Organizations such as the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth are
familiar to anyone with an interest in environmental protection. As
activist groups, they played by the same rules for years. But in
1994, the rules changed.
With the Republican takeover of Congress, environmental groups
faced sweeping changes in federal policies that threatened the
enforcement of environmental laws. As these organizations
intensified their efforts to meet these challenges, they also
altered their electoral strategies and political spending patterns.
This book traces those actions and shows what they mean for the
future of environmentalism in the political arena.
While environmental advocacy groups have become bigger and
better funded in recent years, so have the corporate interests that
compete with them for the attention of public and politicians. The
Green Agenda in American Politics offers a new look at
environmental advocacy that focuses on contemporary lobbying,
electioneering, and agenda setting in this new context.
Drawing on interviews with activists from a wide range of
organizations, Robert Duffy describes what environmental groups
actually do when lobbying officials or the public. He examines
activity at both national and state levels to emphasize their
growing use of websites, email, and action alert networks to
conduct more sophisticated grassroots campaigns, and he shows how
they are devoting more funds to unregulated forms of spending such
as independent expenditure, issue advocacy advertising, and public
Duffy also tracks emerging trends in interest group politics and
provides an overview of activism through the early 1990s. He then
documents the emergence of more aggressive action after 1994, such
as providing campaign services to candidates and mounting voter
registration drives. He also shows how state and local groups have
begun to play more important roles in the wake of the rollback of
federal environmental regulations.
Brimming with new insights into interest group lobbies in
general and contemporary environmental groups in particular,
Duffy's book opens a new window on the influence of Big Money in
the supposedly democratic electoral process.
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