SLO #2: Lobbyists and interest groups in Texas. 70% of students will successfully research and analyze the influence of interest groups on lawmaking, using current news articles/political action committee websites.
Activity for assessment:
Review the following websites. The first is a link to an article regarding how lobbyists may influence Texas lawmakers. The second is a link to the Texas State Rifle Association Political Action Committee website. Be sure to check out the â€œAbout Usâ€ and â€œLegislationâ€ links at the TSRPAC website.
Once youâ€™ve fully completed reading and reviewing the above-mentioned web links, consider the impact Interest groups and lobbyists have on lawmaking. Then, discuss the pros and cons of this collective influence by answering the following:
Based on what you’ve read, should there be tougher restrictions and more strict oversight on interest groups? Or, since they represent such a large group in society who may not have an influential voice otherwise, is this in the best interest of democracy?
Specifically, consider that there are very rigid limitations on how much money that “we the people” can contribute to campaigns and, based on this, have very little individual ability to influence decision-making in this way.
Should the government place more rigid limitations and more oversight on the interest groups, who have access to greater funds, in an ability to allow all of our voices to count equally? How and why?
Overall, do you believe the collective influence of interest groups override individual citizen’s ability to influence politics?
Lastly, give some examples of 21st century interest groups and how they have influenced lawmaking. Be specific.