Policy Agendas, Party Control, and PAC Contributions in the American States, with Virginia Gray and David Lowery.

Abstract: In this research we hypothesize that aggregate PAC behavior is conditional in nature. PACs in a specific issue sector donate more to a certain political party’s candidates the more that political party controls the legislature. However, the more active the legislature is on a specific set of issues the more people/groups/PACs are mobilized in response to the issue. Thus, a conditional relationship emerges where aggregate PAC donations to a political party are a function of party control, agenda activity, and an interaction of the two. We test this conditional theory using data from the Institute on Money in State Politics database on PAC donations to state legislative candidates divided into issue sectors. Our results provide support for our hypotheses that aggregate PAC donations to a political party’s candidates are conditional on the level of agenda activity on the issues that concern the PACs.

Published: Business and Politics. 2010. Vol 12 (4).

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