Original Data

  • CA Bill Analyses, 1997 to 2017: To investigate RMIG activity and bill interests, I collected an original data set of California bill analyses from 1997 to 2017. This data set contains about 250,000 bill analyses for 23,398 legislative bills from the California state legislature and all bill proposals submitted to be considered in the Assembly and Senate, with information concerning the topic of the bill, the author, and a description of the proposed change. More importantly, the bill analyses contain a listing of organizations who sent in letters supporting or opposing the bill. The listings essentially record the names of groups that formally supporting or opposing a proposed law. In this way, it provides documentation of an instance of lobbying. When an organization sends a letter, they are in fact signaling their approval or disapproval of a policy idea to the legislator. Legislators and their staff see these signals all through the legislative process. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these listings have some sway on the opinions and vote choices of legislators. But beyond that it is a clear indication of an attempt to lobby or sway the legislature. These listings allow researchers to map and track the types of policies that groups, both civic and private, care about. Improvement over LDA data and recent Maplight Data since it records every instance of a bill over a longer period and not self-reported. Also looking at bill analysis-level, allows minute tracking of positions over path of bill through process.
  • Set of Lobbying Letters on RMIG Opposed Bills: To buttress my empirical analyses of influence and to get a closer look at the strategies that RMIGs employ when they lobby, I collected 2000 letters sent to legislative committees by interest groups to register their official positions on 137 bills opposed by RMIGs. Each letter contains a plethora of information, like why they opposed/supported the bill. I use the letters to identify information these groups convey to legislators and to see whether it influences the bill’s substantive provisions to measure influence.

  • Survey Responses from the CCES and the CMPS, 2020/2021: I fielded two surveys, one in the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES) and the other in the Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey (CMPS). In particular, the CMPS asks questions of large and robust samples of all racial minorities in the United States. The CCES survey contains a battery of questions and a survey experiment to test the signaling ability of racial minority interest groups and whether they constituted a source of trust for voters. The CMPS survey also has questions that evaluated the level of trust racial minorities held towards RMIGs and an experiment to test whether their voter behavior was at all induced or influenced by RMIGs.