State Campaign Finance Laws and Interest Group Electioneering Activities


Robert E. Hogan ( is assistant professor of political science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5433.


This paper examines the effects of campaign finance laws on interest group activities in state election campaigns. Specifically, the analysis considers how laws aimed at limiting contributions by interest groups influence the strategies used by these groups. In states where limits are low, it is expected that groups will find alternative ways to affect elections, either by emphasizing direct contact with voters (e.g., independent spending and issue advertising) or by providing more indirect forms of candidate assistance (e.g., endorsements and donations to political parties). Multivariate analyses demonstrate that laws limiting interest group contributions are associated with greater group efforts in these other areas of electioneering.