Timothy M. Lapira

Timothy M. Lapira
James Madison University | JMU · Department of Political Science

Ph.D.

About

32
Publications
7,990
Reads
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360
Citations
Introduction
I research interest groups and lobbying. I am currently writing a book on so-called revolving door lobbyists with Herschel F. Thomas III that explores how common it is for people to move from government service to private sector lobbying, who does so, and why it matters for interest representation. My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation, the Dirksen Congressional Center, and the American Political Science Association, and others.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - August 2014
Sunlight Foundation
Position
  • Academic Fellow
August 2008 - May 2010
College of Charleston
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2007 - May 2008
American University
Position
  • Instructor

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
Campaign donors and corporate interests have greater access to Congress, and the legislative agenda and policy outcomes reflect their preferences. How this privileged access converts into influence remains unclear because petitioner-legislator interactions are unobserved. In this article, we report the results of an original survey experiment of 43...
Article
Full-text available
The Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) will turn 25 years old on December 19, 2020. Between 1998 and 2018, organizations and lobbying firms filed more than one million reports. These reports provide information on the activity of 47,555 organizations, 6834 lobbying firms, and 47,479 individual lobbyists. The interest group scholarly community has put th...
Article
Full-text available
Since the 1990s, members of the U.S. House have shifted official resources away from legislative functions to representational activities. We reveal this decline using an original data set constructed from 236,000 quarterly payroll disbursements by 1,090 member-offices for 120,000 unique House staff between the 103rd and 113th Congresses. The data...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines lobbying firms as intermediaries between organized interests and legislators in the United States. It states a partisan theory of legislative subsidy in which lobbying firms are institutions with relatively stable partisan identities. Firms generate greater revenues when their clients believe that firms’ partisan ties are valu...
Article
Although political scientists have increasingly focused on the role of gender in the policy process and the characteristics of individual lobbyists, little is known about the gender politics of the government relations profession. We extend the study of professional women to the unique political context of Washington, DC, lobbying, an important for...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - American Studies - Can America Govern Itself? - edited by Frances E. Lee
Article
Full-text available
How many lobbyists are in Washington, and how common is it for them to have worked in the federal government? We assume that high-profile cases like former Senator Tom Daschle - the namesake of the so-called Daschle loophole to the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) in the USA - are not isolated. In this article, we systematically account for lobbying a...
Article
We argue that the market for lobbying services is a function of two key features of modern American politics: (1) the decline in Congress’s analytic capacity and (2) the concentration of agenda setting powers to party leaders that has come with increased polarization in government. These trends have made the legislative process much more uncertain...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we examine whether certain types of lobbyists are associated with bills that advance further in the legislative process. That is, we ask whether some advocates are more likely to target bills that are reported out of committee, that pass on the chamber floor(s), and that become law. We link original data on lobbyists’ previous profes...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we make the case that there is a critical set of knowledge, skills and abilities that can be taught to pre- and early-career lobbyists at the graduate professional training level. We acknowledge that, as with any profession, there are intrinsic personal qualities and life experiences that improve the ability of lobbyists to represe...
Article
In this paper, we examine whether certain types of lobbyists are associated with bills that advance further in the legislative process. That is, we ask whether some advocates are more likely to target bills that are reported out of committee, that pass on the chamber floor(s), and that become law. We link original data on lobbyists’ previous profes...
Article
Full-text available
For decades, political scientists have had two divergent views on lobbyists in Washington. On the one hand they focus on the privileged access of a few groups in balkanized issue niches, and on the other they observe highly inclusive lobbying campaigns where hundreds of lobbyists vigorously compete for policymakers’ attention. Not surprisingly, the...
Article
Does the emergence of a new boundary-spanning policy regime shift the focus of well-established organized interests, or does it mobilize new ones? In this article, I show that interest groups with a presence in Washington before 9/11 rapidly—but temporarily—shift their attention to the homeland security issues. Established groups' entrenchment in a...
Article
Full-text available
Although experience inside the halls of power afford lobbyists valuable political, policy and procedural skills that can improve the deliberative process, it also gives them privileged access to former employers that others do not have. Washington’s revolving door evokes legitimate ethical concerns, such as when former legislators resign their seat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent research on influence has produced seemingly contradictory findings. On the one hand, some scholars have shown that on any given issue, economic resources show little relationship to the likelihood of policy success (Baumgartner et al. 2009). Yet, other scholars have found that policy outcomes match the preferences of the top interest groups...
Article
In this chapter, I explore how common it is for professionals engaged in policy influence activities to report or not report lobbying under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), develop a new measure to detect the effects of unreported lobbying activities, and examine alternative explanations for the causes and consequences of unreported lobbying. Fir...
Article
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s choice not to register under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) for his “historical advice” to Freddie Mac was a controversy in the 2012 Republican primary. The practice of carefully crafting policy advocacy activities to avoid triggering disclosure requirements is commonly referred to as the "Daschle exception" after...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we identify how many lobbyists have previously worked in the federal government — and in which venue — to investigate whether their previous public service affects their subsequent lobbying behavior. Using evidence from a new data set of professional biographies of roughly 1,600 registered lobbyists — which we link to data from almost...
Article
For decades, political scientists have had two divergent views on lobbyists in Washington. On the one hand they lament the privileged access of a few powerful groups in niches, and on the other they point to highly visible advocacy campaigns where hundreds of lobbyists compete for policymakers’ attention. To resolve this paradox, we conceive the in...
Article
I propose a theory of lobbying influence that assumes that targets of legislative advocacy are biased information-processors when making policy priority choices. Legislators and their staff minimize cognitive effort and maximize information consumption by relying on heuristics about the credibility of interest group coalitions rather than the conte...
Article
Does the emergence of a new policy domain shift the focus of well-established organized interests or does it initiate the mobilization of new ones? Because issues emerge and recede from the public agenda as a function of the political process, and because government attention creates a demand for the mobilization of interests, I hypothesize that th...
Article
In this paper, we apply information theoretic measures to voting in the U.S. Senate in 2003. We assess the associations between pairs of senators and groups of senators based on the votes they cast. For pairs, we use similarity-based methods, including hierarchical clustering and multidimensional scaling. To identify groups of senators, we use prin...
Article
In this paper, we use data from 499,838 semiannual reports filed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) of 1995 to investigate the degree to whic h networks of lobbyists are linked with each other or operate independently as cliques, and to m easure the stability of network characteristics over time. Each lobbying network is linked by indi viduals...
Article
Full-text available
Using an agenda-setting approach, we show the interaction between the growth of groups and the growth of government. A pooled time-series analysis of more than 45,000 lobby registration reports from 1996 to 2000 and measures of government activity from the Policy Agendas Project indicates that groups become active in Washington, D.C., in large part...

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