Interest groups and politics

Satisfactory Essays
Interest Groups and Politics

As we approach the 2004 presidential election everyone is getting in line to throw their money into the Proverbial feeding trough that all politicians take from. Campaigns are made and broke depending on how much money they have to spend. Fundraising is one way for politicians to receive contributions from your typical everyday blue collar citizen, but where do the four and five figure contributions come from? They come from intrest groups and lobbyists. These are the people, companies, and organizations that control our government whether they admit it or not. Campaign are run by this money and their agendas are the ones that congress on both the state and national level. The best way to sum up how all this works is "You’re one of 435 ants in the House, and unless you’re on the right committee a lot of these people don’t even return your phone calls."
— Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.), on raising money from PAC directors ("Speaking Freely, 2nd Ed." by Larry Makinson (Center for Responsive Politics, 2003)).
Interest groups give what is called “soft money” to candidates; in return these candidates push the issues that the interest groups hold important. For instance, recently on 60 MINUTES they ran a special on the prescription drug companies and the government. It is shown that the United Sates pays double for medication what the rest of the world pays for the same thing. The reason this is occurring is due to the fact that these drug manufacturers are pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars in to these campaigns. Since 1999 certain legislators have received more then one and a half million dollars in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies. President Bush personally has received half a million dollars. (60Minutes, CBS News). It is quite amazing that if you look at the top 100 overall donators in 2002 that seven of them are the largest drug manufactors in the world, and the are all heavy republican supporters. On the same side to this is the insurance companies. They also give large contributions to politicians. In 2002, companies such as Blue Cross / Blue Shield, AFLAC, and Cigna, were all huge contributors to the Republican Party. Since the late 80’s republican have always been able to raise more soft money. In 2002 alone democrats raised 217 million dollars, while the republicans raised a whopping 442 million in soft money (opensecrets.
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