Politicians find it very difficult to win votes individually during times of intensive political campaigning without involving other individuals. Therefore, they come up with interest parties who will assist them to convince the electorate to vote for representative seats. Profit organizations, in particular advocacy groups, employ such accredited lobbyists who support clear laws in decision-making as a means of persuading the electorate and defending lawmakers in the courts of law. While lobbyists face a lot of scrutinies, the profiles of their respective consumers are established. Politicians always find it hard to fund their campaigns using their assets; therefore, they form Political Action Committees (PACs) that would aid in contributing money towards their campaigns. This paper discusses various types of interest groups, lobbyists, and political action committees that governments and politicians employ to succeed in their political wars.
An interest group is an organization of individuals with common interests who work together in influencing the government in the process of achieving their interests. There are two categories of interest groups, that is, economic and non-economic groups. The economic group is the most common type of interest group. This group works for private benefits, that is, only the members enjoy the gains that accrue from the group. Such groups receive a lot of funding from the members because they anticipate reaping from the political influence and gains. Economic groups are divided into four main types that include agricultural, labor, business, and professional groups. Each of the groups represents the interests of the members of their organization.
Noneconomic groups, on the other hand, fight for the causes rather than material gain. They seek public goods that would benefit not only the members but also the other citizens in the society. They offer a number of incentives including solidarity benefits, which is a social gain that members receive after integrating with new people and information benefits that members gain when they learn about issues that affect them. Noneconomic groups may be categorized as public interest groups, single-issue groups or government groups depending on their objectives.
Lobbying is an activity in which special interest groups such as campaign groups hire lawyers to help them in decision making in the process of persuading the public to like their political interest. According to the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act of 2002, there are three types of lobbyists, that is, consultant, enterprise, and organization lobbyists. The consultant lobbyist is employed to lobby on behalf of the client. He or she may be working as a lawyer who intervenes whenever the politician or government has a policy issue that requires an advocate. An enterprise lobbyist holds a job in a profit making organization and among his or her duties is lobbying on behalf of the company. On the other hand, an organization lobbyist is a person who is employed in a non-profit organization. He or she also lobbies on behalf of the company as part of his or her duties. The lobbyist may represent the organization in various meetings to obtain contracts for the members.
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a group of individuals whose objective is to contribute money to support federal politicians’ campaigns. As allowed by the federal laws, there are two types of PACs, which include connected and non-connected political action committees. Connected PACs have direct connections to particular corporations, labor groups, or political parties. An example of such committees is Microsoft that may seek contributions from its employees or members and aid a candidate or political parties in financing their campaigns. Non-connected PACs, on the other hand, raise funds and spend them to elect a candidate from any political party as long as the party supports their ideas. Since these action committees are not connected to any particular organization, they not only solicit contributions from members but also seek support from the public.
The judiciary formed a third type of PAC known as Super political action committee. Super PACs solicit contributions from any organizations, unions or individuals. They, however, do not contribute money directly to the campaign of a specific candidate. They only spend money to advocate for or against specific politicians for instance by buying advertisements. The law allows the candidates and managers of Super PAC to discuss campaign strategies through the media.
In conclusion, interest groups, lobbyists, and PACs are very crucial for the success of any politician or political party. Such aspects help one to build a strong political ground and financial management, which are necessary for one win a political seat. The political classes must incorporate certain types of interest groups, lobbyists, and PACs to realize the objectives.