Interest Groups in Texas
Find and explore the website for a Texas interest group of your choice. Do a search for a subject you are interested in and see if there is a group that matches. Then see if they are active in Texas. You may have to spend some time looking if you want to find a group that matches your own interests. Some suggested places to search: Project VoteSmart (https://votesmart.org/interest-groups/TX/#.VR1syI7fDGU) or the Texas Tribune’s list of Interest Group Scorecards: http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/82nd-session-interest-group-scorecards/ or the list of top lobbyist/interest groups from the Texans for Public Justice report: http://info.tpj.org/reports/Top%20Lobbyists%202013.pdf. Most of the groups that you will find should have site names ending in “.org” since they are organizations. Once you have found a group, analyze the group through its website. Be sure and discuss what kind of information is available on the site. Consider the following: What does the group stand for? (usually, this is in the “About” section), What activities does it engage in to draw attention to the cause/change government policy? What types of benefits does the group offer to prospective and current members? Is it an offshoot of a national interest group? If yes, how is it similar/dissimilar to its national counterpart? What attracts you to this group? Is the group likely to be successful in swaying public opinion/political leaders? Why or why not? Consider what you know about the political culture in Texas, the current legislature and executive.