Define an Interest Group:
Through my research I found that there are many definitions of an Interest Group. For example one is from out text book the definition is; An Interest Group is an organization of people or a letterhead organization sharing a common interest or goal that seeks to influence the making of public policy. (Wilson J. Q. (2008) American Government) The term 'interest group' describes the nature of association this work is concerned with. According to Truman, interest groups can be defined as groups that based on one or more shared attitudes, engage in influencing political decision-making, in order to successfully implement certain political goals or values ...view middle of the document...
Large corporations and individual unions also have offices in the capital. Trade associations represent entire industries. The members of the American Public Power Association (APPA), for example, are municipally owned electric utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and state power authorities. Professionals also form interest groups. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed legislation to create health maintenance organizations (HMOs) for years. (http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/Types-of-Interest-Groups.topicArticleId-65383,articleId-65531.html).
There are many different types of interest groups such as the American Association for retired persons (AARP), National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) which are two of the more well know ones. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over. AARP is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as we age. AARP leads positive social change and delivers value to members through information, advocacy and service. AARP also provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for their members. (www.aarp.org) NRLC is the nation's largest pro-life organization, with 50 state affiliates and approximately 3,000 local affiliates nationwide. NRLC works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. (http://www.nrlpac.org) These two interest groups are two of the largest interest groups in America and in every election they are usually in the forefront of every candidate’s campaign as they were in the current election. Another large interest group is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts,
legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Some examples of those liberties are found in the First Amendment. The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities. (http://www.aclu.org/about-aclu-0).
The Relationship between Interest Groups and Political Parties:
In the United States Congress there are two houses called the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the House of Representatives most of the legislation is done through committees and subcommittees. This is where the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups come into play. (http://voices.yahoo.com/lobbyists-special-interest-groups-congress-41263.html)
Since the development of interest groups there has always been a contest between them and the political parties. The reason for this contest is because of the difference between the two. The interest groups pressure the...