The rich have more political clout in states, but stricter lobbying rules can narrow gap

State legislators are more attentive to wealthy citizens' political opinions compared to poor citizens' opinions when making policy decisions, but stricter regulations on professional lobbyists can promote more equal political representation, according to a Baylor University study.

"Stricter lobbying laws are an important tool for ensuring that citizens' opinions receive more equal consideration when elected officials make important ," said researcher Patrick Flavin, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.

The study—"Lobbying Regulations and Political Equality in the American States"—is published online in the journal American Politics Research.

Flavin used public opinion survey data from the 2000, 2004 and 2008 National Annenberg Election Surveys and compared them to state policies to create a measure of how closely income and political influence relate within each state. He then ranked the states in terms of the equality of political representation. States in which rich and poor citizens' opinions are represented relatively equally score high on the rankings, while states in which the lawmakers almost exclusively represent rich citizens' opinions score low.

The top two states in terms of the equality of political representation are Montana at No. 1 and Minnesota at No. 2, with Alabama and Mississippi coming in at the low end, at No. 47 and No. 48 respectively. (Hawaii and Alaska were not included in the rankings because of a lack of public opinion survey data for those states.)

"One common explanation for why affluent citizens tend to be more successful at getting their opinions translated into policy is that industries that tend to share their opinions—such as finance and real estate—are well represented among professional lobbyists in Washington and statehouses across the nation," Flavin said. "In contrast, disadvantaged citizens do not enjoy the same level of representation among professional lobbyists, and correspondingly exert less influence over the policy decisions made by elected officials."

In light of this reality, Flavin investigated whether states that impose more restrictions on the activities of professional lobbyists tend to represent citizens' opinions more equally. Specifically, he looked at the number of different groups required to register as lobbyists, the frequency of reporting requirements, the types of activities that are prohibited and disclosure requirements.

His statistical analysis revealed that states with more restrictions on professional lobbyists tend to be the most politically equal in terms of representing the political opinions of both the rich and the poor. Flavin explains that "unlike the federal government in Washington where one uniform set of laws governs lobbyists, the states vary, sometimes dramatically. Therefore, we can learn a lot about what types of laws and institutions promote greater political equality by focusing our attention on the ."


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Journal information: American Politics Research

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Citation: The rich have more political clout in states, but stricter lobbying rules can narrow gap (2014, September 17) retrieved 19 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-rich-political-clout-states-stricter.html
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Sep 17, 2014
It sure would be nice if you guys would stick to science. Trying to justify more government in the hopes you will never have to work that hard as a scientist would make Galileo turn away in disgust.

Sep 17, 2014
Too bad a 'smart' scientist can't figure out that there would be no need for a lobbyiest if the state didn't have the power to control the lives of others.
But, that's what happens when 'smart' people think they know what is best for the lives of others. The others don't want to be controlled by the 'smart' people so they do what they must to get the govt to control the lives of 'smart' people and/or leave them alone.

Sep 17, 2014
"ndustries that tend to share their opinions—such as finance and real estate—are well represented among professional lobbyists in Washington and statehouses across the nation,""

Because govts have thousands of regulation to control these industries is why they are so well represented.
Limit the regulations, limit the lobbyists.

Sep 17, 2014
Stricter lobbying rules? Don't make me laugh. The US goverment has always been running on lobbying principle. It is more likely that the Pope will have a threesome in a brothel than that happening. Want to bet on it?

Sep 17, 2014
Stricter lobbying rules? Don't make me laugh. The US goverment has always been running on lobbying principle. It is more likely that the Pope will have a threesome in a brothel than that happening. Want to bet on it?


The article is about state governments.

Sep 17, 2014
State govts that are limited have limited lobbying.
States must balance their budgets. Some states only meet 45 days every year. TX meets once every two years.
Correlate that with lobbying.

Sep 17, 2014
State govts that are limited have limited lobbying.
States must balance their budgets. Some states only meet 45 days every year. TX meets once every two years.
Correlate that with lobbying.


One of your dumber statements.

Sep 17, 2014
"There can be no natural class conflict in society, Mises showed, since the free market harmonizes all economic interests, but in a system of government-granted privileges, there must be a struggle between those who live off the government and the rest of us. It is a disguised struggle, of course, since truth threatens the loot."
"When I worked on Capitol Hill, Jimmy Carter was bleating about the energy crisis and promising to punish big oil with a "windfall profits tax." But I saw that the lobbyists pushing for the tax were from the big oil companies.

And, after a moment's thought, it was easy to realize why. There was no windfall-profits tax in Saudi Arabia, but it did fall heavily on Oklahoma. And as intended, the tax aided the big companies that imported oil by punishing their competitors, smaller, independent firms."
http://mises.org/...-Complex

Sep 17, 2014
"The problem is not regulatory or ethical, but institutional. If you want to change the pattern of outcomes, change the rules. The only possible way to end the corporate control over the state is to reduce the state's sphere of influence down to as little as possible and ideally nothing. As long as there's the dead animal of the state (really: the citizenry) to feed on, the vultures of the private sector will keep showing up to get their share. "
http://www.coordi...ure.html
AGWites and other socialists must have a state that can force us to buy govt approved toilets, light bulbs, cars, Big Gulps,.....

Sep 17, 2014
AGWites and other socialists must have a state that can force us to buy govt approved toilets, light bulbs, cars, Big Gulps,.....


And guess what @R2? Your better off because of it. "So from the top to bottom the place is simply a seething cauldron of jealousies and hatreds; there is no loyalty or decency anywhere about it, there is no place in it where a man counted for anything against a dollar." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle


Sep 18, 2014
Stricter lobbying rules? Don't make me laugh. The US goverment has always been running on lobbying principle. It is more likely that the Pope will have a threesome in a brothel than that happening. Want to bet on it?


The article is about state governments.

True, but the state governments are parts of the whole government system, aren't they not? The same consistent pattern of lobbyists big and small buying and selling politicians for favors or gain in both domestic and foreign settings, from top to bottom.

Sep 18, 2014
@Skepticus

You're missing the point of the article. States that restrict lobbying have better results than states that don't. Don't get me wrong, lobbyists everywhere have too much power but at least some states are trying to curb the wealthy in shaping policy.

Sep 18, 2014
Your better off because of it.

Based upon what?
How is anyone better off for having their lives controlled by others?

Sep 19, 2014
" Sierra Club lobbyists delivered biased research that eager EPA officials snapped up as justification to shut down coal plants. To avoid scrutiny and evade the agency's visitors log, outside activists and government employees met across the street from EPA headquarters at the J.W. Marriott Hotel. Over coffee, they plotted what they wanted to do, how to do it, and decided the best locations for EPA hearings.

Government officials reciprocated with advance notice of regulatory actions that gave the groups a head start on organizing the appearance of grass-roots support. Sierra Club employees were even allowed to distribute T-shirts at EPA headquarters."
http://www.washin...bbyists/

Sep 20, 2014
Your better off because of it.

Based upon what?
How is anyone better off for having their lives controlled by others?

Based on your pathetic economic conditions? If you want to live in squallier then that is up to you. The rest of us real people would like to enjoy a happy joyful society where we all respect one another and get along. So Yeah, your far better off now than whatever your distopia is.

Sep 20, 2014
happy joyful society where we all respect one another and get along.

Do you respect those who steal from you?
I don't respect you and your fellow cowards for wanting to use the state to plunder the wealth of others.

Sep 21, 2014
Nobody respects the selfish, the greedy, those who refuse to pay their way in society.

Do you drive on our roads?

Sep 21, 2014
Nobody respects the selfish, the greedy, those who refuse to pay their way in society.

Do you drive on our roads?


Is that ALL you have?

I can post many examples to show govt is NOT needed for roads.
I can show how govts waste money on roads. The voters of MA were PROMISED that once the bonds were paid, the tolls on the Mass Pike would be dropped. They were raised from $.25 to $1.25. The govt lied.
The selfish are the socialists who are never satisfied and must plunder more and more wealth.
In nature, successful parasites don't kill the host.

Sep 21, 2014
Yeah, you "can", but you do not, because it is silly.

Getting along with others is a better way to do things, working TOGETHER. It is the Secret of Society.

BTW, in our society, those of you who do not pay their own way are the parasites on the rest of us.

Like freedom? Did you serve?

Sep 21, 2014
Those who don't pay their way, and those who must plunder the wealth of other people are parasites.
Getting along with others is a better way to do things, working TOGETHER.


And that is where socialism fails. When one person doesn't agree with the majority and the majority threatens and engages in violence for non-compliance.

Sep 21, 2014
"When one person doesn't agree with the majority and the majority threatens and engages in violence for non-compliance."

An excellent example of the conservative South and Jim Crow.


Sep 21, 2014
Here is Rygginism played out in real politics. Kansas. A state that was at onetime pretty decent. For a big agricultural state, it had good school systems, a good system of justice, good roads, and a prospering economy. Kansas, then started down it's road of labeling everyone a socialist, it refused obamacare, it started giving away huge tax breaks to the wealthy, and let state government be controlled by the Koch Brother hand picked wingnut kronies. It didn't take very long for that government to implode when nobody had any money to do anything. The misery index in KS is higher than it's ever been.

That is Ryggonomics in action.


Sep 22, 2014
conservative South

Run by democrats.


Sep 22, 2014
"Small business owners welcomed the news. When Brian Williamson, president of the 17-employee JCB Laboratories in Wichita, learned about the tax cuts, he said,

If we save a percent and a half on taxes, yeah, it's going back into the company, whether it's to hire more people … or invest in equipment, a process or technology.

Such reinvestment is beginning to show up in the statistics. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in May Kansas touted an unemployment rate of just 4.8 percent, compared to 5.1 percent in Texas, 5.8 percent in Colorado, and 6.8 percent in Arizona. It's also way below the national unemployment rate of 6.1 percent."
http://www.thenew...-economy


Sep 22, 2014
"Next in line were the worthies at the New York Times calling themselves the Editorial Board. It called Brownback's tax cuts "ruinous" and "spectacularly ill-advised," and the temporary shortfall proved, to their satisfaction at least, that "states cannot cut their way to prosperity. They need every tool of government to nurture growth, and those tools require money."

Stephen Moore, the Heritage Foundation's chief economist and co-author with Laffer of Inquiry, happily put the matter to rest:

What is irrefutable from the evidence in the states, not just Kansas, is that strategic tax-rate reductions can ignite growth and employment….

Over the past two decades, the nine states without an income tax have had double the population growth and more than double the income growth of states with very high income taxes. These results are statistically significant, which means it is very unlikely they happened by chance."
http://www.thenew...-tax-cut

Sep 22, 2014
KS is doing better than most:
Unemployment:
Rank State Rate
1 NORTH DAKOTA 2.8
2 NEBRASKA 3.6
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 3.6
2 UTAH 3.6
5 VERMONT 4.1
6 HAWAII 4.3
6 MINNESOTA 4.3
8 NEW HAMPSHIRE 4.4
9 IOWA 4.5
10 WYOMING 4.6
11 IDAHO 4.7
11 MONTANA 4.7
11 OKLAHOMA 4.7
14 KANSAS 4.9
15 COLORADO 5.1

26 MISSOURI 6.3
29 NEW YORK 6.4
47 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 7.6

http://www.bls.go...strk.htm

Sep 22, 2014
it refused obamacare,


"While negative impact is felt across all age groups, seniors (65+) overwhelmingly (70%) report being negatively impacted by ObamaCare and 85 percent of uninsured respondents said the law has been negative. So who is ObamaCare actually helping?"
http://www.iwvoic...ovember-

Sep 22, 2014
conservative South

Run by democrats.



You are correct, the leaders of the Confederacy were Democrats, as were the leaders during the era of Jim Crow. They were also very conservative.

With the passage of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act a migration of Southern conservative Democrats to the Republican party became a flood.

Sep 22, 2014
They were also very conservative.


They opposed the party of Lincoln, the Republicans.
became a flood.

Don't think so.
Democrats ran AL until recently.

Sep 22, 2014
@ ryggy

The unemployment rate isn't the only metric of a states economic health. Kansas has had it's credit rating lowered and it will only get worse if it continues it's current path.

There is some hope though.

http://online.wsj...05441534

Sep 22, 2014
"They opposed the party of Lincoln, the Republicans."

They certainly did.

They also opposed the land grant legislation, the Homestead Ac (a progressive idea) instead supported selling public lands to slave owners so they could expand their holdings.

The Democrats of 1860 opposed the Republican plank of using government bonds to finance
roads, canals and railroads.

They opposed Land Grant Colleges.

The Democrats of 1860 were conservative, the Republicans progressive.

It would be an over simplification to say there as been a total flip between the parties, it happened in fits and starts. Teddy R was progressive, Coolidge was not. Ike was a self described "progressive Republican".

It is time for the Republican party to give up the lie that they are the "party of Lincoln".

Sep 22, 2014
It's time for 'liberal'/'progressive' arseholes to stop crying 'racism' where none exists.
Especially when it is the 'liberal'/'progressives' who are racist for promoting affirmative action and abortion.

Sep 22, 2014
Kansas is doing better than most?

http://okpolicy.o...leachman

Sep 22, 2014
"Small business owners welcomed the news. When Brian Williamson, president of the 17-employee JCB Laboratories in Wichita, learned about the tax cuts, he said,

If we save a percent and a half on taxes, yeah, it's going back into the company, whether it's to hire more people … or invest in equipment, a process or technology.

Such reinvestment is beginning to show up in the statistics. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in May Kansas touted an unemployment rate of just 4.8 percent, compared to 5.1 percent in Texas, 5.8 percent in Colorado, and 6.8 percent in Arizona. It's also way below the national unemployment rate of 6.1 percent."
http://www.thenew...-economy
Unemployment:
Rank State Rate
2 NEBRASKA 3.6
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 3.6
14 KANSAS 4.9
26 MISSOURI 6.3
http://www.bls.gov/

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

Sep 22, 2014
It's time for 'liberal'/'progressive' arseholes to stop crying 'racism' where none exists.
Especially when it is the 'liberal'/'progressives' who are racist for promoting affirmative action and abortion.


Lost the arguement, went off topic. It is to be expected from an ignorant troll.

Sep 22, 2014
Kansas is doing better than most?

http://okpolicy.o...leachman


I guess if you depend upon the wealth plundered from KS taxpayers, it's not good for you.
If you are a taxpayer, it's not so bad.
This is called starving the beast.
Will KS cut spending?
Why do you judge the economy of the state by how much the state plunders?

Sep 22, 2014
It's time for 'liberal'/'progressive' arseholes to stop crying 'racism' where none exists.
Especially when it is the 'liberal'/'progressives' who are racist for promoting affirmative action and abortion.


Lost the arguement, went off topic. It is to be expected from an ignorant troll.

You accused conservatives of racism, again.

Sep 22, 2014
It's time for 'liberal'/'progressive' arseholes to stop crying 'racism' where none exists.
Especially when it is the 'liberal'/'progressives' who are racist for promoting affirmative action and abortion.


Lost the arguement, went off topic. It is to be expected from an ignorant troll.

You accused conservatives of racism, again.


Slave owners were obviously racist but so was most of the population at the time of the Civil War. The difference was the progressive Republicans wanted to see the end of an evil system. The conservatives wanted it to thrive and expand.

Sep 22, 2014
The 'conservatives' you refer to I would describe as socialists, aka as plantation owners and the politicians who depended upon the labor of slaves. They needed the status quo to keep themselves in power.
Just as today, the 'liberals'/'progressives' of both parties need illegal alien 'slaves' to keep themselves in power.
Those who call themselves 'conservative' today are those who want to preserve the US Constitution by limiting the power of the state.

Sep 22, 2014
Do you drive on our roads?

Do you care about waste?

"High administrative costs in some states could be siphoning away money for road repairs. Hawaii spent $90,000 on administrative costs for every mile of state road. Connecticut had the next highest administrative costs at $77,000 per mile. Meanwhile in Texas administration costs were less than $4,000 per mile and Kentucky spent less than $1,000 per mile on office costs, best in the nation."
" More than 10 percent of urban Interstate mileage in New York, New Jersey, Arkansas, Louisiana, California and Hawaii is in poor condition. Those six states account for nearly half of the nation's potholed urban Interstate pavement mileage."
" Overall, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota had the most cost-effective state highway systems in 2012, whereas Hawaii, Alaska and New Jersey maintained the least cost-effective systems."
http://reason.org...y-report

Sep 26, 2014
But @R2, what about global warming? How does that figure into you scheme? Surely you have a plan to manage all of the socialism that will surely happen when socialist take over and you nightmare comes true. That being; everyone driving a Prius.

Sep 26, 2014
I have no plan to manage the world.
AGWites socialists plan will fail, regardless of the plan.

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