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Apr 13, 2015

J.S. Maloy and Jeanette Mendez, editors of Political Research Quarterly, interview author Jeff Smith about his new article "Passion or Dollars? How Mobilization Can Spoil the Mother’s Milk of Politics."



Evidence regarding the influence of campaign donations and lobbying efforts on legislative behavior is mixed. Much research—not to mention conventional wisdom—suggests that well-funded interest groups exploit their resource advantage by making campaign contributions and deploying lobbyists to gain informational advantages and influence legislation. Using contribution data, information about interest group support for legislation, and a rare data set—constituent contacts to six state legislative offices—this paper examines how interest group donations and constituent activism influence outcomes. Although the amount of money contributed by groups supporting or opposing a bill did not affect its prospects, constituent contacts had a substantial impact. Political expenditures by business firms appear primarily to sustain an entrenched class of lobbyists and consultants.


Article Available Online Here: