The Relationship Between Campaign Contributions and Record Votes in the Texas Legislature
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Research Purpose:The purpose of this applied research project is explanatory and examines the relationship between political contributions, party, and tenure on record votes in the Texas Legislature. This applied research project will seek to analyze the relationship between campaign contributions and votes on a piece of legislation with clearly defined support or opposition, The Medical Liability Bill: HB 4, during the 78th Texas Legislative Session. Political donations to members of both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives by prominent special interest groups involved will be analyzed for any type of relationship to their overall final vote on the bill.
Method: Along with citing numerous other research studies done on this topic, this applied research project is quantitative and uses existing data to form a micro-conceptual framework of three formal hypotheses:
- H1: Political contributions affect voting patterns.
- H2: Political party affiliation affects voting patterns.
- H3: Legislative tenure affects voting patterns.
The independent variables are campaign contributions, party, tenure and the dependent variable is the actual record vote on House Bill 4 during the 78th Texas Legislative Session. The existing data used to analyze the relationship are campaign finance reports from the Texas Ethics Commission, biographical data from the Texas Legislative Reference Library, and record votes recorded by the House and Senate Journal Clerks Office.
Findings: The results of this research showed that campaign contributions (H1), party affiliation (H2), and tenure (H3) have no relationship on the overall final vote on House Bill 4 in the Texas Legislature during the 78th Legislative Session. The data showed that there is no relationship between any of the independent variables upon the dependent variable. In other words, campaign contributions, party, or tenure had no relationship on the record vote of Texas State Legislators on House Bill 4.