Influencing Congress: Big Tobacco's Pipe Dream?

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Title: Influencing Congress: Big Tobacco's Pipe Dream?
Author: Axelrod, David L.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Political Science
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 1999
Abstract: With campaign finance spinning out of control, the American electorate has become increasingly suspicious of how much influence special interests can buy with lobbying and campaign contributions. At the same time, the tobacco industry has been trying to spend its way out of the political and legal logjam it has found itself in. Specifically, in 1997 and 1998 the industry spent an unprecedented amount of money trying to dictate the terms of the legislation that would be the final word on Big Tobacco's culpability and operating procedures in the future. The tobacco industry is not the first special interest that has sought to influence policy making in this way. Rather, contributions from political action committees have played a major role in elections and in legislative decisions. In light of past research on the influence of contributions on legislative decisions, this paper has statistically studied the relationship between the members of the House of Representatives and the tobacco PAC's that sought to buy their votes. The conclusion: contributions by Big Tobacco's political action committee were a significant and effective tool.
Subject: Campaign funds -- Corrupt practices -- United States
Subject: Cigarette industry -- Corrupt practices -- United States
Subject: Tobacco industry -- Corrupt practices -- United States
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Axelrod, David L.. "Influencing Congress: Big Tobacco's Pipe Dream?". 1999. Available electronically from

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