Fundraising for favors? Linking lobbyist-hosted fundraisers to legislative benefits
Political Research Quarterly
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Do legislators and lobbyists trade favors? This study uses uncommon data sources, computerized matching techniques, and plagiarism software to detect a rarely observed relationship between interest group lobbyists and sitting Members of Congress. Comparison of letters to a Senate committee written by lobby groups to legislative amendments introduced by committee members reveals similar and even identical language, providing compelling evidence that groups persuaded legislators to introduce amendments valued by the group. I use these matches as the dependent variable, which I predict as a function of novel data about fundraising events. Conditional logit models suggest that senators are more likely to offer in committee an amendment requested by a lobby group if the group hosts a fundraising event for the senator. The results hold while controlling for the group’s campaign contributions to the senator, ideological agreement between the senator and the group, and the group’s lobbying expenditures, annual revenue, and home-state connections.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from SAGE Publications via the DOI in this record
Published online 24 April 2018