In this article we seek to explain the nexus of legislators and the lobbyists who vie for their attention. Prior research finds that campaign contributions do not buy votes, but they can buy access to lawmakers. Rather than conceptualize donations as a single-shot exchange of money for time, we see campaign donations as both an investment in an ongoing relationship and an expression of common underlying characteristics between lobbyists and legislators. We use the personal campaign donations of individual lobbyists in the 109th Congress to test our account. We find that for legislators up for reelection, the more connected two legislators are by common lobbyist donors, the more likely they are to vote the same way, controlling for the influence of party, geography and constituency.
- campaign contributions
- roll call voting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science