A Study on State Lobbying: The Relationship Between Party in Governor’s Mansion and States with the Highest Growth Rate
By TBOR Staff
AUBURN, AL- As we continue our study on state lobbying, we take a closer look at the ten states we have identified as seeing the highest growth rate in the number of state lobbyists: California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota, Maine, New York, and Delaware.
In looking at these states, we see a strong correlation between growth occurrence and a Democrat leading the state as governor. First, we see that, while the nation trended toward Republicans serving as governor, this sample of ten states leaned toward Democrat leadership. Below is a chart with the ten states, the number of lobbyists each year, and the color coding of red for a year where a state had a Republican governor and blue for a year where the state had a Democrat as governor.
In the ten years of the ten states that saw the greatest lobbyist growth rate, 58 years were governed by Democrats and 42 years by Republicans.
This was contrary to the national trend. Over this time period, there was a 53.2% chance that a given state was governed by a Republican- 11.2% greater than the group of ten highest growth states.
Conversely, there was a 46.2% chance that a given state would be governed by a Democrat- making this sample 11.8% more Democrat than the nation as a whole.
The fact that the sample skews Democrat does not mean that is where the blame lies. However, a look at the year by year numbers- analyzing growth year over year- shows that a state governed by a Democrat was more likely to experience a growth in the number of registered lobbyists, albeit by a slight margin.
(a + indicates a year in which the number of lobbyists was greater than the previous year; a – indicates a year in which the number of lobbyists was less than the previous year; a * indicates a year that was the greatest number of lobbyists that state experienced over the decade; an = indicates a year in which the number of lobbyists was equal to the prior year)
In the 90 instances we are looking at where our ten states would have seen an increase or decrease in lobbying, the numbers grew 48 (53.3%) times. In states with Republican governors, the number grew 19 out of 37 instances (or 51.3%). States with a Democrat as governor saw those numbers increase 29 out of 53 instances (or 54.7%).
While we will look at other factors later in our study, 2011 was the year where the greatest number of states saw growth. Multiple states saw 2007 and 2013 as their years where the greatest number of lobbyists were registered.
Changes are often incremental, and we want to account for changes over the duration of party leadership. Below is a table looking at each instance where a party had consecutive years as governor. As the tables above, it is color coded.
In six “terms” of Republican leadership, the number of lobbyists grew by an average of 125.3 from the start of the term to the end of the term. Over the course of the eight Democrat “terms,” the number of lobbyists grew by 233.4 from the start of the term to the end of the term.
For the purposes of this article, we are not looking at individuals or any other correlation other than political party. However, the ten states that had the highest growth rate from Year 1 to Year 10 collectively had a greater preference for Democrat governors than the nation, saw those Democrats correlate to a slightly increased rate of year over year growth, and resulted in greater gains over the tenure of those Democrats. Again, we are not ascribing “blame” to these governors or to the Democrat Party. We do, however, see a numerical relationship in this sample to the growth in numbers of registered lobbyists to Democrats serving as governor in a given state.
Our plan is to continue this study over the coming weeks and months, and we encourage your comments on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/takebackorg/ and hope you will continue to check TakeBack.org as we continue this journey.