Sharing the Wealth: Member Contributions and the Exchange by Damon M. Cann

By Damon M. Cann

Records the ever-larger sums donated via incumbent participants of Congress to their events and different applicants, and discusses the implications.

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Extra resources for Sharing the Wealth: Member Contributions and the Exchange Theory of Party Influence in the U.S. House of Representatives

Sample text

Given that many incumbents don’t need all of the money they raise, one would expect incumbents to be more likely to make contributions to other members of Congress. In contrast, challengers and open-seat candidates are already hard-pressed for funds and are unlikely to share funds with other candidates when they themselves have less money than they need. 6 shows the average amount of money given to party committees and to other candidates from major party candidates in the 2000 general election.

In those cases, the party leader’s interests would clearly be served by supporting the candidate who will support the party. Hypotheses and Data Given the possibility of the relationship between leadership contributions and member voting, a rigorous empirical investigation of the question is merited. S. House 43 majority of one party votes against a majority of the other party. The average party unity score in this time period is 84. The primary independent variables of interest are based on contributions from party committees and from party leaders to members of Congress.

Second, political parties seek to enact their preferred policies. , Cox and McCubbins 1993, 2005). In many ways, the goal of majority status is much like an individual legislator’s goal of election: It is difficult for a party to craft good public policy without the power that comes with majority status. Nevertheless, it seems as unreasonable to think that parties have no goal but to control the government as it is unreasonable to think that politicians have no goal but to be elected. Indeed, the very reason why parties seek to control the government is so they can create what they deem to be good policy.

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