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Word Count: 548
The Problem of PACs Over the past thirty years interest groups in America have gained more influence upon government officials and candidates for government office Interest groups are organizations of people with similar policy goals who enter the political process to achieve those aims Interest groups have had a significant impact upon elections for many years and since the invention of political action committees in 1974 PACs have increasingly donated more money to candidates in attempt to achieve their political goals Interest groups can range from groups that support a womans right to abortion to a group of businessmen that want to ensure no more government regulations are imposed on them Interest groups can have both positive and negative impacts on the American political system A hot topic in recent years has been the influence of Political Action Committees or PACs which are specific special interest groups that raise and give money in order to have their policies shown in government These PACs represent groups of people that have professional interests such as farmers lawyers and doctors that want to express their support of candidates through political contributions Corporate PACs represent the interests of the stockholders and employees with common political interests PAC campaign contributions on congressional votes in recent years are distorting the democratic process and corrupting our political system in favor of those who can raise the most money The influence of corporate PACs on Congress has especially lead to corporate welfare and has cost taxpayers billions of dollars in recent years For instance Congress failed to regulate tobacco and cigarette advertising due to the 30 million dollars worth of PAC contributions from tobacco companies over the 90s until it recently passed restrictions on such advertising Also the timber industry prevailed against a Clinton administration proposal in 1997 to eliminate logging subsidies because of the industrys 8 million in PAC contributions This sheltering of such industries is a clear example
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