A Preliminary Assessment of Lobbying Techniques: A Case Study in the Texas Expanded Gaming Lobby
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe the techniques lobbyists use when advocating for their clients' interests and to give policy makers and public administrators a better understanding of how interest groups represented by lobbyists influence public policy. The research specifically focuses on lobbyists advocating for expanded gaming in Texas because this type of public policy lobbying involves a varied set of players. Four different lobbying techniques will be examined, including providing information to legislators, building relationships with legislators, generating support through grassroots techniques, and coalition building and electoral lobbying. Methods: This paper uses qualitative interviews with Texas gaming lobbyists about their lobbying techniques. The elements identified in the scholarly literature were used to develop a framework that served as the basis for elite interview questions. Ten Texas gaming lobbyists were interviewed, and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. Findings: These interviews do show Texas gaming lobbyists use all lobbying techniques identified in the scholarly literature However, there are noteworthy exceptions. For example, not all lobbyists present political information to 3 legislators for reasons that will be discussed in Chapter Five. Giving gifts to legislators as a means of building relationships has apparently fallen by the wayside in Texas politics. Only half of the lobbyists interviewed attempt to generate support through grassroots techniques, and coalition building is particularly precarious due to a feeling of distrust among the interest groups involved in gaming policy. All lobbyists interviewed do contribute to individual campaigns, while only half of the lobbyists contribute to PACs. Issue advocacy ads do not appear to be nearly as common in Texas as they are at the federal level.