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Interest Group- an organization made up of people who share a


common objective and actively attempt to influence government
policymakers.

How do Interest Groups Shape Policy?


1. Lobbying- Lobbyists representing groups make personal
contact, provide expertise, expert testimony, and draft
legislation. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=3108688n&tag=related;photovideo

2. Provide Election Support- help with the campaigns of those


who support their policies.
3. Shape Public Opinion- run television ads, newspaper ads,
4. Mobilize Constituents- get people to call members of
Congress, letter writing campaigns
5. Bring Lawsuits- use lawsuits to change laws (NAACP in 50s)
6. Stage Demonstrations- organizes protests, rallies to support
or oppose issues.

Examples:

Truth.org http://www.thetruth.com/
AARP http://www.aarp.org/
ACLU http://www.aclu.org/
Christian Coalition http://www.cc.org/
Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/
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NOW http://www.now.org/
NRA http://home.nra.org/#/home
Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/
Americans for Common Cents http://www.pennies.org/
Pros/Cons of Interest Groups

Pros Cons
-Help stimulate interest, -Influence may be too great
participation
-Hard to tell who they
-Raise awareness represent
-Bridge the Gap between -May use tactics that
legislators and constituents undermine the system
-Perform research and provide
information to law-makers
-Watchdogs