Tuesday, December 10, 2013

AP U.S. Government: Interest Groups Mini-Research Project

2012 Election Interest Group Campaign Contributions by Sector, 
from opensecrets.org

What Makes Interest Groups Powerful?  Post your findings about your assigned interest group here no later than MONDAY, DECEMBER 16.  You must read them, form conclusions and respond in writing to the prompt by THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19 before you go on break.


Kinsey reed said...

The AMA-ASSN, or the American Medical Association, is an interest group that represents physicians and medical students. As of 2011 they had 217,490 members out of 954,000 practicing physicians. The AMA was founded in 1847 by Nathan Davis Smith.The issues this group is interested in include scientific advancement, standards for medical education, medical ethics, and improved public health. If you become a member of the AMA the benefits include getting to share your perspective and make a difference, build your knowledge with access to AMA publications, gain expert support for your practice or career. More monetary benefits can be special savings on insurance, financial services, medical supplies, and travel. These are all either material, purposive, and solitary incentives. The major criticism with this organization is that they may act as a guild, and attempt to raise wages by influencing the limitations on the supply of physician competition. The AMA is associated with the state societies that control then number of students accepted to medical school and the curriculum. However in recent year the AMA has predicted a shortage of doctors and is working to support medical school expansion.

Lindsay Unger said...

AFL-CIO is a union for all working people. There are 11,525,023 members, all are people like teachers, miners, firefighters, bakers, engines, doctors, nurses, painters, etc. It was founded December 4, 1955. It is made up 57 national and international unions. This union "....exists to represent people who work." I offers members low interest credit cards, scholarships, mortgages, and legal services. The Union Plus Scholarship offers between $500 and $4,000 through the Union Plus Education Fiundation. There seems to be more purposive incentives then material or solidary incentives, because the union organizes their patrons on certain subjects like the economy, healthcare, job security, etc. To be continued....

Anonymous said...

The DFA interest group, or Dairy Farmers of America, was formed on January 1, 1998. In 1996, Associated Milk Producers, Inc., Mid-America Dairymen, Inc., Milk Marketing, Inc., and Western Dairymen Corporation, Inc., decided to unite together to form the DFA. They decided to do this after they shared a dream to make a stronger corporation. This interest group has around 13,000 members, which are dairy producers. These member’s farms are big and small. Members live in the 48 states of the continental United States. The DFA breaks this off into seven sections, the headquarters being in Kansas City, Missouri. This allows for them to elect member to the Board of Directors, which help governs the corporation. The DFA help their members with farming equipment and provide a market to sell their products by buying the raw milk from the members. They also offer health and workers compensation insurance, financing, and energy. Some of their trademark names are Borden Cheese, Cache Valley Cheese, Keller’s Creamery Butter, Plugra Butter, Breakstone’s Butter, Kemps, and Guida’s Dairy. By working through these names, one of the main goals of the DFA is to produce and provide products in an ethical, sustainable manner and to help their members have the need to do so. The interest group itself is organized in a grassroots structure. This means it is community driven. The members are encouraged to influence discussion and help make decisions of the corporation. All in all, I feel that the DFA can qualify as all of the incentives. I feel that in can be solidary because all of the members share the interest and hobby to farm and produce healthy products for their buyers. I also feel that it can qualify as purposive because of the want to produce their products in an ethical manner without damaging the lives of the animals involved. Lastly, I feel it can qualify as material because the members’ benefit economically with having a market to sell their products.

Maggie Micale

Rachael Kesecker said...

The Sierra Club is one of the oldest, largest, and most influential environmental organizations in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, CA by John Muir who became the club's first president. His work through the organization helped to create Yosemite National Park. The Sierra Club has over 1.4 million members who range anywhere from anti-Mountaintop Removal activists, watershed members, people who oppose coal and nuclear energy, and clean energy producers, to liberal environmentalists who simply want to see our planet last as long as possible. The Sierra Club's mission is, "To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives." (sierraclub.org)
The Sierra Club is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors. Each member is elected for a 3-year term and all club members are eligible to vote. The president of the club is elected by the board and can be reelected for as many terms as they wish. Each state has different chapters and local groups where members meet. The club as lobbyists in government who serve as the only voice for the environment in politics. They lobby to end nuclear energy production, to better control waste management, and to end mountaintop removal and find safe alternatives to coal and other natural resources that are being drained. In 2008, The Sierra Club endorsed Obama because they were in favor of his support of the Clean Air Act.
Sierra Club members all receive a one-year subscription to Sierra Magazine, are capable of going on worldwide member's-only trips, and have access to exclusive discounts on products and services that help you enjoy, protect, and explore the planet. Purposive incentives of joining the Sierra Club would be the common goal of saving, protecting, and bettering the environment. Solidary incentives to join would be outdoorsy people wanting to meet other individuals who are equally interested and invested in the betterment of the environment.

Matthew Summers said...

The Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) is an Interest group aimed towards helping pilots find jobs and have increased safety while flying. The ALPA has approximately 49,863 members in 32 U.S. and Canadian airlines. This group represents pilots and people who are members of this group are pilots from airlines who want the benefits of joining the ALPA. The main issues on which the ALPA is concerned is Airline safety and Security. The ALPA was created in 1931 by First Officer Stephen Bradford. The current leadership Captain Gary Hummel (President) and Captain Steve Symser (Executive vice President). The ALPA lobbies for bills and laws that increase Airline and airplane safety and conditions. Their Legislative issues include: Secondary Barriers in planes for pilots, Reinforced cockpit doors, The Federal Flight deck officer Program(which enstates an armed officer to help stop terrorism), Pilot fatigue, Abu Dhabi Preclearance (Foreign pilots with American pilot jobs), Heath care benefits, taxes. The main services the ALPA offers are to negotiate contracts between members and airlines and then helping them to protect the contracts. The ALPA also has a relief fund for its members who have urgent need of money due to an emergency. You may ask what does this have to do with flying an airplane also has a program to aid people who wish to become pilots in the future.

Matthew Summers

Lindsay Unger said...

(AFL-CIO cont..) For example, the AFL-CIO believes that "healthcare is a basic human right," and supports the Affordable Care Act. They also support movement towards policies that make becoming a US citizen easier. They offer links on their website for members to sign petitions showing their support for these issues. The material incentives seem to be pretty standard (legal assistance, scholarships) and do not have very much emphasis put on them. This union is like a union of unions; it has all these smaller unions making it up.

Nicholas Mokhiber said...

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is an interest group that represents American citizens who want to protect their own individual rights. The ACLU was founded in 1920 -- 93 years ago -- by Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman, Helen Keller and Walter Nelles. There are now over 500,000 members in the ACLU. The motto of the group is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself.” This means that people have to protect their own individual rights. The group works on defending liberties as set out in the Constitution -- freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion, among others.

The group uses legal means, lobbying and education to further its goals. It provides legal assistance to individuals who want to protect their rights under the Constitution. For example, if a student wore a t-shirt that says “US out of Iraq” and the school said, “you cannot wear that t-shirt,” the ACLU might represent that student in court and make the argument in court that the student has a First Amendment right to wear that t-shirt. The ACLU also lobbies Congress and state governments for stronger laws to protect individual rights. For example, the ACLU lobbies states to get rid of the death penalty. The group also does education campaigns to inform Americans about their rights under the Constitution.

Many conservatives consider the ACLU a “liberal” organization, even though the ACLU supports the free speech rights of right wing groups. For example, in 1977 the ACLU defended the rights of the neo Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois.

When a person joins the ACLU, that person receives an ACLU membership card. The ACLU posted a video last month featuring the well-known rapper, Macklemore. In the video, Macklemore urges people to join the ACLU to get their card. In the video, Macklemore says -- “If you like being free like me, get the ACLU card today.” A member not only gets a physical membership card, but also joins with thousands of others who believe in protecting Constitutional liberties.

Jerri Napfel said...

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) was founded in 1922, by Eugene F. McDonald. The NAB is governed by three different board of directors: NAB Executive Committee, NAB Radio Board, and NAB Television Board.
The NAB represents broadcasting equipment manufactures, law firms, non-profit associations, content providers, cable channels, telecommunication companies, and educational institutions. Members include Americas radio and television broadcasters and anyone involved within broadcasting companies. Members are provided with services that include three types of insurance programs. AxisPro insurance provides members with multimedia liability insurance. AmWINS provides members with casualty and property insurance. Agility Recovery Solutions offers disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. Members also receive a thirty percent discount on overnight shipping for UPS and thirty one-eighty eight percent off their Office Max purchases. NAB members receive a free legal calendar, so stations can stay up to date with the FCC'S filing and renewal deadlines. The NAB holds conference and meetings to help their members stay ahead of the competition. News letters are sent out to all members. The NAB has a political action committee (NABPAC). The NABPAC gives American broadcasters a voice in the political community by supporting and providing resources to pro-business elected officials. The reasons for joining the NAB is solidary incentives.
The National Association of Broadcasters stand for protecting the rights of journalist, equipping mobile phones with broadcast radio capability for emergency situations, protecting television viewers and allowing broadcasters to continue negotiating in the free market, promoting spectrum policies that serve the public, opposing unnecessary marketing and advertising restrictions, and reforming media ownership rules to reflect the marketplace. The NAB also has a branch called the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation (NABEF). It was created for faculty and students in America. The NABEF is a non-profit association dedicated to reinforcing the future of broadcasting through a commitment to education.

whitney chapman said...

The Snack Food Association, is an interest group that is committed to the growth and continual success of the international snack food industry. The SFA was founded in 1937,and represents 400 companies. The issues these groups are interested in are promoting increased snack food consumption, educating manufactures,and providing a positive voice to the national, local, and trade media. The SFA is also best known for sponsoring one of the largest snack food industry and trade shows. This helps companies to show off their products, and get their name out in the market. The material incentive is that the SFA will help these companies with getting their names out, helping the to stay up to date with safety, and serving a voice for the snack food industry before the government can get involved and have a say.

Emily Cocchiaro said...

The American Association for Retired Persons, or the AARP,was founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus. There are over 37 million American citizens enrolled in this program. The AARP is a group for citizens who are of the age of 50 and above. The program cares very deeply about issues that concern health care, employment security, and retirement for the elderly. The AARP also believes strongly in changing the market to the needs of the 50 and above population. The group accomplishes this by the principles of collective purpose, collective voice, and the collective power of their members. The main goal of the AARP is to improve the lives of the 50 and above population. The AARP offers their members a variety of services and discounts. Some of these services include financial guidance, AARP credit cards, community services, as well as information about advocacy for the group. A few of the discounts include health and wellness products, apparel, home products, travel, technology, entertainment, and many more. AARP members also receive the official magazine of the group.

Kristen Jiannotti said...

The National Education Association is an interest group focused on providing good public schools for children of America and protecting the rights and voices of all educators young and old. The Association's mission is to fulfill the promise of public education and to prepare students for reality after school. They believe in an equal opportunity for all students and that they deserve quality public education that will develop them and their character. The NEA also believes in a just society, democracy, professionalism, parternship and collective action. As a whole, the entire NEA agrees that students are the gateway to the future of America and those who are educators, retired, present, and future, shape the future and the students that will be growing into society. The only people who can belong to this group include those who are current educators and school staff members (even substitutes,) retired educators and those who are studying to be so. Currently, in America, there are approximately 20 states who have educators who take part and belong to the NEA. This association has nearly three million individual members across fourteen-thousand communities in the United States.
Over the years, the NEA has come in contact with many issues directly related to them and their beliefs including, school safety issues, the No Child Left Behind Act, education funding, child nutrition, minority outreach, professional payment, social security, and dropout prevention. There are many other interests that the NEA is involved in but the list does go on. This organization has been battling issues like these since 1857 where only one hundred teachers joined together to be the voice of public education. In 1966 the NEA joined forces with the American Teachers Association to make the NEA what it is today.
As a member, the NEA promises to provide investment plans, life insurance, car rentals, scholarships for students and a $20 rebate for graduating if you were a student member, liability protection of up to one million dollars and other legal assistance, and developmental programs for character building and career building. They also provide the ability to take part in their pro-public education legislation process. The NEA promises that any technical support will be provided by NEA members and state affiliate officers in different workshops across The United States.
Because this association only allows certain people to join which would include those who are prospective educators and those who are current or previous educators which would give solidary incentives to join the group. Those who would want to join this group would be teachers, bus drivers, secretaries, ect, and they would most likely enjoy to associate with other who share the same beliefs as theirs. They are all educators and generally believe the same way that the NEA does, making them want to join.

Kristen Jiannotti :)

Anonymous said...

The American Bar Association was founded in 1878. It is the largest voluntary professional organization with nearly 400,000 members. The issues they support are “improving the legal profession, eliminating bias, enhancing diversity, and advancing the rule of the law throughout the United States and the world.” This statement by their website is an example of one of their extreme propaganda techniques. It makes the reader feel as though the ABA is trying to improve the world for all lawyers and citizens. In reality this organization represents lawyers that represent big companies, like insurance companies. Lawyers like Mr. Schultz, who represent people against these companies, would get nothing from ABA. The ABA is just one of many law interest groups. Lawyers who represent big companies should join this organization.
The ABA has both professional lobbyers and a Grassroots Action Team. They lobby specifically for laws that would help lawyers who represent big companies. They also provide a career center to help their members find jobs. Other members can also post job openings in their business. They provide Pro Bono work for their employees, and have a center where lawyers can sign up to do Pro Bono work. (For those who don’t know Pro Bono literally translates to the public good. It means that a lawyer does work for free.) The organization also offers some scholarships for their student members.
The main incentive to join is that they fit the specific law branches need. The law organizations are constantly battling each other to make laws that will help their own field. If a lawyer wants laws to pass that will benefit themselves and their cases they need to join their respective law organizations. These reasons can be both solidary and purposive incentives. I could not find the material incentives to join. The second step to the sign up process would have given me the material incentives and the dues that I would have to pay. I did not qualify to join on the first set-up page so I could not find this information.
The ABA uses a variety of techniques to get what they want politically. They use both professional lobbying and grassroots lobbying. The ABA also uses advertisement to get the public to do what they want.
Madison Slusher
I would also like to thank Mr. Schultz for his help.

Anonymous said...

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal employees - or the AFSCME - is an organization that represents 1.6 million U.S. nurses, correction officers, child care providers, EMTs and sanitation workers. Some key issues the AFSCME is concerned with are business privatization, fair taxes (they say fair and nationally but I believe they’re more focused on less and within their group of representation), and healthcare affordability (same deal as with their view on taxes). The AFSCME provides the following services for its members: pension and retirement security for retirees within their scope of representation, fair worker’s rights for their still-working members, healthcare for both their active members and retirees, they fight for safety guarantees from the companies their members work for, and are supporters of medicare and social security advancement. The main appeal for prospective members of the AFSCME would be good legal representation for them as a person. The AFSCME is very focused on getting the best lot for their members as possible, which can be a very important proponent for people working in governmental offices.

Aidan McDaniel

Chelsea Breeden said...

PETA or People for the ethical treatment of animals, is an interest group formed around the idea of protecting animals rights. This group was founded by the International President, Ingrid NewKirk and Alex Pacheco former chairman. The group represents animal rights and they make this very clear on their website with visual images and very graphic videos. I think some of those could be used as propaganda because it almost guilts you into joining their group. It must be working though because there are currently three million members and three hundred employees that follow this interest group. The group first started in March of 1980 with their main focus being: factory farms, fur, animal testing, and animals in entertainment. All of these are still the main focus of PETA. This interest groups main services for their members includes lobbying, education and publications, and legal assistance. They recently completed a successful lobby for the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) spending saying that the endocrine disruptor screening program is so poorly designed that it's currently killing thousands of animals. This is mainly due to poor chemical usage around the animals. They also get help from law enforcement as sometimes they will need their backup for animal abuse of any kind; if they can'y get through to the animal abuser they will often turn to law enforcement for support and intervene. At some point we have all heard of PETA because they make sure that people are educated on the subject. We know that some products are tested on animals and thanks to PETA that issue has been addressed and people know about it making education/publication one of their services. Another form of publication would be the video game called "Pokemon Black and Blue" which was created primarily as a reference for how elephants are chained up except for when preforming according to this article http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/pokemon-black-and-blue-peta-pokemon-parody The incentives for joining this group is really nothing to make many people jump on the band wagon, unless you feel strongly about the cause. They include a 15% discount on their online catalog of merchandise, updates on campaigns, current challenges, and victories for the animals.

Anonymous said...

The Council for the National Interest is an interest group that represents those Americans who feel that the money we send to Israel would be better given to other Middle-Eastern countries who pose no real threat to the United States. They say that with all the money that the U.S. gives to Israel or its allies- around eight million dollars a day, according to their official website, Israel hurts not only our economy, but our political standing as well. Founded in 1989 by Paul Findley and Paul McCloskey, the group still goes strong at (unofficially) around 12,000 members. (The only site that seemed to have any number figure of members was Wikipedia, so take this number with a grain of salt.)
The CNI sells no official merchandise, and has no recreational section of their website to discuss anything, so the only reason you would join this interest group is because you support their idea that any U.S. money would be better off not given to Israel. They literally only focus on their anti-Israel organization called "Stop the Blank Check" and lobbying against pro-Israel organizations.
This group has a distinct and thin focus area, not concering themselves with anything but those issues concerning Israel or its relation to the us, and since they make their opinions on Israel so outward, a large number of people just get wrapped up in the numbers without digging around a bit further. They omit small bits of information here and there such as not all of the money going directly to Israel, and they also say that Americans don't pay attention to the issue enough, but it's also stated that their polls numbers indicate over half of Americans believe we send too much money to Israel. Their mission isn't necessarily broken; they're just playing politics. (Or "polotics" if you're Matthew.)


Maggie Schultz said...

The National Rifle association was founded in 1871 by Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate – two Civil War veterans. The original purpose of the organization was to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” Today, it not only does that, but the NRA also is a strong lobbying organization on Capitol Hill which serves to protect the second amendment. They are the longest standing Civil Rights organization in the country – being active for 148 years.

General members that the NRA attracts include military members and veterans, hunters, gun enthusiasts, law enforcement personnel, and constitutional defense activists. Their membership has an estimate of around 4 million members. Though the NRA did not initially form to fight for gun rights, the association did form a lobbying group called the Institute for Legislative Action which has the main purpose of fighting against gun control laws in Congress and to generally defend the second amendment. The NRA's commitment to educating Americans on gun safety has reached out to many youth programs across America, such as Boy Scouts, 4-H, etc. Not only does the orgnaization reach out to Americans being educated on how to be safe with guns, they hold competitions year round near Camp Perry – a shooting range established in Ohio along the Erie River. To sum it up, they enjoy the hobby guns provide but are extremely educational and strict on how to handle them. This is a great appeal to hunters and gun enthusiasts.

There are commercial benefits provided when becoming a member of the NRA as well as solidary incentives. NRA members are eligible to receive discounts throughout businesses, mainly hotels and car rentals, and are also eligible for life insurance. If you are a life member of the NRA, and die of Accidental Death and Dismemberment charges, you can receive $10,000. If a police officer who is an NRA member dies in the line of duty, that officer receives $25,000. However, most citizens who join the NRA join the association for the pride in defending the constitution. Most members are generally conservative people – as 83% of Republicans favor the NRA while 36% of Democrats favor it. Members of the NRA feel that protecting the right to bear arms is an essential part of keeping our Constitutional rights in tact, and to loosen these rights would be to disregard our original rights our forefathers put forth.

-Maggie Schultz

Anonymous said...

Danielle Haynes said....

A well known Agricultural group you may know is called the American Farm Bureau Association. This group was brought together in 1919, by a small group of 30 farmers that gathered in the city of Chicago and founded this group as we know it today. The members of this group are your rural families and your ranchers and farmers. Also whom ever wants to be a participate in the voice of agriculture will join this group. The American Farm Bureau represents the national voice of all agriculture.The group comes together to represent your farm and ranch families by county, by state, locally, nationally, and internationally. In the Farm Bureau, there are over 6.2 million that had been listed as memebers. And it continues to grow.
Some of the major issues The American Farm Bureau is interested in is the biggest being the Farm Bill,plus renewable fuels, as well as the Clean Water Act. The Farm Bill, which is being the most focused issue for the group at this time has offered much reason to why this bill should be passed. Some highlights to the Bill is that it helps build and strengthen rural communities,highly encourages conservation, and provides start up loans for new farmers. Overall, this Bill is not in the sight of congress as it looms above them for now.
The American Farm Bureau has well exsisted since the early 1900s. This group has provided much for its memebers being grassroots organizing. This is where the group itself communicates with policymakers of specific issues that affects their group. This group does have two major incentives for joining. One is Solidary Incentive, which for The American Farm Bureau is having the interest of farming and agriculture that works as a motive for that group. The other incentive is Material Incentive.This group provides tangible benefits, which as well work as a reason or motive for people to join. Some of these substantial benefits are on automotives, online-internet, and health care services.For the American Farm Bureau, one of the biggest factors that makes this group powerful is the statement by Farm Bureau members in 1920, which states, "This is an organization that provides in which members may secure the benefits of united efforts in a way which could never be accomplished through individual effort". This statement draws the conclusion to just how powerful one interest group can be to millions of people.

Keri Shetler said...

The Public Citizen interest group was created to serve the American people in general, but it is especially involved with issues that concern Texas. This is likely because the founder, Ralph Nader is from Texas. He formed this interest group in 1971 and since then it now has around 300,000 members.

Although this group is generally involved with issues concerning car and drug safety, Public Citizen is extremely against Citizen's United and they do not support corporate power. Citizen's United was a ruling made by Congress allowing individuals to donate as much money as they wanted to a campaign as long as it was indirect. Public Citizen wants Citizen's United revoked and plans on doing so by creating a new amendment. Public Citizen is likely against Citizen's United because the founder, Ralph Nader is an independent, whom also ran in the presidential election in 2004.

Other than this purposive incentive for joining Public Citizen, members whom donate $20 receive an issue of "Public Citizen News", with a contribution of $100 a member is also given a dvd.