Are interest groups good or bad for democracy (representative government)?

Interest groups seek to influence political processes in ways that benefit their members. This may or may not benefit the overall public interest.
Are interest groups good or bad for democracy (representative government)? Defend and explain your answer. Use your textbook, the Internet, and/or YouTube to find real world examples to support your position.
Consider the following:
The activities of Institutional Groups (American Beverage Association, American Bankers Association), Membership Groups (Sierra Club, NRA), and PACs (Swiftboat Veterans for Truth).
Sources of money for each type of group (OpenSecrets.org). Who is likely to donate?
Upper Class Bias

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