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Chapter 5 interests groups (1)

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Chapter 5 interests groups (1)

  1. 1. Chapter 5-Interests Groups in Texas Politics Arturo Flores Josh Hernandez Laury Ferrer
  2. 2. The Roles of Interested Groups • An Interest Group is composed of people who share a common set of ideas or principles and who attempt to advance those ideas or principles by influencing public-policy makers. • Interests groups focus on a single issue or a narrowly related group of issues. They can afford to use their time on a single concern that affects the members of the group.
  3. 3. The Types of Interest Groups • Some of these groups are highly centralized in their organization, meaning they concentrate the decision making near the top. • Other groups have a more decentralized internal structure, meaning they make decisions widely dispersed. • Groups with tenuously connected interest are called amorphous. (The homeless and welfare recipient might fall in this category)
  4. 4. Business Interests • Groups that represent the business community in Texas are among the most powerful and influential in the state. These groups can consistently gain the ears of policy makers because of their numerical strength and because most have access to a vast amount of information legislators can use.
  5. 5. Labor Interests • Interests groups that act on behalf of organized labor have not fared well in Texas politics. Labor groups tend to push for enhanced workplace safety, preservation of rights under worker’s compensation laws, and limitations on the use of pesticides.
  6. 6. Professional Interests • Doctors , teachers, lawyers, accountants…are some of the most powerful forces in Texas politics and often rival business groups in their influence on public policy formulation. • Most of these groups focus on issues that relate directly to their fields of expertise, such as determining the criteria for admission to the profession or setting the operational boundaries of that profession.
  7. 7. Ethnic Interests • In reality these groups are often frustrated, not only by the vestiges of racism and cultural bias that still mark our political system, but also by sometimes stubborn unwillingness to work together on issues of common concern, such as equal pay for equal work and equal access to higher education opportunities.
  8. 8. Other Interests • Many other kinds of interests groups abound in Texas. Some of the most zealous in pursuit of their aims are what can be called singleissue groups, meaning that they devote their energies to pursuing a single, narrowly defined policy goal. • Example : National Riffle Association (NRA)
  9. 9. The Methods Of Interests Groups • Interests groups exert the kind of influence they do in Texas politics in large part because they give legislators the one thing they need the most and have the least information. Successful interest groups spend a great amount of time in information dissemination, the ability of a lobbyist to provide information to elected officials. The best information in the world is worthless if you don’t have access to those who can help your cause.
  10. 10. The Methods of Interests Groups • A lobbyist is a person who works on behalf of an interest group and serves as the point of contact between the group and policy makers. • These lobbyists, as well as many who are former legislators, are sometimes referred to as hired guns. This simply means that anyone can engage their services(if they can afford to.)
  11. 11. Membership Mobilization • Membership mobilization needs to be carefully crafted. Effective grassroots efforts take a lot of work and oversight, and the better organized the group is, the more likely such actions will succeed. • Small well organized groups are better than large unorganized groups.
  12. 12. Interim Oversight • State agencies and departments will be responsible for implementing the provisions of most bills. Many groups will seek to monitor the actions of these agencies, verifying that they are indeed doing what the law requires. • Interim Oversight are the actions made by interest groups aimed at protecting their gains and promoting their goals between sessions of the legislature.
  13. 13. External Funding: PACs • There is a huge loophole through which interest groups of all sorts have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars. That loophole is the political action committee , or PAC. • A PAC is a voluntary association of individuals who band together for the purpose of raising and distributing money for political campaigns.
  14. 14. The Iron Triangle • It is a coalition formed among interest groups, the legislature, and government departments that accounts for the creation of much public policy in Texas. • It operates because each point on the model has something that it can give to each of the others. In return, each expects to receive something from the others.
  15. 15. The Iron Triangle
  16. 16. Interests Groups and You • You could use this knowledge of interests groups as another avenue of participation in the political system here in Texas. • You might have more than a passing interest in things like tuition costs, residence requirements, and curriculum mandates. Decisions by government will directly affect your livelihood, and you’ll want to have some input into those decisions.
  17. 17. Chapter 5 Summary • Interests groups are made up of people who share a common set of ideas or principles and who attempt to advance those ideas by influencing public policy makers. Such groups and their activities are protected by constitutional guarantees of the rights to assemble and to petition our government.

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