What’s a special interest?

2012-05-22 (Tuesday) § Leave a comment

In the politics of California, my state, I often hear people refer pejoratively to “special interests”.  Most often it’s definite: “the special interests”.  Who’s that?  I understand the phrase to mean any interests other than general interests, i.e. ones that don’t belong to the entire population.  Not everyone is a parent, so wouldn’t that include the interests of parents?  Homeowners?  People who earn a wage?

I may be misunderstanding a coded reference here.  The definite article makes me think so.  Maybe it’s an understood term for a specific set of parties that are easy political hate magnets, like labor unions and big businesses.

[edit] I sent a message to my state assembly member, Susan Bonilla, to find out how she interprets the term “the special interests”.

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