This research was supported by a Congressional Research Award from the Dirksen Congressional Center as well as start-up funds from the University of Nevada, Reno. I wish to thank Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, J. Craig Jenkins, and Steven H. Lopez for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Additionally, I wish to thank Kevin Speakman, Lee Cayayan, Jen Killius, and Jeff Hoppe for their research assistance with the project.
CONTRIBUTOR INFLUENCE IN CONGRESS: Social Ties and PAC Effects on U.S. House Policymaking
Article first published online: 5 OCT 2010
© 2010 Midwest Sociological Society
The Sociological Quarterly
Volume 51, Issue 4, pages 649–677, Fall 2010
How to Cite
Peoples, C. D. (2010), CONTRIBUTOR INFLUENCE IN CONGRESS: Social Ties and PAC Effects on U.S. House Policymaking. The Sociological Quarterly, 51: 649–677. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.2010.01187.x
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 5 OCT 2010
Knowing how campaign contributors influence policymaking is important for understanding political power, but the existing literature—much of it outside sociology—has mixed findings. Using data on Political Action Committee (PAC) contributors and roll call voting in eight U.S. Houses, 1991–2006, I approach the issue using a novel, sociological approach that focuses on social ties between lawmakers and mutually shared contributors. The findings show consistent, statistically significant contributor influence via these ties in seven of the eight Houses. I discuss the implications of these findings for contributor-lawmaker reciprocal exchange, the social embeddedness of policymaking, and political power.