Explain why some people believe that interest groups have too much power
1. They function as an extraconstitutional "Fourth Branch" of government, without the scutiny that the other branches receive. Many of our laws are written, in whole or in part, by the non-elective leaders of these groups, yet they remain relatively unknown to the public (who are expected to fund and obey these laws). 2. They sometimes corrupt our elected leaders with bribes, whether legal or not, to get the legislation they want passed. This erodes the standards that Congressmen and Congresswomen are sworn to uphold, and creates a "climate of corruption" which spills over into other forms of official conduct as well. 3. As their right to "petition the government" is protected by the First Amendment, limiting their power is difficult, and so far, they have grown in strength and numbers at the expense of everyone who they don't represent. 4. The government worked better before the interest groups became so powerful. Lobbies in their present form were not envisioned by the founders, and as a result, there are insufficient checks and balances built into our current system. While every interest group has a right to be heard in Washington, none of them have a right to subvert the processes of government, and that is what is happening today.