AP US Government : Lobbying and Interest Groups

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #4 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Political interest groups play their largest role in shaping legislation by

Possible Answers:

persuading voters through the mass media.

staging protests against current law.

lobbying members of Congress.

arguing before Federal appeals courts.

directly petitioning the executive branch.

Correct answer:

lobbying members of Congress.

Explanation:

Interest groups have a wide range of processes that are intended to affect the country's laws and policies, depending on what branch of the government and what kind of law the group is trying to change. Regarding the legislative process, their chief activity in effecting change is through lobbying members of Congress to help craft and pass legislation.

Example Question #5 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Which term describes the practice of legislators retiring from office and quickly taking positions as lobbyists?

Possible Answers:

The revolving door

Logrolling

Gerrymandering

The iron triangle

Pork barrel

Correct answer:

The revolving door

Explanation:

The correct answer is the revolving door. The iron triangle refers to the people who influence the creation of legislation. Gerrymandering involved drawing borders for electoral districts. Pork barrel and logrolling are types of legislative practices that involve trading favors to get the best outcome for one’s constituents.

Example Question #6 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Which of the following statements about lobbyists is true?

Possible Answers:

Lobbyists tend to target those political individuals who seem most firm in their opposition to the group’s goals.

Lobbyists chiefly seek to influence the President and Secretary of State.

There are two essential types of lobbyists: regular and temporary.

The Lobbying Disclosure Act (1995) requires all interest groups to register only their most financially successful lobbyists with the government.

Correct answer:

There are two essential types of lobbyists: regular and temporary.

Explanation:

There are indeed two main types of lobbyists: those who are regularly paid employees of a particular interest groups and those who are hired on a temporary basis by smaller interest groups or less prominent political figures. Lobbyists most often seek to influence members of Congress, because these politicians, in their roles as legislators, hold the most sway over governmental laws and enacted policies. In keeping with this tendency, lobbyists overwhelmingly tend to approach governmental figures who have already expressed opinions in line with their interest group’s goals– these individuals are the easiest and therefore most beneficial to win over to a group’s side. As per the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an interest group must register ALL lobbyists in its employ with the Secretary of the Senate and must also report all of each lobbyist’s earnings.

Example Question #7 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Which of these lobbying groups currently (as per the most recent data) holds the top spot as the nation’s most influential lobby?

Possible Answers:

The National Education Association

The National Rifle Association (NRA)

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

AFL-CIO

Correct answer:

The National Rifle Association (NRA)

Explanation:

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is currently ranked as the nation’s most dominant lobby. The NRA enjoys such great influence due to its robust team of lobbyists, armed with ample funds, powerful allies (including government members and celebrities), and the support of a slew of weapons and ammunition manufacturing companies. The group’s prestige is further elevated by its lengthy roster of public supporters, many of whom consider the Second Amendment and its strict defense to be vital to the exercise of their citizenship.

Example Question #2 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Which of the following is not one of the most prominent types of modern interest groups?

Possible Answers:

Environmental groups

Equality groups

Labor groups

Educational groups

Correct answer:

Educational groups

Explanation:

While educational interests are indeed deemed important by many average Americans and their governmental representatives, education groups have so far failed to successfully scale the narrow and fiercely competitive ladder of interest group prominence. Environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Sierra Club enjoy widespread public support and are zealously promoted by both legislators and favorable legal rulings. Labor groups like the AFL-CIO and business groups sponsored by Google, Microsoft, and the Chamber of Commerce are all immensely influential as well. Additionally, as significant are equality groups, including the NAACP and NOW, which advocate for equal rights and representation for minorities in both the legislative and legal spheres.

Example Question #9 : Special Interests And Mass Media

Which of the following is the main type of organization that lobbies on behalf of workers?

Possible Answers:

Public interest group

Labor union

Trade association

Private business

Corporation

Correct answer:

Labor union

Explanation:

Labor unions organize and lobby corporations and government to help workers get better wages, safety conditions, benefits, etc... They are often the primary group working to protect worker rights.

Example Question #1 : Lobbying And Interest Groups

Grassroots lobbying is best defined as ______________.

Possible Answers:

building and maintain goodwill with the general public

inspiring constituents to contact their representatives

using high-paid professionals to contact legislators

joining together interest groups to achieve common goals

creating a network of interest groups

Correct answer:

inspiring constituents to contact their representatives

Explanation:

Grassroots has been defined as the practice of organizing people at the base level to try and influence public officials.

Example Question #2 : Lobbying And Interest Groups

How do lobbyists typically seek to influence members of Congress?

Possible Answers:

By providing technical expertise on policy issues

Organizing protests on Capitol Hill

By introducing bills

Providing information to voters

By wining and dining members of congress

Correct answer:

By providing technical expertise on policy issues

Explanation:

Lobbyists are often former congress people or people with expertise in a specific policy area. Congress people must by policy generalists, and thus may rely on lobbyists for more specific expertise on policy.

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