Unit 3 Group Project

On February 27, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

AP US Government
Lobbying, PAC, and Campaign Finance Group Activity

             Outside Lobbying is a process by which interest groups seek to use public pressure to supplement inside lobbying.  Through this process, interest groups are able to bring public or “outside” pressure as a means to influence policymakers.  Using grassroots lobbying and electoral action (votes and money), groups seek to apply pressure to the legislative and executive branch.  Please complete the following tasks in order to gain a better understanding of this process.


Grassroots Lobbying

  1.  Define grassroots lobbying:
  2. Give some examples of grassroots lobbying techniques.
    1. 1st example-


    1. 2nd example-


    1. 3rd example-


  1. Go to madd.org/history and browse the articles.  How and why was this group successful in using grassroots lobbying?


PAC Contributions

            Political Action Committes (PAC’s) are typically formed by interest groups as a fundraising arm that serves to make campaign finance contributions to candidates.  Differing from interest group dues that are used to pay for the organization and inside lobbying process, these funds are collected from voluntary contributors and are documented/limited by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Complete the following tasks to help better understand the influence of PAC’s


  1. Click on “Influences & Lobbying”; then “PAC’s”
    1. 1st Task:  Top PAC’s
  1. Who are some of the top PAC contributors for 2017-2018?


  1. Who are the top Democrat and Republican contributors?


  • What links do you see to what party?

2nd Task:  Leadership PAC’s

1.What are Leadership PAC’s?

2. What is their obvious connection?

3rd Task:  Foreign-Connected PAC’s

  1. What are Foreign-Connected PAC’s?

2. Who are some of the top contributors?


  • What countries/regions are some of the top contributors?


  1. Click on “Politicians & Elections” then  “Congress”; then  “115th Congress (2017-2018)”
    1. 1st Task:  Find your U.S. Representative:  2017 Data
  1. Total $?
  2. Total PAC $?
  • Of PAC #, from where?

2nd  Task:  Find each U.S. Senator:  (Most Recent Election Cycle)

  1. Total $?
  2. Total PAC $?
  • Of PAC #, from where?


Campaign Finance:  Historical Change

Because of the increased power and influence of money in elections, a variety of campaign finance laws and Supreme Court rulings have been issued in the last 40 years to create a fair system.  Many of these laws and rulings have had a significant impact on  interest groups and the contributions of Political Action Committees (PAC’s) in elections.

Go to http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/fecfeca.shtml and answer the following questions as they relate to campaign finance law.

  1. Click on “Historical Background
  2. What was the significance of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971/1974?
  3. What was the significance of Buckley v. Valeo?


  • What was the significance of the Biparisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) [also known as McCain-Feingold]?
    • Click on “Contribution Limits”
  1. What are the amounts for the 2017-2018 election cycle that PAC’s (multicandidate) may contribute?


  1. In response to the restrictions placed on interest groups and the financial limitations of PAC’s, a variety of “alternative” advocacy groups have arisen “outside” of the aforementioned system.  The Supreme Court has decided  in a number of rulings (Citizens United v. FEC [2010]; SpeechNow.org v. FEC [2010]) to allow these groups to exist.  Their influence in recent elections has increased substantially.  Many of these groups are linked to interest groups.
  1. Define Super PAC’s:


  1. What limitations exist for Super PAC’s


  • How much spending have they done in the 2012 election cycles?
    1. 2012:


  • Choose one of the top spending Super PAC’s and explain its influence.


1. Define 527’s

2. What limitations exist for 527’s


  • How much spending have they done in the 2012 election cycles?
    1. 2017:


  • Choose one of the top spending 527’s and explain its influence.


    • Go to http://www.opensecrets.org/; click on “Influence and Lobbying”, then “527’s”; then “Other Information”; then “Types of Groups”.

1.Define 501(c)

2.What limitations exist for 501(c)’s?

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Interest Groups

On February 27, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

For this assignment you will get to know some Interest Groups.  There are several the AP would like you to know.  You need to look up each Interest Group and write a quick summary.  Some things to include are who do they represent, what is their issue, what resources do they have, i.e., voters, cash and how do they influence government?

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
American Medical Association (AMA)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
National Association of Manufacturers  (NAM)
Sierra Club
National Rifle Association (NRA)

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Interest Group Readings

On February 27, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Answer the questions that proceed each reading and send your responses to lwaddell@tuhsd.k12.az.us

Madison’s Dilemma

1. Is the thinking of the framers relevant to contemporary politics?
2. Does Madison have anything to say that resonates with the dynamics of American politics in the twenty-first century?
3. Should groups, for example, be required to look at more than one issue, or should they be required to explain how their positions and interests would benefit the nation?

Interest Groups and the American Political System

1. What is the relationship between a system of government and the behavior of groups?
2. Mark Rozell and Clyde Wilcox note several factors which contribute to the important role played by interest groups in American politics. What are those factors and what is their role?
3. Discuss the single-member district system according to Rozell and Wilcox.

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Elections, Campaigns, and Voting Current Event

On February 22, 2018, in Uncategorized, by lwaddell

The  current event can be about anything in the government that relates to elections, campaigns, and voting.  This involves upcoming elections, voting rights, voting districts (gerrymandering) are a few topics.

Follow the instructions found on the attached sheet on how to complete the current event.  All current events must be in your own words.

Current Event-PDF

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Elections and Campaigns-Court Cases

On February 22, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Here are series of Supreme Court cases that will be helpful in your studies.  You will want to complete a summary in your own words of each case.  Include the outcome, the Constitutional point that is being argued and the impact of the case.  This assignment is due at the beginning of the next class period.

Buckley v Valeo (1976)
Bush v Gore (2000)
McConnell v FEC (2003)
Citizens United v FEC (2009)

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Discussion Post #3

On February 15, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Discussion Post #3 is open on the AP  Blog page.  You will be able to access the blog by clicking on the link below.  Be sure to read the rubric on how points are earned.  If you have any questions, be sure to ask.  The Post will close on February 22 at 5:00 pm.

Discussion Post #3

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Mass Media Project

On February 12, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

To help gain an understanding of how the media may be biased, we will examine three sources; one liberal, one conservative, one moderate and see how they portray the president.  Be consistent with your theme.  One example would be the Tax Reform Bill signed by the president.  You would look for that theme in all three of your sources.  This project will be due the next time class meets.

1. Find three editorials from three different sources that talk about  President Trump. There should be a liberal source, a conservative source and one independent source.  There are links at the bottom to assist your search.  Summarize in your own words how the editorials portray the president, what type of tone are they taking, and how could this editorial influence voter.


List of Liberal and Conservative Media Outlets

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Media Reading

On February 12, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Here is a reading for the media in government.  This reading is due at the end of the class period it was assigned.

Maureen Dowd

Does Mrs. Dowd paint an accurate picture of the president?  Are her views bias?  If so, does she lean to the left or to the right of the political spectrum?

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Political Parties Explained

On February 6, 2018, in Information, by lwaddell

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Political Parties Project

On February 6, 2018, in Assignments, by lwaddell

A political party is group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office. In America there are many political parties. The two largest are the Democrats and Republicans.  For this activity you will be gathering information on political parties. You will need to select three issues, or planks from five different political parties. The planks can be anything that interests you, such as education, welfare, military spending, and taxes are just a few examples.


You will select three planks from five parties. The planks may be any topic that interests you.  You will create a visual representation of the planks from all five parties.  This can be a prezi, video, posters, or another form.  PowerPoint is not encouraged, think outside the box. It is highly encouraged that you use the Democrats and Republicans as two of your parties.  The other three are entirely up to you.

Here is a sample of political parties. This list is by no means the only parties that you may use. If you use a party that is not listed here you must include the web address in your paper.

Democratic National Committee
Republican National Committee
The Green Parties of North America
Communist Party USA 
Libertarian Party

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