Free Rider Problem, an incentive to benefit from others’ work without making a contribution, prevents some interests from forming effective organizations The larger common interest the more difficult to overcome the free rider problem Interest Groups and Democratic Politics continued Interest groups employ various strategies to overcome free riders Selective and symbolic benefits to joining Some interests are not represented well Lower-class minority interest Business-oriented interest groups dominate The 8F crowd Interest Groups and Policy Makers Interest groups want policies to their benefit Policy makers benefit from interest groups Interest groups have time,money, expertise, and continuity advantages over individuals Well-funded interest groups have an advantage in affecting the policy process Campaign contributions can be combined by Bundling them to increase their impact Types of Interest Groups and Lobbyists Interest groups strive to influence public opinions, take their views to policy makers, and support those policy makers that are friendly to their causes Interest groups use lobbyists to reach these goals
Lobbyists must be able to reach and communicate with policy makers Types of Interest Groups and Lobbyists Interests groups may be single-issues; other may be concerned with multiple issues that affect the group They may represent professional groups such as the Texas medical Association Public-employee interest groups include public school teachers Civil rights groups such as the NAACP and LULAC have notable success through litigation Getting Access to Policy Makers In a “revolving door” fashion, former legislators are often employed as lobbyists They can use friendships and experience to gain access Former lobbyists may also become legislators Once lobbyists have access, they provide information that may be useful, may write bills to be introduced to arrange testimony Another Side to Lobbying Lobbyists In Texas represent mostly business interests but also promote political interests of elected officials Though Political action committees (PACs)

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