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We examine the historical effects of ethnic and racial diversification among legislators on identity group mobilization and the hiring of nonwhite lobbyists. We propose that diversification among legislators encouraged identity groups to lobby, that these groups hired lobbyists who reflected their members’ identities, and that all interests also hired lobbyists who reflected the identities of new legislative targets. We apply a Bayesian estimation approach to infer the identities of lobbyists who were active in the American states over several decades. We find that the election of African Americans to state legislatures encouraged black identity groups to lobby, that all identity groups, including those representing Hispanics or Latinos, generally hired lobbyists who reflected their members’ identities, and that the election of Asian Americans to state legislatures encouraged interests generally to hire Asian-American lobbyists. Hispanic or Latino lobbyists gained clients in response to diversification in more Democratic legislatures.
Former legislators who lobby exacerbate the effects of financial resources on the relative political influence that various organized interests achieve. These lobbyists receive more income and achieve favorable policy outcomes more often than other lobbyists. The value of these revolving-door lobbyists, however, is contingent on the continued presence of former colleagues in legislatures. Former legislators achieve influence because of their insider connections, and membership turnover among incumbents decreases the value of this asset for interest groups. I examine the incomes and clienteles of former legislators who lobbied in the American states over seven decades. Turnover is a consistent, negative predictor of revolver value. This effect is enhanced by the presence of legislative staff support. This study is the first to examine the value of revolving-door lobbyists in the state legislatures. My findings imply that reforms that induce turnover help to level playing fields of political advocacy among interests with different levels of financial resources.
This study explores the consequences of legislative turnover for the hiring of lobbyists and influence of interest groups. We argue that lobbyists develop durable relationships with lawmakers in assemblies with low turnover. Such relationships allow lobbyists to attract clients. We use a new, state-level measure of multi-client lobbying to show that legislative turnover and multi-client lobbying are inversely related: decreases in turnover are correlated with more multi-client lobbying. In a second set of analyses, we find that legislative term limits are associated with less multi-client lobbying. Since multi-client lobbying poses risks to the representation of individual interests and magnifies the effects of resource differences between interests, our results suggest that turnover may help more diverse interests to achieve political influence.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.