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Interest Groups Essay

1104 words - 5 pages

Special interest groups get a bad rap from the media and people from the hill trying to blame someone, but truth be told, interest groups are a necessary evil. Whether you think interest groups are good or bad, these special interest groups are a natural part of our political system. Interest groups are any organization of people with policy goals who work within the political process to promote those goals. An interest group hires lobbyists whose job are to encourage or prevent changes in public policy without even trying to be elected into office. These groups attempt to influence policy in many ways like lobbying government officials, engaging in electoral activities, educating and ...view middle of the document...

With this knowledge, Congress is able to effectively make informed decisions that affect businesses and individuals alike. In James Madison’s Federalist No. 10, he explains that fractions, interest groups, within the government are bad since not all groups are equal in monetary power or influence, but are necessary to give citizens “who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest” (par. 2) a voice in their representative government. Lobbyists and interest groups can present facts and information to Congressmen that they might not have been well informed about.
Some, however, argue that these interest groups have accumulated so much power within the political system, that they are damaging the very integrity of our democracy. Special interests are good at completing their goals, but once they finish complete them, they don't disband. Instead, they just keep going on to other topics and creates problems for many people. Madison mentions that there are two types of fractions, majority and minority fractions in which a democracy can easily control the minority faction, but the tyranny of a majority group can easily overwhelm minority rights (Madison). The big problem with interest groups is that they're not in the public eye. If they do something wrong, they are not responsible for the wrongdoing like most public officials, who are holden accountable for there actions. In the reversal of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, the Supreme Court ruled that political spending was protected under the first amendment, as money could be considered as free speech. This is the type of abuse people say interest groups are hurting Californian’s interests. Since Citizens United v. FEC reversal, interest groups are able to “donor” unlimited amounts of money to politicians that “support” their causes through Super PACs. In the report, Big Money Talks, by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, examine “California’s Top 15 spending special interest groups over the last ten years. [ They state that] their combined expenditures totaled more than $1 billion”(4).
I think that getting together with a group with a common goal is just human nature.These fractions are good for people who don't do not have the time to lobby their congressmen individually. The democratic process is all about representation...

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