November 18, 2013 Objectives: Students will be able to explain their Thesis/ Students will be able to explain the purpose of interest groups. Question: Explain how different news stations can be biased. Agenda: Quiz 8.1/Worksheet 8.2 /Essential Question/CBA Thesis Due/2 more Evidence Sheets Today Student Will (TSW): Describe the importance of the roles interest groups play in influencing the actions and policies of government. Warm Up: You are a Curtis High School student who is unhappy with the late hours of your school. What might some of your options be as far as influencing the existing person or group in charge of changing those hours according to your preference? Interest Groups and Public Opinion Local, State, and National Government Interest Groups An interest group is a group of people who share common goals and organize to influence government. These groups spend a great deal of money and put a lot of effort into persuading government officials to support bills or policies the group feels will be beneficial. Interest Groups are NOT Political Parties ...They do not nominate candidates. …Only concerned with a few specific issues and do not try to gain members with different opinions. …Organized on the basis of common values rather than on geographic location. Why belong to an Interest Group? Economic self-interest Beliefs, values, and attitudes Social reasons ***Most who join tend to be from upper income levels. Types of Interest Groups Business and Labor (NAM and AFL-CIO) Agricultural groups represent farmers. (Grange) Professional Associations Environmental groups Public Interest groups Major Special Interest Groups National Association for the Advancement Advancement of of Colored People http://www.naacp.org American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization http://www.aflcio.org American Medical Association http://www.amahttp://www.amaassn.org/ National Education Association http://www.nea.org/ Purpose and Methods of Interest Groups Provide Americans with additional Representation Seek to Inform the Public and Officials of Issues Letter Writing Campaigns Media Campaigns Checking for Understanding How are interest groups different from political parties? What methods do interest groups use to influence public policy? Why are interest groups more effective in influencing the government than are individual citizens? Lobbying/Lobbyist Lobbying is the process of making direct contact with government leaders in attempt to influence policy. Lobbyists are the representatives of interest groups who conduct such work. Political Action Committees (PACs) Another vehicle for interest groups to influence government is through PACs. Organizations specifically designed to collect money and provide financial support for a political candidate. Pros and Cons? Contributions to PACs What has the general trend been in Total PAC spending since 1978? By about how many dollars did PAC spending increased between 1996-1998? By how much did the number of PACs declined between 1996 and 1998? Which type of PAC spent the most $ in 1997? Learning Log: Do interest groups help make representative government truly “government by the people?” EXPLAIN! Do you have any questions or comments on this topic? TSW: Examine political ads in order to identify techniques used by politicians and the media to influence public opinion Warm Up: Take a copy of the handout titled: “Wanda’s Adventures in Government” Use vocabulary from last class to fill in the blanks. Write your answers under “warm up” in your journal. Mass Media Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, recordings, movies, and books AKA—”The Fourth Branch of Government” Strategic methods in influencing public opinion—the ideas and attitudes a significant number of Americans hold about government and political issues Media in Political Campaigns Candidates use the media to creatively persuade people’s opinions of themselves and opponents Ads costs lots of $ Candidates spend lots of time raising money to fund the expensive ads Propaganda Techniques (page 496 in text) Testimonial: Celebrity endorsement Mudslinging: negative ad Transfer: using symbols to create negative attitude toward opponent Card Stacking: use of stats & one-sided info to make opponent look bad More Propaganda Techniques… Plain Folks: attempt to appeal as “one of the people” Glittering Generalities: introduce candidate to people with positive & broad words/phrases Contrast Ad: Compare positive images of candidate with negative images of opponent in same ad Your Turn…. In small groups, you will write & record a 30 second political radio ad for a presidential candidate of your choice that uses at least one of the campaign advertising strategies we learned today. Guidelines: Your group needs a written script to receive full credit— the script needs to explain which advertising strategies you use. Your group needs to practice a few times before recording and Be Creative!! Learning Log: How much of an influence do you think the media really has over people’s decisions? Can you think of any examples from your daily life when the media had an effect on something you did? Ideology and Public Opinion Political Ideology effects how an individual approaches issues in public policy. Liberal—believes gov’t should actively promote health, education, and justice Conservative—believes in limiting the role of gov’t except in supporting traditional moral values Moderates—fall somewhere in the middle Measuring Public Opinion Political Party membership Participation in Interest Groups Responses to Mass Media Letter Writing Volume Electronic Access ***Scientific Polling*** Conclusion Why do we care about interest groups and public opinion? Because research shows that the government is indeed responsive to the desires of the public. Interest groups, political parties, mass media and the public opinion all weigh heavily on government officials when designing public policy.