Discusses growth of special interest groups, or lobbies. Contends that lobbyists act against direct democracy. Presents the pros and cons of lobbying Congress. Analyzes the effectiveness of gun and education lobbying groups. Special interest groups as a powerful political resource. The NRA. The AFT (American Federation of Teachers). Lobbying strategies.
Over the last four decades, interest groups or lobbies have proliferated at an astonishing pace, with their numbers growing from 5,000 in 1956 to over... more
Over the last four decades, interest groups or lobbies have proliferated at an astonishing pace, with their numbers growing from 5,000 in 1956 to over 20,000 today. However, this figure is only a modest estimation of the actual number of interest groups that claim to represent the multiple interests of the diverse American population today. For many Americans who are preoccupied with daily survival and personal responsibilities, interest groups serve as a useful and political tool for the masses that do not have direct access to legislators. Therefore, these interest groups enable the spirit of democracy to thrive in the U.S. On a more practical level, these organizations have the resources, the organization and the experience to address important political issues on behalf of the people (Berry, 1989). On the other hand, opponents of interest groups believe
Describes the history & growth of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Focuses on the NRA's lobbying efforts in support of the right to keep & bear arms.
The debate over gun control in America involves beliefs about the meaning of the Second Amendment, the precise meaning of "control," fears of gun... more
The debate over gun control in America involves beliefs about the meaning of the Second Amendment, the precise meaning of "control," fears of gun confiscation, and other questions about gun ownership, the use of guns to commit crimes, the number of deaths attributable to guns each year, and so on. For those who propose or support gun control in some form, the issues may shift from time to time, with some groups seeing one aspect of the problem as more important and others emphasizing some other aspect. Opposition to gun control is often led by one organization, the National Rifle Association, and as a rule the issues never change for that group or its members. The NRA has a long record of absolute opposition to any form of gun control, a record broken only recently and only in order to prevent even greater gun control than was being proposed. The NRA has been
Background & origins in 1979, leadership, agenda, impact on presidential politics, effectiveness.
The Religious Right played an important and significant role in 1980s politics, particularly in helping to elect Ronald Reagan and George Bush to the... more
The Religious Right played an important and significant role in 1980s politics, particularly in helping to elect Ronald Reagan and George Bush to the Presidency. But the Religious Right failed to achieve its main objective, legislation and constitutional amendments designed to foster social and cultural change. This paper will attempt to explain the origins and evolution of the Religious Right, its impact on the Presidential elections in the 1980s, and the failure of the Religious Right to translate its significant role in these elections into any important legislation for cultural change. American religious life has long been marked by dramatic shifts, both in what Americans believe and in how they worship. Ebbs in religious devotion are followed by revivals, and the twentieth century has been no different. In the 1910s,
Positive & negative effects of Christian beliefs & churches on environmental movement. Religious, social, political, technological, developmental, theological & global aspects.
The purpose of this research is to examine the effect that Christianity has had on environmentalism and environmental movements. The plan of the... more
The purpose of this research is to examine the effect that Christianity has had on environmentalism and environmental movements. The plan of the research will be to set forth the social, political, and religious context in which the connection between Christianity and environmentalism can be discerned in the current period, and then to discuss the positive and negative effects of Christianity on the environment and environmentalism; the manner in which Christianity has assimilated or created grassroots environmental movements; the connection between work done by Christian churches in the environmental arena; the "greening" of Christian rhetoric since the mid-1970s in various Christian sects; and the role of the church as a possible nonpolitical and moral anchor of debate and public policy regarding global environmental conditions and resources.
Social & political significance. Membership, tactics, goals, propaganda, hatred of ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms), impact on elections.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is in the midst of a disturbing transition from soft-core gun advocacy to hard-core radicalism. The... more
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is in the midst of a disturbing transition from soft-core gun advocacy to hard-core radicalism. The organization's traditional programs such as hunting, marksmanship, and safety have taken a back seat in recent years as the NRA seeks to increase membership by broadening its appeal to the segment of society that perceives the federal government as a threat to its Second Amendment rights. Despite criticism that NRA rhetoric is contributing to the proliferation of paramilitary group violence in the United States, the gun lobby refuses to compromise its relentless opposition to gun control in any form. The NRA, established in 1871, boasts an estimated 3.5 million members, its highest membership in history. The organization's early members were ex-military men, National
Examines theory & practice, self-interest model, environmental & social protection, focusing on Surfrider Foundation & Children's Defense Fund.
POLITICAL INTEREST GROUPS: SURFRIDER FOUNDATION Introduction This research examines the Surfrider Foundation within the context of political... more
POLITICAL INTEREST GROUPS: SURFRIDER FOUNDATION Introduction This research examines the Surfrider Foundation within the context of political interest group theory. The Surfrider Foundation was organized to combat the actions of industrial firms that threatened the quality of ocean waters as such quality affects the activities of surfers (Capellaro, 1991, p. 15). This rather narrow focus was subsequently expanded to the pursuit of broader-based water quality protection objectives (Wexler, 1992, pp. 50-51). This examination begins with a review of political interest group theory. Approaches to environmental protection are then discussed. Lastly, the organization and functioning of the Surfrider Foundation and an environmental protection organiz
Antismoking vs. tobacco industry. Legislative efforts to ban & reduce smoking; lobbying, local issues.
Smoking and Politics in California This paper will examine the struggle over smoking in California as it has been fought by the antismoking... more
Smoking and Politics in California This paper will examine the struggle over smoking in California as it has been fought by the antismoking groups, or non-smokers' rights groups, and the smokers rights groups, particularly the tobacco industry. California currently has laws requiring the setting aside of smoking areas in public buildings and food establishments ("California Health and Saf." 25940-25947) and prohibits smoking in the passenger areas of trains, buses, streetcars, and airplanes ("Califor. Publ. Utils. Code"). During the past few years, however, antismoking groups have been waging a battle to enact more stringent smoking bans in public places and to restrict the availability of tobacco products. The antismoking groups have been comprised mainly of health organizations, educational interests, and environmental groups.
Examines lobbying principles, techniques, successes & possible problems of NRA's operations related to U.S. Congress in defense of Second Ammendment.
This study will examine the National Rifle Association as a lobbying organization, focusing on its operations within the United States Congress. ... more
This study will examine the National Rifle Association as a lobbying organization, focusing on its operations within the United States Congress. The study will include consideration of the National Rifle Association itself, the relationship of the National Rifle Association with the Congress, how the National Rifle Association influences the decisions of the United States Congress with respect to gun-related and Second Amendment issues, the lobbying practices of the National Rifle Association, the role of the pressure of National Rifle Association constituents in influencing Congress in such issues, and past successes and possible loss of National Rifle Association power due to the inflexible positions taken by the Association in its efforts to "enforce" the provisions of the Second Amendment.
Political, economic & environmental issues of making EPA a cabinet-level department. Background, 1988 election, Bush policy.
The purpose of this research is to examine the process and results of the effort currently under way to elevate the Environmental Protection Agency... more
The purpose of this research is to examine the process and results of the effort currently under way to elevate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to a cabinet-level department in the executive branch of the United States government. The plan of the research will be to set forth the key issues that have been raised around the discussion of cabinet-level status for the EPA, and then to discuss the issues in a way that will help clarify their political implications. One theoretical view of the issue is that creating a Department of the Environment and a Secretary of the Environment would have the effect of providing executive-branch sanction for management and direction of national environmental policy. In 1990, a veteran of environmental issues who had once been an administrator at EPA framed the key reasons in favor of