Interest Groups Interest Groups, Lobbying, and Congress Lobbyists are hired by many institutions to represent their interests and seek benefits can be large corporation or universities. Billions of dollars are spent each year universities, sports teams, and the red cross are seen as American, but many Americans consider most interest groups and lobbyists as wheelers and dealers. They suspect dishonestly, selfinterests, and believe interest groups are prone to corrupting the political process. Believe theyre trying to buy elected officials. This skepticism started with Madison who was worried about factions, but knew they were a natural part in politics. He tried to welcome them while protecting against abuses, yet many Americans continue to question their role. Many Americans believe the myth that interest groups are a corrupting influence in politics They have some influence, but maybe not such a corrupt influence Movers and Shakers: Interest and Other Advocacy Groups: Interest Groups Any organized group of individuals who share common goals and who seek to influence government decision making. NRA, Sierra Club, US Student Association Students are represented through interest groups and individual universities lobbying Have a limited set of demands; sometimes try to affect the outcome of an election, but they do not run candidates or attempt to control government. Link their members and elected officials We join groups because we believe our goals are best served when acting with other citizens. Economic Interest Groups Business, labor, professional, and agricultural groups are the most enduring and powerful types not surprising because people are concerned about their own economic welfare. Businesses and corporations employ lobbyists because tax laws, government subsidies, product regulations, and tariffs can all affect business. Trade associations (represent entire industries) have divergent interests based on what affects how their members do business. (ex: national cable television association) Labor organizations (American federation of labor has 57 labor unions and 12 million members) smaller labor unions lobby independently There are also professional associations such as bankers and lawyers, even farmers which are a relatively strong economic force. agricultural interest groups protect against fluctuating product prices which affect the income of its members.