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History and Government

Part 1: Introduction

1) Lobbying mainly deals with persuading someone to do something to the advantage of

the general public. This activity mainly uses methods like informal meeting, protests, and reports

to persuade and elect bureaucrat or officials. The reason for electing this individuals or body of

individuals is to assist the interest group in enacting laws, crafting regulations, or perform

something that the group desires (Scott 22). Conversely, the interest group refers to a body of

individuals with universal political interests. They also aim at influencing public policy through

lobbying and electioneering (Thomas 6). Therefore, this paper aims to illustrate how the interest

group uses lobbying to air their views or achieve their goals.

2) In the next paragraph, explain how the following theories of American government answer the

question who governs?

a) Democratic theory Within the context of this theory, democracy is typically a form

of government which gives its citizens the opportunity to exercise power directly or just to elect

their representatives from their group to form a governing body, for instance, parliament (Alford

et al. 112)
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b) Pluralism In this case, it is perceived that multiple individuals govern the United

States and not a single person. The government is dominated by a multiplicity of relatively small

groups who are well funded and organized, political autonomous, and all the democratic values

and principles hold this system together (Alford et al. 112)

c) Hyperpluralism _ In this case, the special interest groups end up becoming too many

and influential in politics to the extent of contributing their views to the government. Although

there is the centralization of power, these groups have the capacity of influencing that power.

d) Elite theory _ This theory aims at describing and explaining the power relationships in

the modern society. Therefore, this theory explains that a large percentage of power is held by

small minority groups, comprising of individuals of the economic elite as well as policy-planning

networks and this power is sovereign of the democratic election process of that their state (Ritzer

et al. 447).

e) Bureaucratic theory _ In the context of this theory, an ideally run organization

comprises of groups of individuals who are organized into a hierarchical structure which is in

return governed or controlled by balanced and authorized decision-making rules (Alford et al.

112).

f) Social movement theory Based on this theory, the social movement of people

consists of voluntary efforts which all aimed organizing people to act in concert to realize

sufficient group influence to block or make changes. In other words, such movements are power-

oriented individuals rather than participation-oriented. This implies that the group actions of this

movement are not for individual benefits but rather to serve the larger goals of the group (Ritzer

et al. 447).
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Part 2: How does your group try to influence government?

1) Who does the lobbying group represent and about what issues does the group tend to lobby?

Is it a single issue or multiple issue interest groups?

As much influencing the government is concerned, the lobbying group mainly represents

the public or the citizens. The main reason for that is because they have the common political

interests as well as their main objective is to influence public policy through lobbying and

electioneering (Scott 23). The issues this group seeks to address multiples issues. Basically, the

group seeks to address issues like regulations, change in governmental spending, and various

government programs dealing with a wide variety of policies commonly termed as the public

interest groups. On the other hand, issues of interest may keep on varying from legislation which

aids in defining marriage to the elimination of estate taxes (McCormick 502).

2) How does this group attempt to influence the government?

a) Lobbying congress and executive branch

i) Do they hire lobbyists to lobby members of congress? On what

The public hires lobbyists to assist in lobbying the members of the congress. The recent

bill that the group has lobbied recently is on food and drug. The group blocked this bill by using

various lobbying tactics aimed at pressuring the court to consider a strict implementation of this

decision. The reason for the move is because they felt that the manufacture of genetically

modified food is illegal.

ii) The lobbying group mainly lobbies the executive branch particularly the Food and

Drug Administration
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iii) In order to ensure that their message has reached to all members of the group, they

use letter-writing and protest campaigns. Typically, grassroots lobbying is the main strategy used

by this group. The main reason for relying on this technique is because the majority of the

elected officials do not like acting against a large groups who ultimately cares and takes into

consideration the issue they desire to express. The effectiveness of this strategy mainly relies on

what has been done by group members in order to motivate the elected officials (Scott 24).

iv) The group belongs to the lobbying coalition. This is because it assists them in

promoting change and thwart government policy. To them, a coalition is regarded as being an

important tool for use in influencing government policy (Immanuel 681).

v) This group contributes extensively to the revolving door. Revolving door, in politics,

refers to a form of movement of personnel between duties as regulators and legislators and the

industries which are negatively or positively impacted by regulation and legislation. Although

these duties are executed sequentially, in a certain situation, they may be done at the same time

(Thomas 9). For instance, it has been noted that the revolving door concept has greatly impacted

the lobbying industry. The main reason for that is because it is the main tool that lobbyist use in

contacting and influencing other government officials. In other words, it acts as the means of

making the government officials leave their various offices and become lobbyists. Similarly, this

in return makes the lobbyists have the opportunity of becoming government officials (Kluver2).

b) Do they participate in election-related activities?

i) The interest groups mostly form political action committee (PAC) to assist them in

dealing with government pressure.


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ii) The interest group usually contributes to a candidate. The PACs assists them in raising

money to be used in funding campaigns or to spend in supporting their candidates. This indicates

that the group does not have the partisan bias when it comes to campaigns contributions

(Immanuel 681).

ii) Despite that, the amount of cash they can receive from financiers and in return spend

on federal campaigns is strictly limited. Conversely, the PACs are not regularly subjected to

contribution or spending limits. The tax-exempts that this group ends up forming is primarily

aimed at influencing elections via voter mobilization efforts as well as other issue ads which do

not directly reject or oppose a candidate (Thomas 9).

iii) The interest groups seek to influence both the Senate and the House of

Representatives. In most case, the legislator is the main member of the Congress who frequently

receives campaign contributions from the interest groups. My interest group will seek to

contribute more to the incumbent to take his or her advantages. Additionally, after contributing

more to the incumbent, it makes it easier for the member of the Congress to accept the legislative

proposal of the interest group. This gives the group the opportunity of informing the

congressional committee about important issues (Scott 22).

iv) This is not true because the interest group usually makes independent contributions as

well as receiving funds from donors to finance campaigns of their selected candidate. The

interest group uses the taking the late train strategy to donate funds to the winner after an

election. The objective behind this is to secure a meeting with him or her after taking office

(McCormick 502).
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v) It is true that the interest group usually contributes more to the members of the

congress committee. At times, the group does draft legislative regulations and proposals. The

objective of contributing to him or her is to ensure that they have taken advantage of his or her

position. This in return enables them to use these drafts as part of their lobbying efforts (Thomas

9).

c) Usually, the interest group uses the court in order to get what they want. At times, the

interest group can take a step of suing the government in case its actions are not unconstitutional

or in case it has misinterpreted the provision of the present law. Even if the group is not involved

in litigation directly, it uses amicus curiae brief to obtain some clues about the type of position a

certain organization supports (Kluver24).

D) Yes. Legislators and judges

Part iii: Conclusion

1) It is true that interest groups can also end up proposing policy through bypassing the

government. On the other hand, an initiative is used as a direct vote by the general public on

policy change which is proposed by an organized group or fellow citizens outside government

(Kluver25). Similarly, the attempts the interest group uses in influencing policy entails speaking

with bureaucrats or officials they elected on matters concerning them. They also try to assist all

like-minded legislators in securing policy changes which they both want (Immanuel 681).

In blocking the interest they believe could harm their interest, the interest group

consumes little time converting opposing bureaucrats and legislators, although such efforts might

force them to engage in counteractive lobbying which necessitates maintaining their supporters

and using limited resources. Astroturf lobbying is frequently not used by the interest group since
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it explains more about the capacity of the group on taking part in participation rather than

displaying the number of individuals who strongly support it (McCormick 502).

Similarly, the interest groups often do research, give testimony, talk with journalists, develop

regulatory and legislative proposals, and contact elected officials which assist them in blocking

unaccepted interest. Only a few of them take part in grassroots lobbying, endorse candidates,

organize protests, or offer campaign workers (Immanuel 681).

2) As far as reality is concerned, any group that governs individuals ought to take into

consideration the views and the interest of the people. Equally, despite that democracy is

extensively preferred to the alternatives; any form of governance should foster freedom to people

(Kenneth 16). On the other hand, the theories which try to explain the American government

well include the democratic theory, pluralism, hyperpluralism, and social movement theory. The

main reason for that is because they clearly illustrate how individuals or body of individuals are

elected to assist in enacting laws, crafting regulations, or perform something that the society

demand (Kenneth 16). Equally, they show that power should not be used by the government to

oppress people but for the good of the community. The elite theory does not explain the

government well. For example, the primary focus of the elite theory is mainly on organizational

elites. It does not include the importance of class conflict due to its emphasis on the

interdependence between non-elites and elites (Kenneth et al. 35)

3a) The American political system is less democratic. The main reason is that it is full of

inadequacies, especially when comparing it with alternatives. For example, the democracy of

America to some extent ignores income and wealth distribution but lays more emphasis on the

political clashes on certain short-run issues.


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b) Prohibiting the interest group from lobbying, contributing, and participating in politics

will ultimately make the American government not to function effectively. America consists of

class conflict and class domination even if each have the right to air his or her views or vote.

Therefore, by not allowing this group to take part in this activities means depriving them the

opportunity of championing the views of the minority individuals and other social issues they

desire to address (Kurtz et al. 133).


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Work cited

Alford, Robert R, and Roger Friedland. Powers of Theory: Capitalism, the State, and

Democracy. Cambridge [etc: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Print.

Immanuel, N. Encyclopedia of Interest Groups and Lobbyists in the United States. Routledge

Press, 2015. Print

Kenneth, J, Jeffrey, M. B, Jerry, G, Deborah, S, Kevin, W. The Challenge of Democracy:

American Government in Global Politics, The Essentials. Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.

Kenneth, J. L. The Trouble with America: Flawed Government, Failed Society. Lexington

Books, 2008. Print

Kluver, Heike. Lobbying in the European Union: Interest Groups, Lobbying Coalitions, and

Policy Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.

Kurtz, Karl T, Bruce E. Cain, and Richard G. Niemi. Institutional Change in American Politics:

The Case of Term Limits. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. Internet

resource.

McCormick, James M. American Foreign Policy, and Process. Boston, MA: Wadsworth

Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.

Ritzer, George, and J M. Ryan. The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology. , 2011. Print.

Scott, J.C. The Social Process of Lobbying: Cooperation Or Collusion? Volume 19 of Routledge

Research in American Politics and Governance. Routledge Press, 2014 Print.


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Thomas, Clive S. Research Guide to U.s. and International Interest Groups. Westport (Conn.:

Praeger, 2004. Print.