J. Pitney Office: Kravis 232 Telephone: 909/607-4224
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 1-2 PM, and by appointment
If regular hours are inconvenient, please make an appointment.
This courses examines the role of interest groups in American politics, with special attention to their influence on public policy. It asks these questions:
Classes will include lecture and discussion. Finish the readings before class because our discussions will involve those readings. We shall also talk about breaking news, so you must read a good news source such as Politico, RealClearPolitics or the New York Times.
Our class blog is at http://gov106.blogspot.com. I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I strongly encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
The following will make up your course grade:
The papers will develop your skills in research, writing, and political analysis. When grading, I do take the quality of writing into account, applying the standards of Strunk and White. If you object to this approach, do not take this course – or anything else that I teach.
The final examination will test your factual knowledge and comprehension of the readings.
Class participation will hone your ability to think on your feet. This grade hinges on blog posts, class discussions and a brief oral presentation on your 8-page paper. I will call on students at random, and if you often miss sessions or fail to prepare, your grade will suffer.
As a courtesy to your fellow students, please arrive promptly and refrain from eating in class.
Check due dates for papers, as well as the date of the final exam. Arrange your schedule accordingly. Do not plan on seeking extensions or make-up work.
Plagiarism or any other academic dishonesty will mean referral to the Academic Standards Committee. See: http://registrar.claremontmckenna.edu/acpolicy/plagiarism.asp
Allan J. Cigler, Burdett Loomis and Anthony J. Nownes, editors, Interest Group Politics, 9th ed. (Washington: Sage/CQ Press, 2016). GET THE 9TH EDITION. EARLIER EDITIONS HAVE DIFFERENT CONTENT.
Schedule (subject to change, with advance notice).
In addition to the readings below, I may also supply you with various handouts and Internet links.
Sept 1, 3: Introduction"The canal trustees quickly secured the expert services of Abraham Lincoln to lobby against the Havens' proposal for an act. This action tells us that lawyer Lincoln still had great influence in the House of Representatives, even though he had not sat there since 1842. And it is the first known proof that he ever acted as a lobbyist. " -- Wayne C. Temple, "A. Lincoln, Lobbyist," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 21 (Summer 2000): 35-43.
Is everyone part of a special interest? What is the proper role of organized interests in a democracy?
Sept 8, 10: Movements, Groups, Factions
"The more government takes the place of associations, the more will individuals lose the idea of forming associations and need the government to come to their help" -- Alexis deTocqueville
We hear of "movements," "interest groups" and "factions." Do these terms mean different things, or are they variations of the same thing?
Sept 15, 17: Lobbying and Lobbyists"It's always a good time to be Heather Podesta." -- Lobbyist Heather Podesta
Who are lobbyists? How do they work?
Sept 22, 24: Lobbying Congress and the Executive"[Tom] Daschle, a `policy adviser' to a range of corporate interests and a close confidant of many top Democrats, has become one of the most famous unregistered lobbyists in the city. In fact, his activities as a consigliere and go-between for business leaders and politicians, including President Obama, are so well known that among ethics watchdogs, the technicality in the law that allows lobbyists to evade registration has become known as the `Daschle Loophole.'" -- Lee Fang, The Nation, February 19, 2014.
"Jack Abramoff liked to slip into dialogue from The Godfather as he led his lobbying colleagues in planning their next conquest on Capitol Hill. In a favorite bit, he would mimic an ice-cold Michael Corleone facing down a crooked politician's demand for a cut of Mafia gambling profits: `Senator, you can have my answer now if you like. My offer is this: nothing.'" -- Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi, Washington Post, December 29, 2005.How are campaign finance rules and practices changing?
October 27, 29: Business and Professions"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless." -- Not Abraham Lincoln.
November 3, 5: Labor
"Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year..." NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin
How has change in the workforce changed the composition and strategy of organized labor?
So you're saying UNICEF is a scam?
Kramer: It's the perfect cover for a money laundering operation . No one can keep track of all those kids with the little orange boxes of change.
Who influences foreign and military policy? What is the role of foreign governments and interests? What economic and ethnic groups have a stake in foreign affairs?
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