Interest Groups

James Madison described how a government could be designed to control the effects of __________.

a. monarchies
b. factions
c. representative government
d. political parties
e. trade associations

When a case that an interest group is interested in, but not actually sponsoring, comes before a court, the group can __________.

a. meet with judges to explain the group’s policy preferences
b. file an amicus curiae brief to present the group’s analysis of the case
c. file an appeal to move the case to a different court
d. file a petition to get the group added to the list of plaintiffs
e. offer monetary incentives to the judges in the case

In contrast to pluralists, elitists generally argue that

a. all legitimate groups are able to affect public policy by one means or another
b. no one group is likely to become too dominant in politics
c. the American political terrain is characterized by a dispersion of power
d. the government is run for the benefit of all the people
e. the power of a few is fortified by an extensive system of interlocking directorates

Which of the following raise money from individuals and then distribute it in the form of contributions to political candidates?

a. 527 organizations
b. coordinating committees
c. 501(c)3 organizations
d. PACs
e. party committees

According to Madison, a(n) __________ is a group of individuals concerned more with their self-interest than with the rights of individuals outside the group or with the needs of society as a whole.

a. faction
b. political party
c. single-issue organization
d. oligarchy
e. special interest group

Generally speaking, political action committee (PAC) contributions have __________.

a. become increasingly important in congressional elections
b. decreased, following a growing movement of representatives who have rejected all PAC money
c. become less important in federal-level elections and more important in state-level elections
d. become more important in federal-level elections and less important in state-level elections
e. remained fairly steady as a vehicle for campaign contributions

A(n) __________ refers to an organization that seeks to influence public policy.

a. corporation
b. interest group
c. institute
d. faction
e. administration

What is lobbying?

a. communicating with government officials to persuade them to support a particular policy
b. conducting surveys to gauge public opinion on a policy issue
c. convincing potential members to join an interest group by offering them material benefits
d. fundraising for political candidates
e. educating the public about the activities of government

The __________ problem occurs when people fail to join a group because they can get the benefits the group offers without contributing to the group’s efforts.

a. free-rider
b. pluralist
c. collective good
d. group coordination
e. group formation

What is a trade association?

a. a coalition of public interest groups in a specific policy area, such as environmental policy
b. an organization that coordinates exchanges of information and resources among multiple interest groups
c. a type of labor union
d. an organization that represents businesses within a specific industry
e. an organization that represents the federal government during the negotiation of international trade agreements

What is a public interest lobby/group?

a. a group that conducts research and analysis on public policy issues
b. a group that expresses its political views publicly
c. a group that works to gain benefits for society as a whole
d. a group that most people in society are aware of
e. a group that represents workers within a particular industry

In order to overcome the free rider problem, many interest groups offer selective/material benefits. What are selective/material benefits?

a. the policies that interest groups help to bring about
b. gifts given to members of Congress in return for their support on legislation
c. benefits given only to group members
d. campaign contributions to elected officials
e. bonuses given to the most effective lobbyists

What is an amicus curiae brief?

a. a written argument submitted to a court in support of one side of a case
b. a petition to remove a judge from a court case
c. a petition submitted to Congress in support of or opposition to a judicial nominee
d. a petition submitted to an executive branch agency, requesting a review of the agency’s decision
e. an internal memo circulated among interest group leaders, briefing them on the details of a court case

Which of the following is the main type of organization that lobbies on behalf of workers?

a. public interest group
b. trade association
c. corporation
d. labor union
e. ideological group

What is an iron triangle?

a. a joining together of interest groups or individuals to achieve common goals
b. a form of subgovernment, composed of leaders of interest groups, government agencies, and legislative committees
c. an activity directed at government officials with the hope of influencing their decision
d. a nonprofit tax-free policy planning organization that concentrates on policy development
e. an organization that solicits and receives campaign contributions from corporations, unions, trade associations, and other groups

What is a political action committee (PAC)?

a. an organization within a political party that coordinates campaign events
b. an organizations that focuses on grassroots/outside lobbying
c. an organization that conducts voter registration drives
d. an organization that solicits campaign contributions and distributes them to political candidates
e. an organization within a political party that creates and runs campaign advertisements

Which of the following is hyperpluralists’ main criticism of the interest group system?

a. Interest groups are too powerful and government is too deferential to their demands.
b. Interest groups are too weak to have much influence in government.
c. Elected officials are too heavily influenced by political action committees (PACs).
d. Business groups tend to dominate over other types of interest groups.
e. Labor unions tend to dominate over other types of interest groups.

Which of the following is an example of a public interest lobby?

a. a consumer rights group
b. a professional association
c. a labor union
d. a group representing a state government
e. a political action committee

Which of the following statements best represents the hyperpluralist view?

a. All legitimate interests in the political system can get a hearing from government once they are organized
b. Awesome power is held by the largest corporations.
c. The government is excessively deferential to groups.
d. The power of a few is fortified by an extensive system of interlocking directorates.
e. When one group throws its weight around too much, its opponents are likely to intensify their organization and thus restore balance to the system.

What do right-to-work laws uphold?

a. pleadings based on amicus curiae briefs
b. the public’s right to collective goods
c. the requirement that workers in a union shop must join the union
d. selective benefits
e. a worker’s freedom to decline the opportunity to join a union

Which of the following is an example of a business interest group?

a. the National Rifle Association
b. the American Association of Retired People (AARP)
c. the Chamber of Commerce
d. the National Organization for Women
e. the National Education Association

What type of group is a trade association?

a. an economic interest group
b. a public interest group
c. a public sector interest group
d. a labor union
e. an ideological group

How did Madison propose to overcome the problem of factions in Federalist No. 10?

a. by adopting a system of direct democracy
b. by banning the formation of interest groups
c. by discouraging citizens from expressing their political views in public
d. by expanding their sphere of participation
e. by restricting private property rights

Referring to Figure 10.1, which of the following industries spent the most money on lobbying between 2009 and 2011?

a. education
b. civil servants
c. hospitals
d. oil and gas
e. pharmaceuticals

How do lobbyists typically seek to influence members of Congress?

a. by introducing bills
b. by filing amicus curiae briefs
c. by organizing protests and demonstrations on Capitol Hill
d. by providing specialized expertise
e. by offering them money to vote a particular way

How do interest groups lobby the courts?

a. through letter-writing campaigns addressed to particular judges
b. by publishing editorials in major newspapers stating their views on cases
c. by bringing lawsuits to the courts on behalf of classes of citizens
d. by testifying before congressional committees
e. by meeting with judges to express their views on cases

With the formation of so many interest groups in recent years and with so many of them having influence in Washington, __________ argue that it has been increasingly difficult to accomplish major policy change in Washington.

a. elitists
b. Federalists
c. hyperpluralists
d. labor unions
e. pluralists

Which of the following is an example of the free-rider (or collective action) problem?

a. an elected official accepting bribes from an interest group
b. an elected official relying on information from lobbyists
c. an environmental group struggling to raise funds for a “clean air” campaign
d. an environmental group disagreeing on what policy goals to pursue
e. a political action committee contributing to candidates from both major political parties

Elitist critics of pluralism have noted that __________.

a. government decisions reflect the balance of competing interests in society
b. resources and political power are unequally distributed within society
c. individuals with shared grievances always form interest groups to press their demands upon government
d. government is too responsive to the demands of interest groups
e. the formation of one group typically stimulates the formation of an opposing group

Which of the following is an assumption of pluralism?

a. Only wealthy interests have influence over government decisions.
b. Government decisions reflect the preferences of elites.
c. Interest groups are integral to government decisions.
d. Policy makers care more about public opinion than interest groups’ preferences.
e. Political parties matter more than interest groups in shaping government policies.

Members of Congress who receive contributions from political action committees (PACs) __________.

a. always vote in favor of the groups’ policy positions
b. avoid voting on matters of concern to PACs, so as not to appear biased
c. make sure that the PACs are granted access to the members and their staff
d. typically receive negative publicity for accepting PAC money
e. are increasingly rare, given that most members of Congress have sworn off PAC contributions

Which of the following is an example of a faction, as conceptualized by Madison?

a. the media
b. women
c. an interest group
d. the legislature
e. the executive branch

An interest group filing an amicus curiae brief is an example of __________.

a. grassroots or outside lobbying
b. how interest groups influence elections
c. lobbying an executive branch agency
d. how groups influence the president
e. lobbying the judicial branch

Which of the following is an activity that lobbyists regularly engage in?

a. answering e-mails from elected officials’ constituents
b. speaking on behalf of elected officials at press conferences
c. providing elected officials with information about an interest group’s position on a bill or issue
d. providing legal counsel to interest groups in court cases
e. introducing bills in Congress

What is one of the reasons that interest groups have proliferated over the past half century?

a. Developments in technology made interest group activities easier.
b. A decline in political parties led to more interest group formation.
c. A decline in government performance prompted new groups to form.
d. Legal restrictions on lobbying activities were lifted.
e. Interest groups became more successful in running candidates for office.

Which of the following interest groups is an example of an equality interest?

a. the United Auto Workers
b. the National Organization for Women
c. the World Wildlife Fund
d. Common Cause
e. the Christian Coalition

Why do interest groups typically offer selective benefits to their members?

a. to foster greater diversity among group members
b. to encourage only the most committed supporters to become involved
c. to distract members from the groups’ political motives
d. to discourage members from joining more than one interest group
e. to overcome the free rider/collective action problem

How might pluralism serve to enhance democracy?

a. by requiring people to join interest groups
b. by ensuring that no single interest becomes dominant
c. by allowing policy makers to ignore the demands of certain organizations
d. by discouraging bargaining and compromise on policy issues
e. by streamlining the legislative process

What did a recent study of interest group activity reveal about the importance of financial resources in the interest group system?

a. The big interests always win.
b. The correlation between big money and lobbying success is weak.
c. Membership size and organizations budgets were shown to have a great impact on policy outcomes.
d. PAC donations and lobbying expenditures were shown to have a great impact on policy outcomes.
e. Wealthy interest groups tend to align themselves with other wealthy groups and thus successfully overpower poorer interest groups.

What does intensity contribute to the success of an interest group?

a. Intense groups attract intense lobbyists.
b. Intense people are more willing to volunteer.
c. Intense people are willing to make larger contributions.
d. Intensity weeds out the free riders in a group.
e. Politicians are more likely to listen to a group showing intensity.

Why are campaign contributions so important for interest groups seeking to influence government?

a. Legislators only grant meetings with interest groups that offer campaign contributions.
b. Campaign contributions help elect candidates who are friendly to groups’ goals.
c. Groups can offer contributions in return for favorable votes on pending legislation.
d. Organizations seeking to offer input on a political party’s platform are required to make campaign contributions.
e. There are very few restrictions on campaign contributions, compared to restrictions on lobbying.

You are the leader of an environmental organization working to address the problem of climate change. Given the free rider problem, what would be the most effective way to get others to join your cause?

a. Describe the harmful consequences of global warming.
b. Explain how future generations will benefit from enacting climate change legislation.
c. Offer an incentive, such as a t-shirt, to those who join the campaign.
d. Publicly criticize those who don’t join the campaign.
e. Circulate a petition on the Internet.

According to hyperpluralists, interest group liberalism is promoted by iron triangles. What is the main goal of an iron triangle?

a. abolishing free riders
b. creating more opportunities for collective action
c. developing networks of iron triangles
d. protecting their self-interest
e. providing selective benefits to potential groups

How did the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 affect lobbyists?

a. It limited the number of hours each lobbyist could work during a single session of Congress.
b. It required all lobbyists to register with the American Lobbyist Association in Washington, D.C.
c. It required all organizations and firms to register their employees as lobbyists.
d. It required lobbyists to file a report regarding each of their clients, including how much money they were paid by them for lobbying services.
e. It set limits on how many lobbyists could be employed by a PAC.

You are the leader of a consumer rights group that has been unable to get a meeting with your elected representative in Congress. How could you get the attention of your legislator on the issues your group cares about?

a. Organize a demonstration in the representative’s district and invite the media.
b. File an amicus curiae brief.
c. Draft a bill and introduce it in Congress.
d. Form a political action committee.
e. Contact the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

How is lobbying the executive branch similar to lobbying the courts?

a. Both require a lobbyist to hold a law degree.
b. Both can involve lobbying related to the implementation of an existing policy.
c. Both are relatively rare, given that most lobbyists focus exclusively on Congress.
d. Both typically involve grassroots lobbying.
e. Both are viewed as inappropriate ways for interest groups to influence government.

Which of the following is an example of a single-issue interest group?

a. the American Association of Retired Persons
b. the Chamber of Commerce
c. Common Cause
d. the National Beer Wholesalers Association
e. the Virgina 21 Coalition

Which is a consequence of hyperpluralism?

a. reduced agency budgets
b. termination of government programs
c. contradictory and confusing policies
d. growth in the number of political parties
e. reduced campaign spending

Referring to Figure 10.2, which of the following statements about PAC campaign contributions made by banks and labor unions is true?

a. Banking PACS direct their donations to support whichever candidate shares their ideological values.
b. Banking PACS focus their money on Democrats, but when Republicans are in power, they split their donations between the two parties.
c. Labor PACs consistently give the majority of their PAC money to Democrats, even when Republicans control Congress.
d. Labor PACS donate slightly less money to campaigns overall than do banking PACs.
e. Labor PACs use their donations to support whichever party is in power.

What is the main objective of most labor unions?

a. to protect consumers from unsafe products
b. to protect the interests of businesses within an industry
c. to protect jobs and secure favorable wages and benefits for their members
d. to ensure equality of all people under the law
e. to support free trade policies

Why was Madison particularly concerned about factions?

a. He believed that factions pursuing their self-interest would work against the broader public interest.
b. He worried that factions were too focused on the public good and that they neglected to take care of their own needs.
c. He worried that the Constitution did not provide enough opportunities for factions to be involved in politics.
d. He worried that factions might prevent the Constitution from being ratified.
e. He worried that the faction he belonged to would lose power if the Constitution were ratified.

To which of the following might political action committees (PACs) invest their contributions in order to maximize their political influence?

a. members of the minority party in Congress
b. campaigns of challengers
c. campaigns of incumbents
d. presidential candidates only
e. candidates for state and local offices only

Political action committees (PACs) are an attractive option for campaign contributions because __________.

a. they are allowed by law to contribute unlimited sums of money to political candidates
b. most other types of contributions were banned by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
c. they combine many individual contributions, resulting in one large contribution that is greater than what one individual could do alone
d. PAC contributions are tax deductible
e. PACs are not required to disclose their donors

Which type of organization would find it easiest to overcome the free rider problem?

a. an environmental organization working to pass climate change legislation
b. a labor union in a state where union membership is optional
c. a trade association representing a small number of firms
d. a trade association representing a large number of firms
e. a national organization fighting for women’s rights

Which of the following statements, if true, would undermine the theory of pluralism?

a. Members of Congress have become increasingly dependent on political action committee (PAC) contributions to fund their campaigns.
b. Political action committees (PACs) are not always successful in securing favorable government policies.
c. Membership in labor unions has decreased over the past several decades.
d. Individuals with shared grievances do not always come together to form interest groups.
e. The number of interest groups with lobbyists in Washington, D.C., has increased over the past several decades.

Why is it significant that business/economic interest groups have more lobbyists in Washington, D.C., than other types of groups?

a. Some people fear that government may disproportionately favor business interests in policy making.
b. It has become difficult for other types of organizations to establish a presence in Washington, D.C.
c. The business lobby has contributed to the widespread problem of bribing elected officials.
d. By providing a model for other groups, business lobbyists have enhanced the political influence of public interest and other organizations.
e. Their presence has led to a general backlash against lobbyists in Congress.

Which of the following conditions would eliminate the free-rider problem?

a. if participation in an interest group were mandatory
b. if members were allowed to vote on matters of concern to the interest group
c. if participation in an interest group were voluntary
d. if the leaders of an interest group were able to set the group’s priorities
e. if an interest group focused on providing benefits to society as a whole

Which of the following statements confirms the theory of pluralism?

a. The number of interest groups in Washington, D.C., has decreased over the past several decades.
b. Elected officials rarely take into account the views of interest groups.
c. Business/economic interests have more lobbyists in Washington, D.C., than other types of organizations.
d. Elected officials seek out the opinions of multiple interest groups when creating policy.
e. Membership in labor unions has remained stable over the past several decades.

Interest groups are important subjects of study in American politics because __________.

a. they are always successful in getting their demands met by government
b. they provide a venue for citizens to participate in government
c. most lobbyists eventually serve in Congress
d. they determine what issues get covered in the media
e. they determine who runs for elected office

Why is the correlation between a group’s financial resources and its lobbying success so weak?

a. Lobbying is a competitive enterprise, with big interests often facing off against one another.
b. Many interest groups do not know how to use their financial resources effectively.
c. Elected officials don’t want to appear biased, so they often vote against their PAC contributors.
d. Many well-resourced groups avoid lobbying altogether.
e. Regulations limit how much money an interest group can spend on lobbying.