December 2, 2013
Organization whose goal is to influence the government.
A tool in the political toolbox.
o “Frontline” employee.
o Not all lobbyists work for interest groups.
o Simply going to meet with a government official and attempting to
persuade politicians can make one a lobbyist – just not a paid one.
Their main function is to influence policy makers – they do so in a variety of
High Numbers. Big Issues
A lot of interest groups.
o Hundreds of thousands.
A variety of issues.
o Veterans to religion to education.
o Collective issues.
Private interest groups.
o Corporate issues.
o E.g.. Big oil, agriculture, the auto industry, etc.
o Only out to benefit their clients (at our expense).
Public Advocacy Groups: The Big Three
1. Vital Link
Public to government – updating/informing public on current
developments; other relevant political aspects.
2. Reverse Vital Link
Government to public – acting as a medium; informs the government what
the people are thinking and want done regarding a political issue.
Mobilize members and non-members.
Keep you up to date and active.
C.R.E.A.M. (Public Advocacy Groups)
o Money is paramount.
o Members and clients provide funding.
o Operating costs, salaries, etc. need to be paid for by these profits.
o Funding comes from those paying membership, as well as donations.
o Private interest groups on the other hand are often funded by their own
o Initially limited – there was almost no regulation around interest groups and
their spending before 1946.
o Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act (1946)
o To start regulating interest groups.
o Two stipulations (to make things more transparent):
Lobbyists had to register with Congress and you had to tell
Congress who your clients were.
You had to disclose how much your client was spending.
o Gift Ban (1995)
o You could give a congress person a gift (e.g. brand new car), and