Questioning the Access Hypothesis: Odd Patterns of Political Contributions
28 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 4 Sep 2012
Date Written: 2011
This paper challenges the notion that the purpose of lobbyists' political contributions is to gain access to legislators’ time and effort. Data detailing contributions to key politicians during the health reform battle of 2009 suggest that if lobbyists are trying to buy access in an effort to influence legislation, they are giving the wrong amounts to the wrong people at the wrong times. The findings indicate that access-buying is not an adequate explanation for why organized interests give money to political candidates.
Keywords: lobbying, campaign contributions, health reform, policymaking
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