Interest Group Politics in the Northeastern States

Interest Group Politics in the Northeastern States

Interest Group Politics in the Northeastern States

Interest Group Politics in the Northeastern States

Synopsis

Interest Group Politics in the Northeastern States examines each of the twelve northeastern states in a separate chapter that seeks to convey the flavor and dynamics of politics in that state as a foundation for explaining the lobbying activities found within the state. The interest groups are placed within a historical context and within the current framework of the structure of state government and the party system. Additionally, the lobby registration laws, restrictions on lobbyists, PAC regulations, PAC patterns and political contribution patterns, and relative power of the various interest groups in each state are noted as they have changed over time.

Excerpt

While western, southern, and even midwestern politics are often seen as distinct, the concept of northeastern politics is not as solidly established. Unlike the other large regions, the Northeast has not been the subject of a regional focus of analysis. the scholarly and journalistic books on the region have focused on the Northeast's subregions, especially New England. Rather than thinking of the Northeast as the part of the United States left over after the more distinct South, West, and Midwest have been defined, we strongly believe that the Northeast is a distinct region, which includes the nation's historical centers of finance, communications, and political leadership. Perhaps the most famous of these subregional books is Duane Lockard 's New England State Politics (1959). Lockard's examination of the six New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) was largely organized around political parties and the changes in the six states in terms of party competition after 1945. To his credit, Lockard paid much more attention to interest groups than John Fenton did in his 1966 book, Midwest Politics.

During the three decades since New England State Politics was published, parties have declined in importance as significant actors in our state and national public-policy-making process, and more and more attention has been focused on interest groups. Still, little is known about the number, types, significance, and roles of interest groups in the policy-making processes of many states, and for many states there have been no efforts to study the interest-group systems and their impact on state politics in a systematic manner.

Comparative research on state politics using a regional unit of analysis also has been rare. Studies by V.O. Key, Duane Lockard, and Frank Jonas looked at politics in the South, the Northeast, and the West using the . . .

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